Vayichan, Chazal tell us, the reason the Torah uses the singular term, is because they were as one person with one heart (ish Echad blev Echad). On a simple level, the Torah is teaching us the wholesomeness of Klal Yisrael at the time of kabalas hatorah: We had a singular vision to accept and to do what Hashem wants. There was no one out there with a personal agenda or axe to grind. Rather, everyone was looking to promote and to do the Will of Hashem, and to do it together as one People.
The Orach Chayim gives us another explanation that is very relevant in our daily lives. He explains that in order for the Torah to be learned, a person cannot do so by himself. Rather, we need the “Beis Medrash,” meaning people coming together to discuss and delve into the deeper meaning of the Torah, which brings about a clarity of thought which cannot be produced by an individual.
In the world of academia there is an expression “publish or perish”. The idea is that a person can become smug and confident, which takes away one’s vitality and ability to grow. By having to express novella to others, the academic professor must not only be current, but he has to be on the “cutting edge.”
L’havdil, in the world of Torah, it is not just the cumulative knowledge and brain power that brings about greatness in Torah as an individual. Rather, by the fact that people come together to learn Torah, they bring the presence of the Shechina, which brings with it a Kedushah in a way that an individual could never achieve. This then impacts the Torah learned by the individuals who have joined together in this group (see Pirkei Avos 3:7).
Hence the true meaning of the Torah was designed to be revealed through a massive learning project of many people together.
As we read the parsha of kabalas hatorah there are those who have the custom to stand as we did at Har Sinai to reenact our acceptance of the Torah. We should also recommit ourselves at this time to the concept of “k’ish Echad blev Echad” by not only learning with others, but by coming to the place where others learn – Beis Medrash.