3 Lessons After the Golden Calf

Parashat Ki Tisa 5772

After the sin of the Golden Calf, God told Moshe that he was going to destroy the Jewish people.

After Moshe destroyed the Golden Calf he then went back up to Har Sinai to plead for the people (Shemot 32:30-32).

Moshe pleaded with HaShem that the Divine Presence would remain with them. Here is part of that exchange (translation from Judaica Press):


After the Golden Calf

Parashat Ki Tisa 5772

If it’s possible for a whole nation to have a bad hair day, then the Jewish people had one.

The people were confused about when Moshe would return from Har Sinai. They got anxious and urged Aharon to make a visual representation of God (Shemot 32: 1-6).

This is the event that is called Cheit HaEigal or the Golden Calf.


The Priestly Garments – Honor and Glory

SSG Giunta

Parashat Tetzaveh 5772

I have a confession to make.

I feel like I’ve never understood the concept of honor (kavod) and glory (tiferet) with regards to the priestly garments.

Then I came across the picture of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta.

It struck me. That’s honor and glory. See the look in his eyes. See his bearing. It’s all brought together by the dignity of his uniform.


The Priestly Garments


Parashat Tetzaveh 5772

Last week Parashat Terumah described the building of the Mishkan (tabernacle).

This week we read about the priestly garments and the process of preparing the priests to service in the Mishkan.

The High Priest (Kohen Gadol) wore eight garments when he served. A regular priest wore only four garments.


Building the Tabernacle

menorah in Jerusalem Old City

Parashat Terumah 5772

From this parasha until the end of Sefer Shemot, the Chumash focuses on building and inaugurating the Mishkan (tabernacle).

The Mishkan is the portable temple that the Jews were commanded to build in the desert. It was disassembled every time they moved from one camp to another and then rebuilt.

The main part of the Mishkan was a tent that was divided into two sections – the Holy and the Holy of Holies.


Sheker: Don’t Stand For It

sheker - don't stand for it

Parashat Mishpatim 5772

A group of philanthropists visited the Chafetz Chaim. One of them, who had donated to the yeshiva before, said, “Surely the rabbi remembers me.”

The Chafetz Chaim replied, “I’m sorry. My memory is not what it used to be.”

A family member tried to give the visitor the impression that indeed the Chafetz Chaim did remember.


Hearing and Understanding

Parashat Yitro 5772


Moshe’s first encounter with Yitro’s family was at a well. Yitro’s daughters took care of his flocks. Moshe intervened when other shepherds would not let them water their flock.

When Yitro heard what had happened, he invited Moshe to stay with them. This was good for Moshe since he was a fugitive from Paro. Moshe married Yitro’s daughter Tzipporah and they had two sons.


Who Bowed to Who?

hearing with the ear

Parashat Yitro 5772

I am thinking of a man who I and many others consider to be a talmid chacham. I have learned from him and had the privilege for several years of having a private chevruta with him.

Yet, when I would walk over to him in the beit midrash, he would stand up to honor me!?!

Who should we honor? How should we show that honor?