Parashat Ki Tissa
What is God’s true nature? Loving? Just? Jealous? Punitive? Forgiving? There is contradictory evidence in our lives and experiences. Moses experiences the extremes of unparalleled closeness to God out of common concern and communication to Israel. Then he walks on the knife’s edge of divine anger threatening to wipe out Israel for betraying the covenant by worshipping a Golden Calf. This drives Moses to ask God directly “...show me Your way that I may know You…” (Exodus 33:13). Moses wants to understand what God’s nature is really like. The initial divine response is that humans can not grasp a true picture of God but only a partial, as it were, side view. But then God offers a self-definition. This became the most influential guideline in the tradition to the true nature of the Divine.
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