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Vayakhel – Haftarah
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For Ashkenazic Jews, this haftarah is the same as for the second Shabbat of Hanukkah, but Sefardic Jews read verses 13-26. Even for Ashkenazic Jews, we here focus on something other than the Menorot, which are the proper center of discussion when we read this on Hanukkah. The haftarah is somewhat technical, devoted to listing […]
Ki Tisa – Rishon
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G-d instructed Moshe in how to take a census of the Jews. A simple head count wouldn’t do, as that would lead to a plague (as we see actually happened in II Samuel chapter 26). Instead, they should be counted by collecting a half-shekel coin from each of them, then counting the coins. The census […]
Ki Tisa – Sheini
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When last we left Moshe, he had ascended Mt. Sinai to get the Torah. We then flashed forward to the instructions for building the Mishkan. (See our introduction to last week’s parsha, Tetzaveh.) We now resume with the Moshe narrative. When Moshe came down from the mountain, he carried two Divinely-inscribed tablets that bore the […]
Ki Tisa – Shlishi
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Moshe prayed to G-d to better understand His ways, specifically why the righteous suffer. (See Talmud Brachos 7a.) He also asked G-d to confirm that Israel was still His people. While G-d declined to reveal to Moshe all the metaphysical inner workings of the universe, He did assure Moshe that the Jews had not forfeited […]
Ki Tisa – R’vi’i
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G-d told Moshe that He was very pleased with the job he had been doing and therefore favorably disposed towards granting his requests. “If that’s the case,” Moshe said, “I’d really like to understand Your ways.” “No can do,” G-d replied. “Humans simply cannot comprehend. From your point of view, My ways are going to […]
Ki Tisa – Chamishi
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Moshe was to carve two tablets to replace those he had broken. He then had to climb Mt. Sinai again to repeat the process of receiving the Law. G-d’s Presence manifested in a cloud and Moshe called out in His Name. G-d revealed His Divine attributes to Moshe, that He is all-powerful, merciful, kind, slow […]
Ki Tisa – Shishi
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G-d replied that He would make an unprecedented pact with the nation. The Canaanite nations would be most impressed. They will be in awe of G-d, Who will drive them out, so the Jews must not forge treaties with them. To do so would be to invite idolatry. Instead, they must eradicate all traces of […]