Thursday, March 16, 2006

Perspective: What Golden Calf?

In this week's parsha, hidden between the halachos of the קטורת, the שלש רגלים, and Moshe's vision of Hashem's "back" is a short incident that changed Judaism. The עגל הזהב was considered such a bad עברה that we are still being punished for it (although even so Hashem still promised that He would never exchange us for another people....but that's a whole other discussion). But this whole incident is not at the beginning nor at the end of the parsha, it's in the middle, sandwiched between the halachos of the משכן, which were completed exactly as commanded, and the description of Moshe and his greatness. Why is it squirreled away? Why is it not listed in a prominent place, if it had such a long-lasting affect upon future generations?

The answer touches on a recent (heated) conversation that I had with my dear, beloved B.

Some people feel that there are a lot of problems in Orthodox (specifically Yeshivish) Judaism. These people feel, for some reason, that the best way to address these problems and perhaps (although I'm not sure how) to solve them is to blast them across the web.

To those people, I respond: look at where the Golden Calf is described in the Torah. Before we even get to it, we talk about the solution to it, a description of what we can do to solve the great sin that was committed, before it happens! The whole description of the Mishkan, which was built in part as an atonement for the Golden Calf, is written before the action was even committed! The Torah changes around the entire historical order of events to do this, so you'd think it's a bit important.

I know it is.

Admittedly, there are issues that need to be addressed in the frum community. So if you see them, PLEASE, describe in detail what we (all of us, as ONE people) can do, or, better, take action to directly solve the problem! Blasting your fellow Jews, will never help. That will not solve anything-if anything, it will just cause more hatred between brothers (Sibling Rivalry, to quote Sakrfys, which is the most heart-breaking "issue" of all, and the reason we don't have Moshiach).

Why would you want to create hatred when there was none before? Follow the example of the Torah, which doesn't start nor end the Parsha on a negative note. Try to end every conversation (or blog post, for that matter), positively! See if it makes you a happier's done that for me!

I have a friend who taught me to see the other side of every situation. I am eternally grateful to her, because it is solely due to her that I can see light in the darkest night.

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