Friday, February 18
- 06:50 am – Shacharit
- 05:00 pm – Mincha
- 05:01 pm – Candle Lighting
Saturday, February 19
- 07:45 am – Shacharit at Salem Towers
- 08:45 am – Shacharit
- 09:16 am – Latest Time for Kriat Shema
- 11:30 am – Kiddush
- 04:35 pm – Mincha
- 05:05 pm – Se’udah Shlishit
- 06:00 pm – Ma’ariv
- 06:11 pm – Shabbat Ends
Week of February 20 – 25
- 08:00 am – Sunday, Monday (Presidents’ Day)
- 06:40 am – Thursday
- 06:50 am – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday
- 05:10 pm – Sunday – Friday
- 05:40 pm – Sunday – Thursday
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Weekly Words of Torah
Insights into Parshat Ki Tisa by Rav Aryeh Hendler, Assistant Rosh Yeshivat Sha’alvim, by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Sha’alvim.
“And the people saw that Moshe was tarrying in descending from the mountain, and the people gathered upon Aharon and said to him ‘go and make for us a god who will lead us, for Moshe the man who led us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what happened to him’ ” (Sefer Shmot 32a). What did the people exactly want? Pure idolatry?
According to the Ramban, the Jewish People did not search an idol to worship. Rather, they sought a leader. They knew that Hashem performed all of the miracles. They yearned to have a leader who would represent the Rule of Hashem.
If this is the case- what was improper in the request of the Jewish People?
The Zohar in Parshat Yitro enables us to comprehend this subject. The problem is “foreign gods”. Symbols that represent proper ideals are fine. In fact, the entire framework of mitzvoth can be viewed as symbols; certainly mitzvoth that are contingent upon specific objects. Names of Hashem represent His operation of the world.
The problem is when the symbol lose their relationship to The Source, and assume- in the eyes of the people- intrinsic value. Crossing this road yields idolatry.
Moshe Rabeinu was an icon. He became the symbol of Hashem’s rule of the world. The Torah itself terms Moshe as “The man of G-d (Ish HaElokim)”. Moshe represented the G-dly ideology; Hashem promised him “And they will believe in you forever” (Sefer Shmot 19:9)- which elevated the prophecy of Moshe to a unique, unparalleled prophecy.
As mentioned, the problem is not the existence of an icon. It is when people fail to recognize the Source of the icon. Indeed, the Jewish People sought a leader; but the search transpired in a non-healthy way. “Go make for us a god who will lead us”. Why is the search for a leader intertwined with Divine assistance? The line had been crossed; members of the nation had failed to remember that the icon merely represents The Source. This fosters idolatrous results.
Upon descending from Mt. Sinai, Moshe smashed the tablets (Luchot HaBrit). The tablets also functioned as an icon. Upon viewing Chet HaEgel (the Sin of the Golden Calf), Moshe recognized that the people accorded inherent power to the icons- forgetting that they are merely representatives. This mistake applied to a number of icons- Moshe, Luchot HaBrit, or a calf (their self-appointed icon). By smashing the Luchot HaBrit, Moshe Rabeinu emphasized the necessity of realizing that the Source of all is Hashem. We exclusively worship Him, everything emanates from Him.