Weekly Dvar Torah: Ki Tisa

This week’s Torah portion, Ki Tisa, takes place just outside Mount Sinai. Moses has gone up to receive the tablets engraved with the Ten Commandments as the Israelites wait below. This happens right after they finally exit Egypt, witnessing incredible miracles on the way.

However, when Moses goes up Mount Sinai and does not come back down when expected, the people of Israel immediately build a golden calf and turn to idol worshiping. This seems absurd considering the spiritual journey the Jewish people had just experienced.

When Moses comes down from Mount Sinai and sees this, he breaks the tablets and the golden calf, and then asks G-d to forgive the Israelites. Again, this seems to be a very drastic change of heart. One moment Moses is angry enough to break tablets given to him by G-d himself and the next he is begging G-d to forgive the same people who caused him this anger.

This parsha teaches as two important values – patience and forgiveness. Many times in our lives we get scared when something we worked hard for fails. This happens in all aspects of our lives, whether it’s getting into a certain program, finding a perfect house or landing a great position. We fear that we will not be able to find something as great, so we settle for the first possible alternative. This parsha teaches us the importance of patience and to remember there will always be something that meets our initial goals. The second value of forgiveness is taught to us through Moses and G-d’s actions. Although the Israelites actions could not have been worse, both Moses and G-d chose to forgive them. This shows us the importance of forgiveness and giving people a second chance.

This parsha is unique in that it shows the imperfections in all of us. It is important for us to not ignore these imperfections and continue to improve ourselves!


Danna is a second year Bio-Medical Science student. She is part of the Jewish Education committee and Israel Affairs committee on Hillel. Her favourite Hillel event so far was Coffee House.