Friday, March 1, 2013

Parshat Ki Tissa

Ex. 32:1-4.  And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mount, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to him: Make us a god who shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him.”  And Aaron said to them: “Break off the golden rings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them to me.”  And all the people broke off the golden rings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron And he received it at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made it a molten calf; and they said: “This is your god, O Israel, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.”

After Moses fails to return down from Mt. Sinai for what seems like an interminable time, Aaron tries to placate the desires, fears and doubts of the people by making a golden calf.  In contrast to the wise-hearted people who were called to build and furnish the miskan and create garments for the priest following  precise and detailed instructions, the description of the making of the golden calf is remarkably brief.  It almost made itself, just like our ego-driven desires, fears, and doubts often seem to have a life of their own beyond our awareness and control.

May we be blessed to make the space and take the time to allow insight to arise so that we can be wise-hearted builders, rather than mindless slaves to our immediate cravings.

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