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Dvar Ki Tisa

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the concise, relevant Weekly Dvar. If you're getting this for the first time (once again many are), PLEASE READ THIS: This is a weekly Email that you signed up for at some time in the past year. If you'd rather not get these, please respond that you'd like to be removed, and you will be removed immediately. I hope you give this a chance, and I hope you write back with comments, questions, referrals, or suggestions. Most of all, I hope you enjoy...

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This week's Parsha, Ki Tissa, includes the unfortunate sin of the Golden calf, and includes Moshe's negotiations on the Jews' behalf. While there are many things one can learn about the art of negotiations, what seems out of place is that after things are smoothed over and G-d is appeased, Moshe asks to see G-d's presence (and was denied) (33:18). While there are varying explanations as to what Moshe really wanted to see (from G-d's attributes to His essence), why would Moshe ask such a question right after G-d had gotten so angry that he threatened to destroy the world?

One possible answer lies in the very nature of struggle and challenge. When we are faced with a challenge, whether we overcome it or succumb to it, the most valuable aspect of the challenge is the "WE". Not if, but WHEN a couple, a family, a community, a people is faced with a challenge, they naturally become more attached to each other, and grow more cohesive. This is often the point of life's challenges, although this is frequently overlooked. Moshe worked out a reprieve for the Jews with G-d, and as a result they became close enough that Moshe thought he had a chance to see G-d's essence, and although he was denied his request, Moshe was granted other insight. We too can gain insight into each other, as long as we focus on each other when faced with life's challenges!

Quotation of the Week:
"Sometimes an act of apparent destruction becomes an act of building a foundation." -Tractate Menachot 99b

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Last Updated: Thursday, February 24, 2005