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Parshat Ki Tisa/Para                                                    March 14, 2020  18 Adar, 5780
                                                  Rabbi Sacks on Parshat Ki Tisa
             ARTSCROLL   484           It is a moment of the very   inheritance.” (Ex. 34:8–9) The   Nissenbaum. The argument
                 HERTZ  352            highest drama. The      difficulty in the verse is self-  he attributed to Moses was
                                       Israelites, a mere forty   evident. Moses cites as a reason   this: Almighty God, look upon
                    MAFTIR             days after the greatest   for God remaining with the   this people with favor,
                                                                                           because what is now their
                                       revelation in history, have
                                                               Israelites the very attribute that
             ARTSCROLL   838           made an idol: a Golden   God had previously given for   greatest vice will one day be
                 HERTZ  652            Calf. God threatens to   wishing to abandon them: “I   their most heroic virtue. They
                                       destroy them. Moses,    have seen these people,” the   are indeed an obstinate
                 HAFTORAH              exemplifying to the fullest   Lord said to Moses, “and they   people…But just as now they
                                       degree the character of
                                                                                           are stiff- necked in their
                                                               are a stiff-necked people. Now
            ARTSCROLL   1216           Israel as one who “wrestles  leave Me alone so that My anger  disobedience, so one day they
                 HERTZ  999            with God and man,”      may burn against them and that  will be equally stiff-necked in
                                       confronts both in turn. To   I may destroy them. Then I will   their loyalty. Nations will call
                     Times             God, he prays for mercy   make you into a great     on them to assimilate, but
                                       for the people. Coming   nation.” (Ex. 32:9)        they will refuse. Mightier
           Candle Lighting      6:42 pm   down the mountain and   How can Moses invoke the   religions will urge them to
                                       facing Israel, he smashes                           convert, but they will resist.
           Mincha               6:45 pm   the tablets, symbol of the   people’s obstinacy as the very   They will suffer humiliation,
                                       covenant. He grinds the   reason for God to maintain His   persecution, even torture and
           Hashkama             8:00 am   calf to dust, mixes it with   presence among them? What is   death because of the name
                                       water, and makes the    the meaning of Moses’ “because”   they bear and the faith they
           Youth Minyan         8:30 am   Israelites drink it. He   – “may my Lord go among us,   profess, but they will stay
                                       commands the Levites to   because it is a stiff- necked   true to the covenant their
           Parsha Shiur         8:30 am   punish the wrongdoers.   people”? The commentators offer   ancestors made with You.
           Main                 9:00 am   Then he re-ascends the   a variety of interpretations. Rashi   They will go to their deaths
                                                               reads the word ki as “if” – “If
                                       mountain in a prolonged                             saying Ani ma’amin, “I
           Beit Midrash         9:15 am   attempt to repair the   they are stiff-necked, then   believe.” This is a people
                                       shattered relationship   forgive them.” Ibn Ezra and   awesome in its obstinacy –
           Gemara Shiur         5:35 pm   between God and the   Chizkuni read it as “although” or   and though now it is their
                                       people.                 “despite the fact that” (af al pi).   failing, there will be times far
           Mincha               6:35 pm                        Alternatively, suggests Ibn Ezra,   into the future when it will be
                                       God accepts his request   the verse might be read, “[I   their noblest strength. The
           Shabbat Ends         7:51 pm   and tells Moses to carve   admit that] it is a stiff-necked   fact that Rabbi Nissenbaum
                                       two new tablets of stone.   people – therefore forgive our   lived and died in the Warsaw
           R’ Reisman Video     9:30 pm   At this point, however,   wickedness and our sin, and take   ghetto gives added poignancy
           Shiur                       Moses makes a strange   us as Your inheritance.” These   to his words.
                                       appeal: And Moses hurried  are straightforward readings,
           Sun. Mar. 15      7:30/8:30 am   and knelt to the ground   though they assign to the word   Many centuries earlier, a
           Mon. & Thurs.      6:35/7:45 am   and bowed, and he said,   ki a meaning it does not normally  Midrash made essentially the
           Tue., Wed. & Fri.    6:45/7:45 am   “If I have found favor in   have.           same point: There are three
           Mincha               6:50 pm   Your eyes, my Lord, may   There is, however, another and   things which are undaunted:
                                       my Lord go among us,
                                                                                           the dog among beasts, the
                                       because [ki] it is a stiff-  far more striking line of   rooster among birds, and
                   Latest Times for    necked people, and forgive   interpretation that can be traced   Israel among the nations. R.
                Shema/Shemoneh Esrei   our wickedness and our   across the centuries. In the   Isaac ben Redifa said in the
                                       sin, and take us as Your   twentieth century it was given   name of R. Ami: You might
           Mar. 14         10:05/11:05 am                      expression by Rabbi Yitzchak

           Mar. 21          9:59/11:00 am         Kiddush is provided by Great Neck Synagogue
                                         Bima F
                    Next Shabbat                                           lowers are sponsored by Florin & Howard Silberstein
              Vayakhel-Pekudei/HaChodesh              in memory of her father Sam Sailor z”l
           Candle Lighting      6:49 pm       Seudah Shlishit is sponsored by Lillian & Gary Chubak
           Mincha               6:50 pm                   in memory of his mother Ida Chubak z”l
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