Ki Tisa

כִּי תִשָּׂא
When You Take a Census

Exodus 30:11−34:35

When Is Ki Tisa Read?

/ 22 Adar 5781
/ 18 Adar I 5782
/ 18 Adar 5783

Summary

  • Moses takes a census of the Israelites and collects a half-shekel from each person (30:11-16)
  • God tells Moses to construct a water basin and to prepare anointing oil and incense for the ordination of the priests. Bezalel and Oholiab, skilled artisans, are assigned to make objects for the priests and the Tabernacle. (30:17-31:11)
  • The Israelites are instructed to keep Shabbat as a sign of their covenant with God. God gives Moses the two tablets of the Pact. (31:12-18)
  • The Israelites ask Aaron to build them a Golden Calf. Moses implores God not to destroy the people and then breaks the two tablets of the Pact on which the Ten Commandments are written when he sees the idol. God punishes the Israelites by means of a plague. (32:1-35)
  • Moses goes up the mountain with a blank set of tablets for another 40 days so that God will again inscribe the Ten Commandments. Other laws, including the edict to observe the Pilgrimage Festivals, are also revealed. (34:1-28)
  • Moses comes down from the mountain with a radiant face. (34:29-35)

Ten Minutes of Torah: Ki Tisa Commentary

Torrah and Kippah

The Challenge of Holding God Close While Keeping Fear at Bay

By: Rabbi Reuven Greenvald

The poet Yehuda Amichai writes:

I don’t want an invisible god. I want a god who is seen but doesn’t see, so I can lead him around and tell him what he doesn’t see… ("God Changes, Prayers are Here to Stay” in The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai, ed. Robert Alter, pp. 409-10)

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