Sedra of the Week: Ki Tissa 

Sedra of the Week: Ki Tissa 

Rabbi Jeff Berger looks ahead to this week's portion of the Torah

This week’s parsha tells the story of the Golden Calf and Moses’ efforts to save our special relationship with God.

To recap, Moses was atop Mount Sinai receiving the Tablets from the Almighty, when a panic in the camp lead people to demand Aaron make, “an Elohim that would walk in front of them”. An idol was formed and merry-making ensued. Angered, God sent Moses down to the corrupted nation, warning they would be wiped out.

But before descending, Moses ‘”argued with God” for their survival. Winning an injunction, he returned to camp, saw the Golden Calf, smashed the divinely-carved tablets and began a national atonement process.

Next, Moses asked to see God’s presence.

Curiously, before that could happen, God proposed that Bnei Yisrael immediately embark for the Promised Land, where an angel would lead them to victory.

More curiously, Moses refused. He understood that because God would not accompany them, this would be a parting of the ways and His involvement with the Jewish people would end. Not quite annihilation, it was still an untenable compromise.

There are moments in every relationship when a full-on commitment is needed or it breaks down.

Ki Tisa reminds us there was a time when history might have turned out very differently, but Moses’ clear-sighted and uncompromising determination saved the day.

  •   Rabbi Jeff Berger can be contacted at
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