05 Mar Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Parashat Ki Tissa 5775
This Shabbat we read from Parashat Ki Tissa which takes a break from the instructions regarding the Tabernacle to tell the story of the sin of the golden calf – one of the most disappointing and also disastrous moments in our history. Without question, the people should have known better than to build an idol, no less doing so at the foot of Mt. Sinai having only recently experienced revelation. And the disaster came with the immediate and swift punishment from God that resulted in the deaths of thousands of Israelites and threatened the newly minted relationship that God had forged with the Israelites. Had Twitter existed in ancient times, it could only have been described with “#epicfail”. But what we must also note well is that the relationship survived, as did the Israelite people. Even after this seemingly cataclysmic event the Israelites eventually dedicated the Tabernacle, offered sacrifices and eventually made it to the Promised Land. It reminds us all that even when we make the most grave of mistakes where we bring important relationships to the brink of ruin, all is not always lost. If God can forgive, so can others and so can we.
Rabbi Hillel Skolnik