כִּ֣י תִשָּׂא אֶת־רֹאשׁ בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְקֻדֵיהֶם וְנָתְנוּ אִ֣ישׁ כֹּ֧פֶר נַפְשׁ֛וֹ לַיהוה בִּפְקֹד אֹתָם וְלֹא־יִהְיֶה בָהֶם נֶגֶף בִּפְקֹד אֹתָם׃

When you take the census of the children of Israel for their number, then every man shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord, when you number them, that there may be no plague among them when you number them.





Brit Chadasha

March 2 2024

Ki Tisa
“When you leave”

Exodus 30:11-34:35

1Kings 18: 1-39

Acts 7:35-8:1
2 Cor.3:1-18



In this Parasha, we encounter two iconic moments in the epic story of Israel and their reception of the Torah. The first is known as the sin of the golden calf, when the impatience of the people waiting for Moses’s return leads to their worship of a shine calf in place of God. This event serves as the paradigmatic image of idolatry which Israel was use to it. The second iconic moment occurs upon Moses’s descent from Mount Sinai, holding the two tablets of the covenant made with the finger of God. Encountering this ultimate violation. So, Moses treated smashed the tablets because he felt the people did not deserve them. We treat the Torah scroll as an idol in our congregations when we parade it gloriously through our synagogues on Shabbat, but don’t internalize and put into practice its teachings of justice. The problem with idols is that instead of serving as symbols of holiness, they replace holiness.
The Israelites turn to Aaron and demand, “Come, make us a god who will go before us, for that man Moses, who brought us from the land of Egypt—we do not know what has happened to him” Exod. 32:1. Aaron collects gold and creates a calf, and declares a “festival” of burnt offerings to the Lord. Indeed, God vows to destroy them but Moses, rises to intercede on behalf of the people, as Moses declares, why let the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intentions that he led them out, to slaughter them in the hills and wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger! Relent! Don’t bring such disaster on your people” Exod. 32:12.