Ki Tisa

Ki-Tissa: Where is Moshe

The mark of a great leader is the ability to inspire others—even in their absence. A great company operates at peak efficiency even when the CEO is on vacation, just as a great school functions smoothly even if the principal is away.

Similarly, a parent’s role is to raise children so that they will become independent. When children and grandchildren embody the values of their ancestors long after they have passed away, we see the mark of a truly successful parent.

Ki Tissa: Mountain Climbing

“Why should Egypt be able to say that You took them out with evil intentions, to kill them in the mountains and wipe them from the face of the earth?” (Shemot 32:12) Only forty days after experiencing the Divine, the Jewish people had built a golden calf, violating the very essence of revelation and rendering it meaningless. Their fate seemed sealed as G-d told Moshe, “do not try to stop Me when I unleash my wrath against them to destroy them” (Shemot 32:9).

Ki Tisa: The Golden Garden

"And the people saw ki boshesh Moshe, that Moshe delayed in coming down from the mountain" (32:1). As a young nation coming from a hedonistic society that had many gods, the transition to a monotheistic people living a disciplined life was not (and is not) an easy one. They needed lots of 'hand-holding' as they matured as a people, and were paralyzed with their leader away. The people wanted a relationship with G-d; they just did not know how to do so on their own.

Ki Tisa: Striving for 100%

We have all been taught that it is the holiday of Shavuot that commemorates the giving of the Torah at Sinai. Interestingly, nowhere is this mentioned in the Torah, which presents Shavuot in an agricultural context only.

Many commentaries suggest that the reason the Torah does not mention the date it was received is that each and every day, we must receive the Torah anew. While true, the simple explanation of why there is no mention of receiving the Torah on Shavuot would seem to be the fact that the Torah that was given on Shavuot is no longer.

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