Shabbat Shalom Weekly: Ki Tisa 5760
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Ki Tisa(Exodus 30:11-34:35)

Ki Tisa 5760

GOOD MORNING!  One last thought on anti-Semitism. We have investigated the cause of anti-Semitism -- what is the solution to anti-Semitism? We have tried assimilation and that didn't work. Is there a real solution to ending the longest hatred? Here is the conclusion from the online seminar "Why the Jews?" ( aish.com/seminars/whythejews ) :

The solution to anti-Semitism is exactly the same as the cause: It is Jewish values and beliefs that cause anti-Semitism, and it will be Jewish values and beliefs that ultimately will eliminate anti-Semitism.

The message that the Jews bear is the recipe for conquering evil. The more effectively Jews transmit their special message, the greater the prevention of a holocaust (against anyone).

Only when Jews act as Jews – only when the Torah's message of ethics and morality is known throughout the world - can we ever hope to experience a world in which evil has been eradicated.

Therein lies the exquisite irony of Jewish history. Although Jews posed no military, political or economic threat, and were never more than a tiny fraction of the world’s population, they were always a major power in the eyes of mankind. Why? It is the message they carry – the Torah.

Jewish ideas influence the world, but the world cannot absorb the message properly unless the Messengers – the Jews – know it and teach it.

What's the best way to get that positive, upbeat perception of being Jewish?

The answer is obvious: a decent Jewish education. When Jews live in a society, within the context of a past brimming with anti-Semitism, they must possess a strong inner sense of why their being Jewish is meaningful and worthwhile, and why it is worth the effort.

The significant question regarding the enigma of Jewish history is not "Why The Jews?" but rather, "Why Be Jewish?"

The answer to that question is critical for yourself, for the Jewish people and, ultimately, for the world.

What can you do? Seek out a course of studies through your local synagogue, outreach program, Federation or Aish branch. Want books to read? Call toll free 877-758-3242 for free catalogs or to order -- or go to: http://aish.com/literacy/reference/Recommended_Reading.asp . Courses by tape? Call 800-864-2373. Internet resources? Start at aish.com. And of course, for our children, the strongest Jewish education possible -- a Jewish day school!


Torah Portion of the Week
Ki Tisa

The Torah portion includes: instructions for taking a census (by each person donating a half shekel); instructions to make the Washstand, Anointing Oil, and The Incense for the Mishkan, the Portable Sanctuary; appointing Bezalel and Oholiab to head up the architects and craftsmen for the Mishkan; a special commandment forbidding the building of the Mishkan on Shabbat (people might have thought that they would be allowed to violate the Shabbat to do a mitzvah ...).

The Torah portion continues with the infamous story of the Golden Calf. The people wrongly calculated that Moses was late in coming down from Mt. Sinai and the people were already seeking a replacement for him by making the Golden Calf (there is a big lesson in patience for us here). Moses sees them dancing around the calf and in anger breaks the Two Tablets; he then punishes the 3,000 wrongdoers (less than .1% of the 3 million people), pleads to God not to wipe out the people, requests to see the Divine Glory, and receives the second set of Tablets of the Ten Commandments.

 

Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states regarding the gathering of gold to make the Golden Calf, "And Aharon (Moses' brother and the Cohen Gadol, High Priest) said to them, 'Remove the golden earrings which are on the ears of your wives, sons and daughters, and bring them to me." (Exodus 32:2) How is it possible that Aharon would help make an idol?

The commentator, Daas Zkainim, explains that Aharon's intentions were righteous. This is what he said to himself: "Now that Moshe has not returned, if I will appoint Caleb or Nachson as the leader in Moshe's absence, when Moshe returns they will not be eager to give up their position of leadership. This will cause a major quarrel. If I do not appoint anyone as leader, they will choose a leader themselves and this will also cause a major quarrel. If I will make myself the leader until Moshe returns, when he comes back perhaps he will feel that I tried to usurp his leadership. Therefore, until Moshe returns I will keep them busy with talk about making a meaningless golden calf. The women will be reluctant to give up their jewelry and therefore I will be able to stall for time."

This is an incredible lesson on judging people favorably! Next time you see someone doing something absolutely unexplainably despicable, before condemning him for his behavior, ask yourself, "What positive motivations and intentions could he possibly have had?" Maybe if you were to know his true motivations, you'd realize that he meant nothing wrong and even tried to prevent something negative from happening.



CANDLE LIGHTING - February 25:

Jerusalem 4:56   Miami 6:02  New York 5:24
L.A. 5:28  Hong Kong 6:08  Singapore 7:03
Guatemala  5:51  Honolulu   6:15  J'Burg 6:25
Melbourne 7:50  Moscow 5:34  London 5:13
Atlanta 6:13  Toronto 5:43



QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

The purpose of life is
a life of purpose.
-- William Trump



Dedicated by...

Happy 22nd Anniversary!
Kalman & Shoshana
from
Ray & Dorothy Packouz

Published: February 19, 2000

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