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8

The Golden Calf was made on the 16th of Tammuz, forty (actually, 39) days after the Giving of the Torah. But that was not yet in evidence on Shavuos, or for the next 38 days afterwards. During that time, rather, we were able to rejoice with the Torah we had received and with the tremendous spiritual benefits we obtained along with it. So, "at a time of ...


7

According to Exodus 32: 19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing; and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and broke them beneath the mount. 20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed it upon the water, ...


7

According to the Midrash, and some texts of the Kabbalah, ( I don't remember the exact sources), when the Jewish people are described as "seeing Gd's feet", what they saw, was the Merkava (chariot) from Ezekiel. On one of the sides of the Chariot is a bull. That bull represents Mercy. And since they believed Moshe to have died, they were hoping for the Gd ...


7

For starters: anything about idol worship is going to sound a bit weird to us today. There are a couple of conjectures out there; the simplest is that cattle were a sign of prosperity (you use them to work, and they give you food), so an idol of that form was very popular. (I'm told we also find it in archeological digs.) Note that 500 years later, King ...


6

One answer I learned, heavily steeped in aggadah, was that there was no intent to build a calf. One of the things thrown into the molten gold was something that had the words "aleh shor" written on it, which was previously used to raise Joseph's bones from the Nile (as Joseph was referred to as an ox, or compared to, I forget) so a cow form arose. That is ...


4

The Gemara (Sanhedrin 63a) cites a couple of opinions. (Actually, it's talking about the plural form of the verb העלוך, "those who brought you up," but I would assume that these also fit with the plural אלה. Baal Haturim to 32:4 in fact quotes the second opinion below in explaining this phrase.) Acherim ("the others," usually R' Meir): they meant thereby ...


4

The Ramban explains the function of the gold calf, that it was not meant to be an object of deification. The people were saying that the spiritual powers of this calf-like image brought them through the wilderness. This means the spiritual power associated with the image-the attribute of strict justice-and not the image itself. My suggestion, based on this, ...


4

The Gemara in Sanhedrin 7a says that Aaron's intention was noble. He saw that the Yidden had stoned Chur to death and realised if he opposed them he would meet the same end. By killing Aaron the Jews would commit an unparalleled crime, of Killing a Kohein Venovi. Just take a look at the retribution God exacted for the killing of Zecharyah, a Coheon Venovi. ...


4

The Ramban to Shemos 32:7 explains that there were multiple tiers of sinners in the golden calf episode, all of whom had different intentions of varying degrees of infraction, but that it was the majority of the nation that sinned: אמר השם למשה כי עשו שתים רעות האחת כי שחת עמך וענין ההשחתה הריסת בנין... השני כי עשו עגל מסכה והשתחוו לו ויזבחו לו והנה ...


3

The Ramban says that Moshe's intention was that the substance used for idolotry should end up vomited or defecated out, further humiliating it. But he also quotes the Talmud's reason as brought in Rashi approvingly. In terms of Rashi's answer, of course the primary similarity is the drinking of water to bring out something that is otherwise unknowable ...


3

Rashi is saying that in this instance they followed Moshe even though it didn't make sense. That is why the verse emphasizes that they did it - they did it despite the fact that it wasn't reasonable. They didn't always behave that way, in fact right afterwards (v. 11) in this very story.


3

In the ancient Near East, gods were worshiped at their altars. This is where each god was thought to live - its altar. A very common decoration under the god was a gold bull or calf. Although we wanted to worship an idol and were creating the calf to that end, Aaron had a different idea in mind. He wanted to create a throne for G-d. He said, "אֵלֶּה ...


3

One thing that has struck me — but that, in my limited experience and AFAIR, I haven't seen anyone mention — is that the m'nora of the mishkan was, according to a midrash (cited by Rashi to 25:31), created miraculously automatically when unshaped gold was thrown into fire and that Aharon, according to the Mizrachi (quoted in Sifse Chachamim to 32:24), lied ...


2

Because Elohecha is plural. Elohim + shelcha = Elohecha.


2

See this article, which brings 3 opinions about the timeline (Ramban, Rashi, and Zohar). The article (based on a Sicha from the Lubavitcher Rebbe) explains that the three opinions are discussing whether the commandment to make a dwelling place for G-d apply only to a Tzaddik, also a Baal Teshuva, or even a Rasha. The Rebbe then says that "These and these ...


2

Rashi says in his commentary on Exodus 32:20 there were different punishments for different levels of sin. People who were warned before witnesses were killed by the sword, as was done by an Idolatrous city, (Deut. 13:16). Others who acted before witnesses without warning were killed in a plague, (Ex. 32:35). Others who acted without witness or warning were ...


2

K'li Yakar to 35:22 notes that the men, who had sinned by donating their jewelry toward the egel's construction, needed the penance of donating such items toward the mishkan's, but the women, who hadn't done so, didn't need it; nonetheless, the women donated their jewelry toward the mishkan, which the Torah mentions there in their honor.


2

BS"D, Hakham Eli Mansour makes this connection 'al pi HaRav Shimon Schwab in his shi'ur on Parashat Ki Tisa 5774 (link, see 17:15-28:00). HaRav Mansour explains HaRav Schwab by starting with the fact that it was the men who gave the gold from their earrings to Aharon after their wives refused to hand over their jewelry for the purposes of 'Avodah Zarah (for ...


2

The Golden Calf icon seems to be associated with Hashem. Aharon, Jeroboam, and Jehu (all of whom create or, in Jehu's case, do not destroy, calf-idols) never mention any other god in connection with their actions. In fact they all present themselves as worshiping Hashem, albeit in a way that the Torah disproves of.


2

Many commentaries go case-by-case through each of the "terrible mistakes" of the Jews in the desert and explain how they are not as terrible as they seem. For example, by the sin of the Golden Calf, the Ramban explains (32:1) that they did not want to create an idol to serve, but rather to appoint a new leader, a Moshe replacement, to lead them now that ...


1

Sifsei Chachamim, the commentary on Rash"i expands on this idea stating that one who defiles himself by following idolatry is compared to a woman "hidden" from her husband (my loose translation - I may be a bit off). Sifseu Chachamim ends by saying "as stated in the Midrash", but he doesn't say which one. He also cross-ref's Rashi's comment on averse from ...


1

Rashi cites the Gemara in Yoma 66b that there were three levels of those who sinned that day. The drinking was applied to those who sinned without warning or witnesses (according to the opinion that Rashi cites). The Gemara in Avoda Zara 44a says that he was checking them like the law of a Sotah. The implication is that this was only applied to those that ...


1

at the 7:30 mark in the audio of the following link. http://www.simpletoremember.com/media/a/mishkan-n-human-individuality/



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