Adrian’s Midrash (A-Drash)
This Week’s Torah Portion: Ki Tissa’ “When You Take”
Ah! The golden calf (Exodus 32).** Over the years I have heard pastors dismiss the actions of the Israelites regarding this sin; also, I have heard rabbi’s try to excuse away Aaron’s sin, as if he didn’t sin. Why is it that we, people, are not simply willing to admit our wrongs and take responsibility? We live in a time of such turmoil that if the Messiah does not come quickly, history will reveal us as the hypocrites we are.
Overwhelmingly, America is now being led by a generation that had two goals in the sixties: (1) Sex, and (2) Drugs. Oh, and lest I offend anyone . . . rock and roll—or at least Bob Dylan. The battle cries were, “Down with authority!”, “Make love, not war”, and “Question authority!” Now, this same group (granted, not every person in this generation), which has produced Roe v. Wade, legalized medical marijuana, legalized abortion, no prayer in schools, and misguided constitutional “twisting” (e.g., “Separation of Church and State), is blaming everyone else for the problems we are facing instead of taking personal responsibility.
In many ways it is rather comical. It’s like watching a child with chocolate, smothered across his mouth and cookie crumbs scattered about his shirt. When asked why he was eating the cookie he adamantly denies any wrong doing. Sadly, the leaders of America are simply grown children that are still living in their own glory days with cookie crumbs and chocolate all over their faces.
What does this have to do with this weeks Torah portion? Everything! Aaron had not put up much of a fight when the people approached him about Moshe’s “disappearance” (Ex. 32:2). I have even heard Messianic “rabbis” argue that the people in this passage were the “mixed multitude” that left Egypt with the Israelites and caused them to be led astray. Perhaps he was scared, or feeling the same way as the others: “Hmm!, I wonder what happened to my younger brother . . . maybe he got lost . . . maybe he left me to take over, hmm . . .”
Either way, Aaron did sin! His lack of leadership, blame, and denial is the epitome of this present generation of leadership in America. The Bush Administration did this, they did that; my wife made me do this, or he made me do that, etc. Where’s the heart like David’s that says, “Create in me a clean (pure) heart, O Elohim, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
Are we, today, more advanced as a people? No way! We’ve just invented better ways to excuse our actions. Actually, Aaron’s excuse was pretty darn good, “Don’t be angry, master. You know that these people are always ready to do wrong. The people said to me, ‘Moses led us out of Egypt, but we don’t know what has happened to him. Make us gods who will lead us.’ So I told the people, ‘Take off your gold jewelry.’ When they gave me the gold, I threw it into the fire and out came this calf!” (emphasis mine, Ex. 32:22-24) It doesn’t get any better than that! “Out came this calf!” However, we read just a few verses earlier, “So all the people took their gold earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from the people and formed it with a tool and made a statue of a calf” (emphasis mine, Ex. 32:3-4). should I say any more?
As believers in the Messiah Yeshua, we are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination; however, we are called to set an example of humility, which leads to teshuvah (repentance). Let’s take personal responsibility for our actions and be humble enough to admit when we’ve failed. “Whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, do it all for the glory of Elohim” (1 Corinthians 10:31). It is up to you and I to represent YHWH, in the faith we have in Yeshua and to repair the world (Tikkun HaOlam). Let’s do our part.
Shabbat Shalom Chaverim!
**Note: Usually, when a commentary is done on the Torah portion it is done from the name of the portion. In this case it would be, “כִּי תִשָּׂא (Ki Tissa’); however, I usually draw from a passage that speaks to me within the entire portion for the week. This is why I sometimes choose from the Apostolic Scriptures, (Brit Chadashah (NT)), or the Prophets, or the Torah itself. Therefore, you’ll not always see a midrash on the actual portion, but on a variance within the portion.