Keeping away from bad influences
According to the Midrash, Bnei Yisrael are persuaded by the Erev Rav – aֵ large group of people who
are not part of Bnei Yisrael but came out with them from Mitzrayim – to ask Aharon to make a golden
calf. These people are a bad influence on Bnei Yisrael and cause them to sin. We must be careful to
keep away from bad influences and follow the good examples of those around us. (Refer to the Yehi
Ratzon in Shacharit in which we daven to Hashem to keep us away from bad influences).
Task 1: Read the text below
Task 1: Read the text below:
This week's Parshah discusses three major things: the Mishkan, the Golden Calf and the second tablets.
We've already discussed G‑d's instructions to build the Mishkan for two full Parshahiot (Torah portions), and we hear a little more about it here.
The Jews again receive the commandment to keep the Sabbath.
The Golden Calf
After the Jews heard the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, Moses went up the mountain to receive the Two Tablets from G‑d. The Jews know he is supposed to come down after forty days, but they miscalculate, and when he doesn't come down when they expect him to, they get confused as to what has happened to him. They build a golden calf and make it into an idol, serving, worshipping and bringing to it sacrifices.
When G‑d sees this, he is very angry, and wants to destroy the whole Jewish nation, telling Moses that he will start a new nation from him. Moses prays for the Jews, begging G‑d to save them. Moses then takes the Tablets down the mountain. When he nears the camp of the Jews and sees the Golden Calf, he throws down the Tablets, shattering them, and destroys the Golden Calf. Moses then gathers all the Levites and they kill all those who were involved in the building of the Golden Calf.
Then Moses goes back to G‑d and prays for the Jews. He even tells G‑d that if He doesn't forgive their sin, G‑d should take his name out of the entire Torah. G‑d forgives, but the the Jews are punished with a plague, and the affects of the sin are felt for a long time.
G‑d tells Moses that He will now send an angel to accompany them, but Moses says that they refuse to go unless G‑d Himself comes along. And so G‑d agrees that He Himself will accompany the Jews to the Holy Land.
Moses prepares a new set of tablets and goes up again to the mountain so G‑d can inscribe the Ten Commandments in them. On the mountain, Moses sees a vision of G‑d's glory, and when he comes down, his face shines so brightly that he must wear a veil. He takes off the veil only to speak to G‑d and to teach the Jews the Torah.