This week’s Parasha includes the incident of the golden calf. It is one of the most difficult stories to explain, but that may largely be because we don’t like it and work to find excuses and explanations for it. On its most basic level, the story is that the people believe that Moshe is absent one day longer than he said, so they build a golden calf. Was he gone longer than he said? What was the big deal about one day? What were the people worried about? What was the purpose of the golden calf anyway? Why was it a sin? Was it a sin? And who were the people responsible for the golden calf? How many? This is the greatest story of separation anxiety in history. You may be surprised to learn that Moses’ successful plea directly to God to forgive the people was the historic event the lies behind Yom Kippur.
This Shabbat we learn with Dr. Melissa Ser, our Director of Congregational Learning. She said that we will be talking about the golden calf, true sacrifice vs. false sacrifice and its implications for today’s prayers, second chances, and the attributes of God. Please join us at 10:00 a.m. for this engaging and informal Torah study.