JEWISH DISABILITY AWARENESS, ACCEPTANCE AND INCLUSION MONTH (JDAIM)
Established in 2009, led by the Jewish Federations of North America, and observed every February, it is a united effort among Jewish organizations and communities worldwide to raise awareness and foster inclusion of people with disabilities and those who love them.
From Reform Judaism https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/ki-tisa
Ki Tisa (כִּי תִשָּׂא — When You Take a Census) – Exodus 30:11-34:35
The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: “When you take a census of the Israelite men according to their army enrollment, each shall pay the Eternal a ransom for himself on being enrolled, that no plague may come upon them through their being enrolled.” – Exodus 30:11-12
- Moses takes a census of the Israelites and collects a half-shekel from each person (30:11-16)
- God tells Moses to construct a water basin and to prepare anointing oil and incense for the ordination of the priests. Bezalel and Oholiab, skilled artisans, are assigned to make objects for the priests and the Tabernacle. (30:17-31:11)
- The Israelites are instructed to keep Shabbat as a sign of their covenant with God. God gives Moses the two tablets of the Pact. (31:12-18)
- The Israelites ask Aaron to build them a Golden Calf. Moses implores God not to destroy the people and then breaks the two tablets of the Pact on which the Ten Commandments are written when he sees the idol. God punishes the Israelites by means of a plague. (32:1-35)
- Moses goes up the mountain with a blank set of tablets for another 40 days so that God will again inscribe the Ten Commandments. Other laws, including the edict to observe the Pilgrimage Festivals, are also revealed. (34:1-28)
- Moses comes down from the mountain with a radiant face. (34:29-35)
Ashkenazim: I Kings 18:1-39 and Sefardim: I Kings 18:20-39
From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ki_Tissa
Connection to the Parashah
Both the parashah and the haftarah in First Kings describe God’s prophet confronting idolatry to restore worship of God, the parashah in Moses’ anger at the Golden Calf, and the haftarah in the prophet Elijah‘s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. In both the parashah and the haftarah, the prophet was on a mountain; the prophet invoked the names of Abraham and Isaac in prayer to God; sound (kol) is observed; the prophet called on the Israelites to choose between God and the false god; and God manifested God’s choice.
STRUGGLING WITH TORAH and REFLECTION
You can read this week’s full Torah Portion at https://www.sefaria.org/Exodus.30.11-34.35
From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ki_Tissa
Ki Tisa or Ki Tissa (כִּי תִשָּׂא — Hebrew for “when you take”) – Exodus 30:11-34:35
In Ancient Parallels – Exodus chapter 33
Exodus 33:3… describe[s] the Land of Israel as a land flowing “with milk and honey.” Similarly, the Middle Egyptian (early second millennium BCE) tale of Sinuhe Palestine described the Land of Israel or, as the Egyptian tale called it, the land of Yaa: “It was a good land called Yaa. Figs were in it and grapes. It had more wine than water. Abundant was its honey, plentiful its oil. All kind of fruit were on its trees. Barley was there and emmer, and no end of cattle of all kinds.”
In inner-Biblical interpretation – Exodus chapter 34 – Milk
From Reform Judaism https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/ki-tisa
From the D’var Torah By: Rabbi Hilly Haber
In Parshat Ki Tisa, we learn that even though the Israelites have left Egypt, they carry with them the shape of a dictator long gone. While Moses speaks with God on Mount Sinai, recording the laws by which this new nation will live, the Israelites ask Aaron to make them a new deity, who according to midrash, was “like those of the Egyptians” (Pirke de-rabbi Eliezer, 45).
From “The Torah / A Women’s Commentary” edited by Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, Ph.D.
כי תשא Ki Tisa – Exodus 30:11-34:35
Tablets, Calf, and Covenant: Mediating the Relationship with God by Elise Stern, pp.495-496
Parashat Ki Tisa (“when you take”) is the fulcrum of a larger portion of Exodus that is concerned with figuring out how God and Israel will co-exist. The parashah begins with instructions regarding census taking and the Tabernacle furnishings, moves on to the narrative of the Golden Calf, and concludes with a series of covenantal stipulations. While these units do not present a seamless narrative, they do contain a series of thematically related scenes that all negotiate the central issue catalyzed by the Sinai event: How can God and Israel maintain a relationship that takes into account the enormous disparities between the two parties–God, who is utterly holy, and Israel, a “stiffnecked” and backsliding nation that can achieve holiness but not maintain it?
By the end of the parashah, the text has affirmed three strategies for sustaining the relationship between God and Israel:
- Tabernacle: The story of the Golden Calf is situated between the instructions for the Tabernacle (25:1-30:10) and the description of its construction (35:1-40:38). This arrangement affirms that the Tabernacle, unlike the calf, is an appropriate response to the people’s needs for a physical location where they can gain access to God.
- Covenant: The parashah concludes with a reiteration of the covenant, thus providing Israel with laws to help keep its conduct acceptable to God.
- Moses: While the other two strategies are more permanent, Moses emerges as the most crucial mediating strategy between God and Israel, the go-between who repeatedly pleads to God on behalf of Israel. Although Moses is resoundingly human, the voices of this parashah conspire to identify Moses more and more closely with God until even his physical being is supernaturally transformed (34:29-35).
The parashah refers to women directly in only a few places. In the account of the construction of the calf, Aaron directs the men to remove the jewelry from their wives, sons, and daughters (32:2). The legal section at the end of the parashah prohibits marriages between Israelite men and indigenous Canaanite women (34:16) and includes a polemic against asherim (34:13)–ritual objects probably related to the worship of the goddess Asherah.
Nevertheless, the parashah engages two issues that are central to feminist theology and theory. In wrestling with the question of how close God can be to humanity, the text raises the issue of divine immanence and transcendence, a central concern of contemporary feminist theology…. The parashah also highlights the importance of narrative perspective and point of view. The crucial events of the Exodus and construction of the calf are described differently by different characters. These tellings not only highlight the disparate experiences of the speakers but also serve to articulate multiple perspectives on the text’s central concerns.
Another View – by Carol Meyers, p. 514
The verse in this parashah forbidding Israelite “sons” to marry non-Israelite “daughters” (34:16) has troubled many readers, both because of its negative view of outsiders and because of the way it denigrates the religious beliefs of foreign women. On each count, however, closer scrutiny provides a more nuanced, less problematic understanding.
The one-sided nature of this mandate–forbidding men but not women from marrying out (exogamy)–differs from other biblical texts (like Deuteronomy 7:3) that proscribe exogamy for both women and men. Such gender-inclusive prohibitions express larger concerns for setting ethnic boundaries. Forbidding only non-Israelite wives may represent a different practice or tradition, one sensitive to the family dynamics of agrarian societies.
The justification for prohibiting foreign wives in Exodus 34:16 is that it will prevent the worship of foreign gods. This religious reason should be understood in broader terms, with foreign religion standing for the cultural patterns of another people. Endogamous marriages–in which wives shared the same culture as their husbands–perhaps better served community needs. Such brides would be well versed in the particular social customs and technologies necessary for household life, an important consideration in the precarious environment of the farming communities of the biblical period. Thus, marrying an Israelite woman was likely a strategy for survival, not an expression of cultural disdain.
In this respect, note that none of the biblical statements against intermarriage (like Genesis 24:3 or Nehemiah 13:25-27) are absolute prohibitions; they are concerned only with marrying members of local populations. After all, several prominent biblical figures–both women (such as Bathsheba and Esther) and men (such as Moses, David, and Solomon)–have foreign spouses.
Although the religious motivation given in 34:16 for eschewing foreign brides may represent an aversion to foreign culture more generally, it is nonetheless instructive to note that the verse depicts the religious (cultural) practices of women as being more powerful than those of their husbands. Such a view is consonant with what is known about the dynamics of Israelite households: women dominated household religious praxis and exercised considerable managerial control over household life.
From “Mishkan T’filah / A Reform Siddur”:
FOR OUR COUNTRY p.516
THUS SAYS ADONAI, This is what I desire: to unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of lawlessness; to let the oppressed go free, to break off every yoke. Share your bread with the hungry, and take the wretched poor into your home. When you see the naked, give clothing, and do not ignore your own kin.
O GUARDIAN of life and liberty, may our nation always merit Your protection. Teach us to give thanks for what we have by sharing it with those who are in need. Keep our eyes open to the wonders of creation, and alert to the care of the earth. May we never be lazy in the work of peace; may we honor those who have [served, suffered or] died in defense of our ideals. Grant our leaders wisdom and forbearance. May they govern with justice and compassion. Help us all to appreciate one another, and to respect the many ways that we may serve You. May our homes be safe from affliction and strife, and our country be sound in body and spirit. Amen.
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of abuse, brutality, conflicts, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds especially directed at individuals and specific communities including us, and war; for all those at home alone or lonely; for all those in need of physical, emotional, and mental healing. “R’fuah sh’lëmah” – a complete recovery!
We say KADDISH YATOM for those of our friends and families who have died and been buried this last week; those in the period of Sh’loshim (30 days since burial); those who have died in the last year; and those whose Yahrzeits/Anyos occur at this time; as well as the victims of brutality, conflict, disease, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds, and war.
This coming week, 18 Adar I through 24 Adar I, we lovingly remember:
Samuel J. Alexander
TKH Memorial Board, Father of Holly Sickles
TKH Memorial Board, Husband of Enid Schwartz z”l
Those victims of the Sho’ah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year.
“ZICHRONAM LIV’RACHAH” – MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE FOR BLESSING.
TORAH STUDY AND SHAZOOM
We will meet as usual at the regular times for Torah Study and Shazoom this evening, Friday, February 18, 2022.
Zoom regularly updates its security and performance features. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this Friday evening with wine/grape juice for Kiddush and Challah for Motzi.
Topic: Torah Study – Ki Tisa (triennial part) Ex 33:12-34:35
Time: Feb 18, 2022 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: Feb 18, 2022 07:30 PM Arizona
To join Torah Study and/or Shazoom click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/72510500854?pwd=Z3VQZWF4U1BBZytNYmh3aHFTWkFDZz09
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero.
Shabbat Shalom – Buen Shabbat!