One of the most troubling events in all of Jewish history is recorded in this week’s parsha, Ki Sisa. It is the sorry saga of the Golden Calf. In Moshe’s absence, combined with a miscalculation of the time he was supposed to have returned from Mount Sinai, the Jewish people constructed and worshipped a Golden Calf.
Entries in Ki Sisa (9)
This week’s Torah portion begins with the Mitzva of the “Machatzis Hashekel - half Shekel” that each Jewish person donated to the Beis HaMikdash.
One of Jewish history’s most significant and tragic events was the creation and worshipping of a Golden Calf, just 40 short days after we received the Torah at Sinai. Because of the severity of this transgression, the Torah records G-d’s threat: “I have observed this people and look! They are a stiff-necked people. Now leave Me alone, and My anger will be kindled against them and I will annihilate them.”
“We want Moshiach now!” is a declaration, originally part of a song sung by children at summer camps, and endorsed and popularized by the Rebbe. In this refrain we give expression to our most heartfelt desire to see the unfolding of the Messianic Age through our righteous Moshiach.
It is precisely in that “location” where the Jew finds himself in the lowest of places, at the very nadir of his or her life, that G-d says: “this is precisely the place in which I would like to dwell!”
Moshiach’s role as the one who ushers in the final Redemption has yet to materialize. The world is still shrouded in darkness even as we anticipate the Redemption every day. What can we do to see his radiant face and translate that light into the end of the darkness of exile?
The Zohar’s statement begs the well-known question: How can it be said that women are “exempt from Mitzvos”? Women are actually obligated in the majority of the Mitzvos! * The Kos Shel Bracha of the Future Era entails the revelation of the essence of G-d, which is connected with the essence of a Jew, a Jew’s inner core which transcends Torah and Mitzvos.
If we are guilty of creating our own “golden calves” it is because we are products of millennia of exile. And it is only by virtue of G-d’s “great power and strong hand” that we have survived at all. Therefore, we respectfully “demand” of G-d that He take us out of exile by simultaneously taking the exile out of us and keeping the promise He made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to bring us back to our land with the true and complete redemption, now!