by Yehuda HaKohen – Men of Israel, regardless of their financial standings, were called upon to each contribute a half shekel towards the upkeep of the Mishkan. The identical participation from the entire Hebrew Nation teaches that we are all equally responsible for advancing Israel’s mission of bringing humankind to perfection through the awareness of HaShem as the timeless ultimate Reality without end that creates all, sustains all, empowers all and loves all.

This week’s parashah details Am Yisra’el’s severe sin of the Golden Calf which occurs at Mount Sinai. I would like to present, and analyze a number of various approaches in understanding the nature of this sin and its severity.

It is interesting to note, that this section of the Torah[2] is actually the portion that we read on all the Jewish fast days (save Yom Kippur), perhaps alluding to the fact that this is the essential question of every fast day: we fast and pray, and attempt to repent, in an effort to change G-d’s mind. But how can we expect G-d to change His mind?

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