The Giving of the Torah, with all its fundamental and theological importance, has meaning only when accompanied by the complementary act – the receiving of the Torah.
For the Torah – which means instruction, guidance, charting a direction – has meaning only when there is someone who receives it, someone who takes it to guide him and show him his path.
Our sages emphasize the other side of the Giving of the Torah – the Jewish People s willingness to accept it – in their bold interpretation of the verse, “You are My witnesses… and I am God.”
They interpret as follows: “When you are My witnesses, I am God; when you are not My witnesses, then I, as it were, am not God.” Because the Jewish People are willing to accept the Torah and to receive the message, the revelation of it – the encounter between God and Man – can take place.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz