Ki Tissa is known for the story of the Golden Calf. After being asked to make an idol by the people, Aaron is quoted as having said: “I said to them: ‘Whoever has gold, take it off!’ They gave it to me and I hurled it into the fire and out came this calf!” (Ex. 32:24) While acknowledging some role, Aaron seems to deny culpability for the fashioning of the calf. Some readers feel that Aaron should have been punished, as others were, for the Golden Calf. Instead, he goes on as a leader of the wilderness community with Moses. When someone we care about shows poor judgment or acts inappropriately, we often judge them harshly. Ki Tissa shows another way. I will explore this theme in my sermon tomorrow at Shabbat services.
Rabbi D. Feingold