The poet Yehuda Amichai writes: I don’t want an invisible god... I want a god who is seen... , so I can lead him around and tell him what he doesn’t see… ... In this week’s portion, Ki Tisa, we reconnect with this unfinished storyline at the beginning of Exodus 32. While Moses tarries atop Mount Sinai, the people down below are losing their patience:
According to Ramban (Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, or Nachmanides; 1194-1270), this week’s Torah portion, Vayak’heil, is properly understood as the necessary reconciliation between the Israelite people, on one side, and God and Moses, on the other, after the devastation of the Golden Calf episode. Ramban reads the opening phrase, “Moses then convoked the whole Israelite community (Ex. 35:1), as Moses rebuilding and healing the community through the inclusion and involvement of all ...
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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.
This week's parashah, Ki Tisa, portrays several dramatic scenes. In one of them, we find the Israelites camped below Mount Sinai. Moses has been atop the mountain for nearly forty days, and the people are awaiting his return.