Prepared by Rabbi Stephen Texon
This week's Torah portion of "Ki Tisa" is without hesitation my personal favorite in the entire Torah. I actually believe it should be everyone's favorite because it contains the 13 attributes of G-d and His forgiveness of the Jewish people for the sin of creating and worshipping the Golden Calf of Gold. G-d forgave the Jewish people later on in the book of Numbers ("Shlach Lecha") for their second gravest sin, that of the negative report of the 12 spies (2 were positive) and the wasted weeping and wailing that ensued over the trusting of the report and the complete lack of confidence in being able to conquer the promised land.
Yes, G-d forgave, but there was a heavy price to pay. While forgiving, the Almighty retained the right to punish the Jewish people as He sees fit but never to destroy them completely as He threatened to do in speaking to Moses in this weeks episode.
The essence of the Parasha is the overwhelming graciousness of G-d in His description of His 13 attributes:
"The Lord, The Lord, G-d, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; keeping mercy unto the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin; and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the Fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children unto the third and unto the fourth generation".
Imagine, Moses stood alone with the Almighty on Mt. Sinai in a cloud in which He descended and passed over Moses proclaiming these sacred words for all time.
Let us remember them not only as we recall and recite them in the Liturgy of the High Holiday and Festivals, but rather every single day of our lives!
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