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Reb Lisa's Message

February 16, 2022

In this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tissa, we confront again, as we do each year, the story of the Golden Calf. The narrative carries a particular perspective–that the people have supremely disappointed God who wants to destroy the errant nation. Moses, also deeply upset, is at least willing to intercede and prevent this destruction.

Rabbi Rachel Barenblatt offers an alternative perspective–the emotional landscape of the people themselves. Consider her words as we turn again to this evocative story:


Already so many changes.

Our long column of refugees

snaking into the wilderness.

Through the sandal-sucking mud

where the waters had been.

Their men and horses consumed.

And then that Voice

speaking directly into us,

reverberating in our chests...!

But Moshe ascended by himself

into the sapphire sky

and he didn't come back.

Of course we asked Aharon

to make something to remind us

we weren't as alone as we felt.

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