Parashat Ki Tissa 5783

March 7, 2023

Click HERE   for an audio recording of this D’var Torah The Golden Calf: Not a Tantrum, but a Meltdown A D’var Torah for Parashat Ki Tissa and Shabbat Parah By Rabbi Katy Allen (’05) Perhaps the golden calf was inevitable, and perhaps even necessary. Egel ha’masekhah, the molten calf (Ex. 32:4), the meltdown– the internal or external loss of control stemming from demands stress over-stimulation disruption or overwhelming emotions. Not a tantrum. Not a tantrum but the breaking down that leads to breaking open. G!d demanded so much, and all at once and in no uncertain terms. Moses seemingly disappeared just when everyone’s lives were being overwhelmingly disrupted stimulated changed irrevocably. Has it ever happened to you? Hamasekhah hanesukhah the veil that is spread over all the nations (Is. 25:7) the veil of mourning that covers us all (BDB) G!d will remove it, and will “wipe away the tears” (Is. 25:8) from all...

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Parashat Ki Tissa 5782

February 17, 2022

Click HERE for an audio recording of this D’var Torah Do You Resolve Conflicts Aaron’s Way or Moses’ Way? A D’var Torah for Parashat Ki Tissa By Rabbi Rob Scheinberg What’s the best way to get two people in a conflict to be reconciled with each other? Avot De-Rabbi Natan – an early commentary to the Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot) – imagines the conflict resolution strategy employed by Moses’ brother Aaron. When Aaron would see two people in conflict, he would go to one of them and say, “Your friend has just come crying to me, saying ‘Woe is me, that I have offended my friend! Aaron, please go and request forgiveness on my behalf!’” Aaron would sit with him until his anger subsided, and then Aaron would go to the other friend and say exactly the same thing. When the two friends would see each other, they would hug each other, and their...

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Parashat Ki Tissa 5781

March 4, 2021

Click HERE for an audio recording of this D’var Torah A D’var Torah for Parashat Ki Tissa By Rabbi Doug Alpert (’12) Whether it be in a D’var Torah or in a Derash, two obvious sources of material I have assiduously avoided have been politics and what I have viewed as the thematically obvious. I have avoided the former not because I ignore or do not possess opinions about issues most would see as political. I am on the boards of many organizations who work in highly political spaces. My work has involved civil disobedience; including a night in jail and I have asserted my views in very public spaces. My congregants all know of my activism and progressive leanings without me having to say anything to them. However, what I discovered pretty early on is that I am rarely in a position to change anyone’s mind based on what I say from the...

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Parashat Ki Tisa 5780

March 12, 2020

A D’var Torah for Parashat Ki Tisa By Cantor Sandy Horowitz (’14) In Parashat Ki Tisa Aaron has been left in charge of the Israelites while Moses is meeting with God atop Mount Sinai. As the brother of Moses, Aaron is a likely choice to be given the responsibility of interim-leader. Given what happens however, one might wonder if he was the right person for the job. Time passes, Moses doesn’t return, God is silent, the Israelites become anxious.  In Exodus 32:1 we read, “The people gathered against Aaron and said to him, come, make us a god who shall go before us, for that man Moses… we do not know what has happened to him.”   Aaron immediately complies.  He doesn’t try to convince the people that Moses will be back soon, or encourage them to keep faith with God. Rather, he asks for the gold from the jewelry of their wives and...

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