The parasha for this week is famous for the story of the golden calf. This incident is rather minor in the overall flow of events, but it has captured our imagination for millennia - for good reason: it shows, in relatively brief strokes, how quickly humanity gravitates to idolatry of all kinds. We study how this scene is an anti-thesis to the Tabernacle that was just prescribed to Moses and see how the actual atoning work of the Tabernacle receives its first revelation in the immediate aftermath of the sin of the golden calf in Moses' act of giving the children of Israel to drink from the "waters of bitterness" (Numbers 5). Finally, we study God's intimate relationship with Moses and the revelation given to him in the "cleft of the Rock".
Listen to this episode
Read Full Transcript