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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 ...


It just doesn't make sense to me that you can witness absolute infinite power and then risk being obliterated by it by doing something said power said specifically not to. Obvious, even spectacular truth is not so compelling to the unrighteous. Psalm 15:1-2 A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? ...


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.

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