1. If I recall correctly, the sources say the idol was created grown up and fully functioning.

  2. Even if it was still in infant stages, Bava Kamma 65b:

    אמר רבא שור בן יומו קרוי שור

  3. (DonielF) according to Rashi (Shemos 32:4) they took Michah's golden plaque that said עלי שור on it and threw it into the fire, so a שור must come out.

I wonder why the idol is called everywhere "עגל" - calf and not a grown-up "שור" - bull?

  • I heard there was not enough gold to do more because the people in charge were stealing. Unlike Moshe Rabbenu later who gave a perfect account of all donations
    – mbloch
    Mar 11, 2019 at 7:39
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    Particularly according to Rashi to Shemos 32:4 that Michah took a golden plaque that said עלי שור on it and threw it into the fire, why did an עגל come out and not a שור?
    – DonielF
    Mar 11, 2019 at 8:38
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    I don’t think #2 is really a question. Even though an עגל is treated like a שור in regards to נזיקין, they’re still two different things. The passuk is being precise - they didn’t just make any שור, they specifically made an עגל.
    – DonielF
    Mar 11, 2019 at 8:43
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    @Al (You forgot to ping.) You say an עגל is a שור and therefore even if it was an עגל it should be called a שור. My point is that they're still two separate things, even if in certain Halachic contexts they're the same; the Torah calls it an עגל because it was, in fact, an עגל.
    – DonielF
    Mar 11, 2019 at 15:51
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    What do you think the idol was, a calf or a grown bull? If it was a calf, then I don’t understand what your question is asking: it’s called a calf because it was a calf. If it was fully grown, then I think you need to source that in order to have a basis for your question.
    – Joel K
    Mar 11, 2019 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


In Tehillim 106:19-20 it does in fact refer to the golden calf as both an eigel (calf) and a shor (bull):

יעשו עגל בחרב וישתחוו למסכה. וימירו את כבודם בתבנית שור אכל

Though every eigel could be defined as a shor as quoted in Bava Kama 65b, A fully grown shor cannot be defined as an eigel bwhich is specifically reffering to its young state (example "mankind" includes chidren but children dos not include grown men).


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