In this week’s Torah portion, Sh’lach L’cha, 12 scouts are sent into the Promised Land to bring back a report to the former slaves in the wilderness. Ten of them report that the Land flows with milk and honey, but it will be difficult to conquer. Two spies present a different point of view, projecting an energizing sense of hope over a paralyzing sense of fear.
When I was speaking with a 95-year-old congregant this week, she shared with me the uncomfortable feeling of having her synagogue change around her. “We used to be properly Reform. Now, when I come, I see people wearing a tallit..... " For her, seeing fellow congregants wearing a tallit feels like a betrayal of the Reform principles she holds dear.... The commandment to wear tzitzit, the fringes on the corners of the tallit, comes from this parashah.
As we complete each book of the Torah, it is customary to repeat the words "Chazak, chazak, v'nitchazeik." These words, understood as "Congratulations!" actually have a more profound message.
The popular television show American Idol seeks the most talented singers, hoping to promote each one as the next "superstar." There is a lot that is positive about American Idol.
Imagine that Ki Tisa does not capture a conversation between Moses and God, but rather a discussion between a construction site owner and a general contractor. God plays the role of owner and Moses, the contractor. Moses is excited to get the project under way. After all, he has just been given the most important construction contract of his life―the building of the Tabernacle
A case can be made that the second half of the Book of Exodus is out of order, especially the incident of the golden calf in this week's parashah, Ki Tisa.
This week's parashah, Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35), contains a story with which most of us are familiar ― the breaking of the first set of tablets by Moses when he sees the people dancing around the golden calf.