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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 ...


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.


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

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

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

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 ...



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