Parshat Ki Tisa

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Tamar Pelleg

Since then, a lot of water has flowed in the river of my life. Today, apart from my everyday writing in my “Morning  Diary”, I write regularly on topics related to the Hebrew Bible’s portion of the week, from a psycho-spiritual perspective and on topics  related to relationships that I post on  Facebook, blog, digital story collections and recently I am engaged in writing a  book and my  dream begins to come true.

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A surge of rage rose from his depths, went up with the intensity of a tsunami and completely overcame him.

   Like a blind man he threw from his hands the testimony written in the finger of God, the tablets of the covenant, and smashed them.

  Later, when he tried to recall what had happened to him, he assumed that his anger began to boil within him when he heard God saying to him right after he handed to him the tablets:

    “Go down, because the nation I brought out of bondage in Egypt has become corrupt!”

    Because they were “bad children”, so God shunned them and threw them back to him? Are they no longer his chosen people? So fast does he reject them?

    And God went on to say: “They have so quickly strayed from the path I commanded them; they created a Golden Calf idol and worship it and sacrifice to it, and they say, this is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of Egypt!”

      It really hurts. Moses could understand the pain, insult and disappointment of God. Like a groom who sees his bride flirting with another while they are standing under the marriage canopy.

    But what if the “bride” is just an insecure and frightened young woman, who still does not understand the magnitude of the responsibility of the step she took and out of excitement behaves as she used to before the marriage canopy?

   What if she needs some “transition object” before she internalizes her new role?

    And especially when her “nanny” (himself, Moses) disappeared from her and also her “husband” (God), was not exactly seen around.

     Thoughts began to race through his head:

     In fact, the dependence they have developed toward Him is also a kind of idolatry. He remembered how at Mount Sinai they came to him and asked him:  “You speak to us, and we will listen —   let God not speak to us, lest we die!”  —   and he agreed.

     Right at the marriage canopy stands the “bride” and asks a middleman to talk to the “groom.

    The fear of God, the dependence on him – and now also his long absence (40 days), – created in them a trauma of abandonment. It is only natural that they should suffer a regression.    Like a baby suckling from the breast and to wean him from the breast they give him a pacifier until he finally is weaned from them both.

    So, big deal, a golden calf.   A pacifier and nothing more.

        But God was furious. He wanted to kill them and turn him, Moses, into a great nation.

      He’s serious. He wants to destroy them and leave him as an exemplar for the new generation.

    Oh no, just not another Noah story.

   He claims they are stubborn stiff-necked people. Well, it’s clear. Who was the model they grew up with?   Pharaoh.

    It takes time to give up on attachment to the models and patterns a person is accustomed to, it cannot happen all at once.

     But God was so furious with them that it was impossible to really speak to him logically.

   Moshe had to use some emotional manipulation:

     Say, what will the Egyptians say, ha?   Do you want them to say you took them out of Egypt just to kill them in the desert? Because that’s what they’ll say.   Remember what you promised Abraham to Isaac and Jacob, you swore to them that their seed will inherit the land

    And it worked!

    “And God decided not to do the harm he intended, to his people”.

 

    For a moment he breathed a sigh of relief.

      Then he thought to himself that once he goes down the mountain, he will sort things out, and as soon as they see him returning with the tablets of the covenant, they would probably run to him like little puppies towards their master, with their tails between their legs. They might feel guilty for their behavior, and he will know how to deal with them and shortly they will return to the straight path.

     But that’s really not what happened.

     As he descended the mountain, he had already begun to hear the voices. This was the gift he was blessed with – to understand voices. He had a hard time believing what his ears heard. He realized that something really bad had happened.

      It was neither a voice of prayer nor a voice of weeping, it was a wild voice of unbridled ecstasy.

      And as he got closer, within sight of them, he saw them dancing in a circle around the golden calf, out of their minds.

    That sight drove him crazy.

     Whom was he defending?

     It was not a poor, confused, frightened people who were in crisis. It was a wild crowd that had lost itself and its identity. There was no one to talk to at all.

    The situation was lost!

      And he did not know if it was the wrath of God clinging to him or what exactly ignited within him, but a mighty wave surged through him in a storm like no other he had ever known, a mixture of emotions of rage, disappointment, frustration, and guilt rose within him.

     And before he realized what he was doing he threw the tablets angrily out of his hands, and they shattered!

    He too lost himself for a moment and there was no one to calm him down.

       What indeed makes one lose the core of one’s being?

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