Ki Tisa is the name of this week's reading. Ki Tisa simply translates as "when you take a census." It can also translate as "when you lift up."

What is discussed in the reading of Ki Tisa?

Forty days after hearing G‑d announce at Sinai, "I am your G‑d.... You shall have no other gods besides Me," the Jews sinned big time. The Golden Calf fest was a carnival that included idolatry, adultery, and murder.1

"When you lift up"?


Many times, the greatest tragedies spur the greatest growthHeaven forbid! The Torah is truth and only truth. If Torah says that the episode of the Golden Calf is an "uplifting" story, then that is indeed the case.

So what is the deeper meaning that lies behind the seemingly deceiving title?

Many times, the greatest tragedies spur the greatest growth. In our own lives, if we'd look back through the objective lens of hindsight, chances are that we'd identify many a time when what we thought at the time to be the greatest calamity actually brought out the best in us.

The Golden Calf was a sin, a terrible sin. But thanks to that sin we now have Yom Kippur, the day that G‑d forgave the Jewish people, a day that ever since has become the day when G‑d cleanses our souls from any grime we may have accumulated in the past year. Secondly, because of the Golden Calf fiasco we got the second set of tablets, which came to replace the broken set. This second set came with a bonus – the entire "Oral Torah" – basically a whole body of Torah scholarship that was not included in the first.

The title Ki Tisa teaches us that there is one word that does not exist in G‑d's dictionary.