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Ki Tisa in a Nutshell

Ki Tisa in a Nutshell

Exodus 30:11–34:35

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The people of Israel are told to each contribute exactly half a shekel of silver to the Sanctuary. Instructions are also given regarding the making of the Sanctuary’s water basin, anointing oil and incense. “Wise-hearted” artisans Betzalel and Aholiav are placed in charge of the Sanctuary’s construction, and the people are once again commanded to keep the Shabbat.

When Moses does not return when expected from Mount Sinai, the people make a golden calf and worship it. G‑d proposes to destroy the errant nation, but Moses intercedes on their behalf. Moses descends from the mountain carrying the tablets of the testimony engraved with the Ten Commandments; seeing the people dancing about their idol, he breaks the tablets, destroys the golden calf, and has the primary culprits put to death. He then returns to G‑d to say: “If You do not forgive them, blot me out from the book that You have written.”

G‑d forgives, but says that the effect of their sin will be felt for many generations. At first G‑d proposes to send His angel along with them, but Moses insists that G‑d Himself accompany His people to the promised land.

Moses prepares a new set of tablets and once more ascends the mountain, where G‑d reinscribes the covenant on these second tablets. On the mountain, Moses is also granted a vision of the divine thirteen attributes of mercy. So radiant is Moses’ face upon his return, that he must cover it with a veil, which he removes only to speak with G‑d and to teach His laws to the people.

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Discussion (17)
February 28, 2016
The Golden Calf occurred approximately 3 months after the Exodus, 40 days after receiving the Torah at Mt. Sinai, in the year 2448 since Creation - 1313 BCE - see this link for more about this.
Simcha Bart
LOS ANGELES
February 27, 2016
Calf Worship Chronology
What day does your chronology say?

I believe it was Egyptian New Years Thoth 1, 1461 BCE. Star Sirius rose. Seems logical.
Lawrence
Iowa
March 6, 2015
Thanks for all the comments I understand better now. HaShem bless each of you and especially Chabad.org for airing this.
Ralph Moran
Arizona
February 23, 2014
re:Annonymous
2/21/14 -- Know that G-D did not tell Moses to kill by the sword! G-D, Told Moses to look the other way and I will let my anger flare at this stiff neck people, . . . Exodus 32:26 ' 'Whoso is on the LORD'S side, let him come unto me.' Moses gave them a choice, those choosing to not come were against G-D, those are put to the sword. Better 3 thousand than all 1.8 million(Approx.). You should also understand that more died from the plague when G-D does not accept Moses' 'Remove my name'. G-D always knows what you ARE, no matter what you say --it is what you DO that makes the difference.

Please read the text carefully. No translation is perfect. Even Hebrew scholars of biblical Hebrew mis-translate and do not understand. You should look for those phrases that do not make sense, asking why is this here? What can I learn from this? Is this law or event written again in the Five Books of Moses?

Seek and you will find. Let others lead you as a sheep, the consequences are still yours.
Yaakov
Palo Alto, CA
February 21, 2014
Eliezer - one more question please
Thanks for your kindness is responding. If Moses had stood up to the command to kill the people who worshipped the golden calf, like he stood up for those the others, would Hashem have changed his mind then and be able to save the approximate 3000? The Levites did as ordered and were honored for this. Was what the Levites did really that honorable compared to what Moses did when he finally stood up against further killing?
Anonymous
February 20, 2014
To Anonymous in SLC
The 3,000 people killed were the ones that actually worshiped the golden calf. These did not include children.

Moses's request for clemency, to the point that he demanded his name be removed from the Torah, was for the rest of the Jewish nation.
Eliezer Zalmanov
for Chabad.org
February 20, 2014
Moses has the culprits killed
This is where I am confused. Moses has holy chutzpah with Hashem in saying take me out of this book. But why are about 3000 (including children) killed before that point. I am confused.
Anonymous
Salt Lake City
February 16, 2014
the commandments and Moses
i like these comments on sin and Moses disagreements and G-d's abiiity to discuss and change his mind .
The lesson I take from this is that we all can not only sin and be wrong in our judgements sometimes - but even G-d can think and listen and change his mind and do something over that he sees as a learning experience, therefore helping others to think things through and not just jump to condemn and react in a destructive way.
Charu
Ashland, OR
chabadofashland.org
February 14, 2014
Very Interesting, But . . . .
Answers: Exodus 20 Second Law.

Moses was being tested like a 2014 CEO who has finds out that his company is making clothing in a sweat house in Indonesia using children, 'Don't look and you will make millions of dollars and no one will be the wiser'. Many people accept deals like that, but Moses ignores the offer and uses God's Glory as a tool. Remember Moses' job was only to bring the Hebrews to this mountain. We need to trust Moses and his integrity.

Remove my name . . . ." Moses is not refusing to worship God, he is trying to defend those still alive that broke Second Law. From this we learn that no one stands between you and God's judgment. A closer review is where we learn that there is a book of life, for only those that sin against God will surely die.

Death of the soul not death of the body. The L-rd is all about the soul (breath of God in the dirt is a soul; Genesis 2:7) The soul is most valuable possession any human will ever have, yet we treat it with contempt. Shame.
Yaakov
Palo Alto, CA
February 10, 2014
Oy!
Our friend in Puerto Rico does not understand that Hashem is NOT a bully as he suggested. Hashem gives us what we need, even when we don't believe in him, he believes in us.
There is no place, I think, in Chumash prior to the 10 commandments where we were told not to make idols, however, they messed up by not trusting that Moses would come down.
There still exists today people who would put other gods before them, a major boo-boo in anyone's book. IMHO, methinks that the real reason behind Hashem's anger was against the evil ones who proposed the idol, not the idol itself. He has a way of getting rid of evil people.
But to me, two things fly out: First that one person cannot die for another's sins. Hashem refused to kill Moses for the sins of others. Second, in daily prayers women thank Hashem for making them according to his will. That is our reward for not participating in the building of the golden calf. Again, nobody can die for another's sins.
Beverly Kurtin
Texas