Interfaith Ki Tisa


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Ki Tisa
Exodus 30:11-34:35

this one is about keeping the sabbath, the wash basin, half shekel offering, the golden calf, the ten commandments, Moses 40 days on the mountain & making intercession for the people...just some of the highlights.

Numbers 19 is added to this reading for the upcoming Passover & the red heifer.
Aloha Akua! Pohaikawahine:)
i just came across this & it is the first time i ever heard of it. it is talked about twice in the Bible & goes along with this Parshah- so it must be a sure good thing.

[SIZE=+2]Thirteen Attributes of Mercy[/SIZE]

After the incident of the Golden Calf, as Moshe implored Divine forgiveness, he was told that God will answer, at any time, a heartfelt recitation of the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy. In the Torah, we find the Thirteen Attributes twice:
" As related in the Book of Exodus (Exodus 34:5-7): "GOD, GOD, Almighty, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abundant in loving-kindness and truth, remembering kindness for thousands [of generations], forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin [of those who repent], but not clearing the guilt [of those who do not repent], passing along the sins of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth [generation]."
" As related in the Book of Micha (7:18-20): "Who is a God like You—Who bears transgression and pardons the wrongdoing of the remnant of His heritage. [He] does not sustain His anger forever, for He desires loving kindness. He will once more have compassion on us [and] forget our transgressions, and [He] will hurl all our sins into the depths of the ocean. [O God] grant truth to Yaakov [and] loving-kindness to Avraham as You vowed to our forefathers long ago."

These attributes are not meant to be simply recited but to be emulated, because God is your shadow, God is your mirror. A classic work of Kabbalah and Jewish ethics, the Tomer Devorah by Rabbi Moshe Cordovero, elaborates on these attributes (following the order according to Micha, which the Zohar calls the "higher rungs of mercy") and explains them in a personal manner, as follows:

1. "Who is a God like You" - this phrase describes the tremendous ability of our Creator to withstand humiliation. The Divine force that animates and sustains existence is never withdrawn, even when man chooses to harness this very force to transgress. In emulation of this, we should show patience even when humiliated by someone else and to demonstrate composure even when the people we have been kind to turn their back on us. Even then, we should remain patient and not withhold our kindness.

2. "Who bears transgression" - God practices tolerance, thus allowing the negative forces (energies created by man's negative actions, speech, or thoughts) to be sustained, while not allowing them to destroy the perpetrator, thus giving him a chance to return to God in teshuvah. So too, we should be tolerant, even when a wrong has been done to us, and wait until our fellow man has a chance to rectify his error.

3. "And pardons the wrongdoing" - out of God's tremendous love, God forgives and cleanses man. We, too, should aspire to help those in need of teshuvah and seek to assist them no matter what it takes.

4. "Of the remnant of His heritage" - our personal pain is God's pain because we are God's heritage. God, so to speak, is in pain when we are. We should strive for such intense sympathy; we should feel others' pain as our own and love them as ourselves, because they are part of ourselves.

5. "[He] does not sustain His anger forever" - and so, too, we should not hold onto our anger even when there is good reason to be upset with our fellow man.

6. "For He desires loving kindness" - God seeks goodness within all people, overlooking their negative behavior and remembering their good deeds. When we feel upset because someone has wronged us, we need to look deeper and find something positive and good within that person.

7. "He will once more have compassion on us" - one who was distant from God but has returned has a special place in God's eyes. We, too, should aspire not to nurture anger towards a person who has previously upset us, showing more love and compassion instead.

8. "[And] forget our transgressions" - In God's eyes a negative action does not negate a positive one, and each person is accorded a reward for the good done. So too, we should not allow the negative of any person to overwhelm the positive, seeing only the bad. On the contrary, we should suppress the bad, leave it behind, and place the good of that person in front of us.

9. "And [He] will hurl all our sins into the depths of the ocean" - in God's eyes, the negative is external so that when the cover is thrown away, the good is revealed. We, too, should remember that each person is good at the core, and when we see even bad people suffering, we should show them pity.

10. "[O God] grant truth to Yaakov" - God shows compassion even to those who do not know how to conduct themselves beyond the letter of Torah law (the lower level of Yaakov). We, too, should train ourselves to always treat others with integrity and truth.

11. "[And] loving-kindness to Avraham" - God walks with those who conduct themselves as Avraham, going beyond the strictures of Torah law; He shows them extreme kindness beyond measure. So too, we should show extreme kindness and patience, especially to such people.

12. "As You vowed to our forefathers" - even the unworthy receive from God's boundless bounty because God reasons the promise to their forefathers to take care of their offspring. When we encounter negative people, we should not show anger, only mercy. We should remind ourselves that they too are the children of their holy ancestors.

13. "Long ago" - even when the merits of our ancestors has been spent, God remembers how much he loved the people of Israel long ago, recalling all our good deeds from the day of our birth. So too, if we see a person who apparently is devoid of anything positive, we should remind ourselves that there must have been a time when this person was young and innocent and did good deeds.

Aloha kâua!:)
aloha e bandit .... I'm glad to see you using more hawaiian words, it makes me smile .... the thirteen attributes are very interesting and it seems that we should certainly all try to live our lives with more kindness toward others regardless of how they may treat us, but of course that is not very easy .... it takes a lot of practice to release the human emotions that arise when those buttons are pushed, but it can be done with patience and the payoff is priceless .... this parsha was not easy for me to read because on the surface reading the slaying of 3,000 breaks my heart and is certainly in conflict with the concept of the thirteen attributes .... but I also know that all of this are symbols of other meanings .... it is just hard for me to read this sometimes ....

I see the golden calf issue in pretty simple terms (maybe too simple) .... and that is that when we worship images in the physical world outside of ourselves, we are going in the wrong direction .... we must return within and find that passage to the internal holy of holies .... I am particularly drawn to the ending of the parsha "the Israelites would see how radiant the skin of Moses' face was. Moses would then put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with Him." To find that passage to the holy of holies, to go behind the veil to that place called "peniel" would certainly make one's face appear radiant because he/she would have found the source of the light within ....

and remember "he who is wise of heart" is a term for mystic in the Zohar .... would we consider Moses to be "wise of heart" .... Exodus 31:6 "and in the heart of every wise-hearted man I have set wisdom" .... we all have the capacity to be "wise of heart" and I suppose when we all remember that, the regathering will begin in ernest .... all our work on understanding the temple in the wilderness is taking us to the same place ....

he hawai'i au, poh
`Eia nei! Ei nei! Poh:)

i am trying to be wise of heart & stay within the 13 attributes.

the thirteen attributes are very interesting and it seems that we should certainly all try to live our lives with more kindness toward others regardless of how they may treat us, but of course that is not very easy

i know that is not easy to do, but we get better if we stay in the middle of the wheel & not try to jump off the wheel.

my hawaiian words are still limited to mostly greetings, but i am learning them.
i will wait for you to start the next parsha.