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Soaring Letters – Part II

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Soaring Letters – Part II

At the sin of the golden calf, only three thousand Jews actually sinned. The vast majority of the Jews did not participate. Why did G-d hold the entire people responsible for what transpired, and deserving of punishment?
Breaking of the Tablets, Golden Calf, Lubavitcher Rebbe
Soaring Letters – Part II
Disc 142, Program 566

Event Date: 20 Av 5732 - July 31, 1972

At the sin of the golden calf, only three thousand Jews actually sinned. The vast majority of the Jews did not participate. Why did G-d hold the entire people responsible for what transpired, and deserving of punishment?

Those who did not sin were able to object to the actions of the three thousand, but they didn’t.

This idea of communal accountability, of a “responsible bystander” who is also liable, was not introduced until much later, in the fortieth year in the desert, when Moses declared, “You are all standing here today... to enter into G-d’s covenant and into His oath.”

Nevertheless, the commandment to “Love your fellow as yourself” had certainly already been given. It is this love that should have given no rest to those Jews who witnessed their brothers’ sin but did nothing.

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