This week’s parasha concludes with the incident of Miriam and Aharon speaking against Moshe:
1 Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses regarding the Cushite woman he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman.
As we read last week, at the end of Sefer Shemot, Moshe set up the Mishkan and the glory of God filled it.
Here at the beginning of Sefer Vayikra, God calls to Moshe and tells him which sacrifices the Jewish people will be offering.
I must mention that my teacher, Rabbi Mendel Farber, often told me that we should not refer to the animal offerings as sacrifices. To sacrifice something can imply that it is lost and now without value. He contends that whatever we give to God is never lost and never loses its value.
Our tradition tells us that God forgave the Jewish people for the sin of the Golden Calf on Yom Kippur.
The next day Moshe gathered the people and told them about the Divine command to build the Tabernacle (Mishkan).
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):
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.
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.