Parashat Ki Tisa
18 Adar I 5782
February 19 2022
In the 3rd portion we are now in the aftermath of the sin of the Golden Calf, a tragic error in judgment that reverberates throughout history.
Moses succeeds in assuaging G-D’s anger the nation but G-D remains distant, so Moses forges ahead, refusing to settle, and challenges G-D to ‘give more of Himself’
Having successfully staved off the destruction of the nation, Moses now seizes the opportunity to draw closer to G-D and learn — for himself and for all future generations — the tools by which we may achieve greater recognition of G-D’s Oneness.
13 Attributes of Mercy
Based on Rabbi Chaim Rosenblatt
Opinions vary as to whether these first words count as 0, 1, or 2 of the Attributes of Mercy.
We call to our G-D who was the same before our sin as He is after our repentance. These are the source of His Attributes of Mercy, culminating in the 13th.
BEFORE our sin G-D gives us the possibility of sin & ability to repent, pushing off judgment to give us time to get there.
AFTER repentance & forgiveness is divine. We have the ability to turn demerits into merits! It’s a miraculous concept, built into the fabric of the universe.
As soon as we start to repent, G-D’s power of mercy is awakened & magnified as we continue the process of removing the negative effects of our sins.
our repentance has removed the negative effects of our sins, after true repentance has started an
[lit. powerful / mighty
Refers to His strength and sometimes his CHESED, His lovingkindness / righteousness / giving
[lit. compassionate, from the root word RECHEM meaning womb]
We pray that He protects us from suffering we instigated — that we should return to Him before our sins come back to hurt us. Unlike the bee that dies as soon as it stings (King David).
[lit. gracious from the word CHEN, meaning grace]
G-D’s grace to us is a gift, something underserved but for a special reason, which is that we are His children. And if we find favour in His eyes then He will wipe away the sins that clog our heart , or at least overlook them come Judgment Time.
[lit. long / length / protracted / slowness]
G-D is slow to anger, both for the wicked & the righteous (Arizal) — though He may be more exacting with the latter.
[some count this next word as a separate attribute, some not]
[lit. anger / nosed, as in ERECH APAYIM long-nosed]
G-D smothers His anger and gives each person a chance, even if/when they have no desire to repent. And when he does reveal His anger He does so with restraint, giving us a chance to recognize the warning.
[lit. and multitudinous / abundant / plentiful in doing -heart/ffireworks/party tube-CHESED meaning lovingkindness / giving -heart-firewors.., AKA abounding in kindness]
The VAV connects a word with the previous word, an additive. G-D gives us more than we need just because he desires to give, to do CHESED with/for us, because we are His children and He loves us dearly, just like any good parent. With His CHESED, He tips the scales of His judgment in our favour, overriding punishment
[lit. and truth / truthful]
A person must live with as much truth as possible to get what he deserves out of life, to merit that highest level of good in the end times (Maharal).
We pray for our / the world’s true relationship with G-D to be revealed & to return to the deeper truth contained in the core of our souls. Or, at least in the meantime, to help us protect it against that which is false.
[lit. and creating / extending CHESED]
G-D guards our good deeds & deals with our sins separately.
[lit. For / to the thousands (of generations)]
Plural word, so minimum 2000. That’s a lot of generations! So we’re still well within radar of the forefathers and Moses and the Temple & all that goodness, score! -thumbs up- Our ancestors’ merit is a huge advantage which we may call upon when we walk in their footsteps in following His ways.
NOTZER can be rearranged to RETZON, meaning willingness / favor / desire — when we begin to truly return to G-D & call out these words NOTZER CHESED! we shake the universe, i kid you not. We cause / even compel G-D to shine His good will on us which also weakens negative effects of sins.
[lit. lift or carry]
The following 3 attributes may be understood as extensions of the word NOSEI:
AVON — [NOSEI AVON]
[lit. lifts / carries the burden of sins / crookedness / distortions, especially at judgment time when He ‘lifts off’ from the guilt side of the scale to allow our merits to outweigh our demerits]
The extent to which we internalise G-D’s truth is the extent to which we can be considered children of Jacob, the man of truth, & to be protected in his merit. If we live lives of truth, then by definition our sins aren’t expressions if our true selves or general way of life, & that bodes well come Judgment Time (Tomer Devorah).
VA’PESHA — [NOSEI PESHA]
[lit. & rebellion / negligence / wantonness]
This attribute is activated for one who acts toward others with the same CHESED that Abraham showed his guests, and this pushes off G-D from his attribute of justice, lifting even our more rebellious sins.
CHESED for CHESED, measure for measure, similar to the previous attribute’s Truth.
VA’CHATAA [NOSE CHEIT]
[lit. sin / miss, as in missed the mark]
G-D has a special storehouse of compassion — even for those who don’t deserve it — in the merit of our forefathers & His promise to them that He would sustain & protect us
And finally, the last Attribute of Mercy:
He purifies us as if we never since (Vilna Gaon) like the Mikveh waters cleanse from impurities. This culmination in the 13th attribute creates a Mikveh of rebirth (R’ Yitzchak Isaac Chaver) of G-D’s mercy, in which we now bathe.
Like the laws of the Mikveh, it only works if one in’t still grabbing onto impurities — one must truly want to change their negative ways, to want true change, to desire G-D’s salvation.
MIKVAH, relative of the word TIKVAH, meaning hope. Our hope itself aids our purifications.
The Final Redemption will be like Mikveh waters covering the Earth, a glorious fix of the Flood that once destroyed it.
Summary of 6th portion:
G-D seals the covenant with Israel, declaring them unique among the nations, that they will one day see for themselves that the Jews are His Chosen People, for He is the Awesome One who will do wonders with us.
We must safeguard this covenant, keep it shielded from outsiders and the malicious. More, we must destroy their negative influences from our midst and shun their false gods. Otherwise, we will be ensnared in their [sexual] traps.
YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FOR YOURSELF *MOLTEN/PHAKE/MANMADE* GODS
Helllllo Covid? Please tell me y’all see the significance. PLEASE
EARTH TO EARTH: ARE YOU ALL READING ME? What does this mean to you? PLEASE, either comment here or think/speak/do somewhere else — got it?
Rather than their false gods, we shall observe the [ritual/testimonial/holiday] commandments — Passover, agricultural tithes & schedules, Shavuot, Sukkot.
We mustn’t fear doing our G-D worship on those occasions, for G-D will keep our enemies at bay.
‘Do not cook a kid in its mother’s milk.’
What a concept?! I saw it making the rounds on twitter this week. Go Figure ;). Man, the Torah of Torahs embedded in that phrase. It’s all right there. If only we knew, if only we can unpack it all right there & we would see what He sees. If only.
Summary of 7th portion:
G-D instructs Moses to carve out a 2nd set of Tablets, as opposed to the 1st set, which were written by G-D (1st set ~ Written Torah, 2nd set ~ Oral Torah)
Moses completes his 3rd 40-day stint with G-D, miraculously without eating nor drinking, and writes the words of the Covenant & the 10 sayings / commandments.
Moses’ encounter with G-D caused his face to radiate & the shine frightened the people, so Moses called to them [the elders] & when they returned he would speak. Then, the rest of Israel came to hear what G-D had commanded him.
This pattern continued, where Moses would cover his face when not learning/teaching Torah.
May we behold G-D’s bright wisdom, unmasked & unfettered, & not fear His shining light — speedily in our days!