Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Ki Sisa - 5780

ENTHUSIASM

Rashi, in his commentary to the Chumash, notes that the Mishkan - the Tabernacle - was constructed by the People of Israel for the sake of an atonement for the sin of the golden calf.

As Moshe descended from the mountain and saw the nation of Israel worshiping the pagan image, the Torah notes that he saw "the calf and the dances.”  What upset Moshe was not just the actual Avoda Zara, but also the enthusiasm shown by the worshipers.  Mistakes perhaps can be fixed.  However, when fervor is infused into a misdeed, the path to uproot the flaw is far more challenging.

Atonement was indeed achieved when the nation donated to the Mishkan with zeal.  The givers were not coerced into giving but, rather, did it whole-heartedly.  There was even a need to announce that enough was given, and that people should stop bringing donations.

Thus, the eagerness during the construction of the Mishkan atoned for the sin of the enthusiasm of the golden calf.

Shabbat Shalom