Parashat Ki Tissa

Parashat Ki Tissa focuses on the first edition of the tablet. Who knew that God could be so technologically savvy?  Exodus Rabbah 41:6 gives us a glimpse into the reason we now have a “Torah SheBichtav,”  a “written Torah.” The Midrash explains that even though Moshe spent all forty days of his stay on Mount Sinai trying to learn the Torah, he kept on forgetting what he had studied. Moshe cried out to God: “I’ve spent forty days studying yet I know nothing!” In response to Moshe’s complaints about his unsuccessful cramming, God gave Moshe the Torah on two tablets so that Moshe could have a visual learning tool.

Just as Moshe needed a visual tool to help him internalize the teachings of the Torah, so too did Bnai Yisrael need some form of visual representation to help them internalize God’s presence. Unfortunately the needs of Bnai Yisrael led to the creation of the Golden Calf, something that was a bit too close to the practices of other religions for God’s liking. While this Parasha ultimately ends with the punishment of those who crafted this molten calf, God does not forget the human need for visual and physical representation. The final two Parshiyot of the book of Shemot will address the construction of the Mishkan, which will serve as an appropriate visual reminder of God’s presence. Stay tuned…

Chag Purim Sameach!! Click on the Hamantaschen for more Purim Midrash Manicures!

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