Ki Tissa

A spiritual life sees reality and believes there is more. A denial of reality or of the More is heresy, madness. The people build a golden calf, a god that can be touched – and Moses melts it down and feeds it to them, to make them taste the heresy they have chosen. Maybe he smashes the Ten Commandments for the same reason: protection against madmen who believe in the Law rather than the More. The highest offering in the Temple was the fragrance-sacrifice; wholly spiritual, sensed but not tangible, real and more. Yet when Moses asks to cleave closer to God, he is pushed back to reality: “You can not behold Me and live.” Let us never grasp our desires!

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[Inspired by: Exodus 33; Rabeinu Behaye; and Rembrandt’s Moses Breaking the Tablets of the Law.]

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