The Weekly Shtikle Blog

An online forum for sharing thoughts and ideas relating to the Parshas HaShavua

View Profile

Friday, March 5

The Weekly Shtikle - Ki Sisa / Parah

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my Oma, Chaya Sara bas Zecharia Chaim, a"h.


This week's shtikle is dedicated for a refuah sheleimah for my father.

Please include Reuven Pinchas ben Yehudis in your tefillos.


Last week, we discussed the juxtaposition of parshios to the yamim tovim. Finding a connection between the special parshios we read this year and the weeks on which they fall is slightly more challenging. However, the connection between Parah and Ki Sisa (the parsha on which it falls in most non-leap years) is abundantly clear. Rashi in Chukas (Bemidbar 19:22), based on R' Moshe HaDarshan, explains the entire parah adumah process as an atonement for the sin of the Golden Calf which, of course, we read about in Ki Sisa. He cites the well-known parable: When the son of a maidservant soils the palace of the king it is expected of his mother to come and clean up the mess. So too, the the parah adumah cleans up the "mess" we made with the Golden Calf.


While pondering this parable, a seemingly obvious question occurred to me. Why, in fact, was the calf the animal of choice? One would expect that if they were to worship a golden figure, it would be one of authority. Why not a full-grown cow or a more menacing presence such as the Charging Bull near Wall Street? Why the image of a young calf? There is plenty of discussion among the primary commentaries as to why this specific species was chosen - a cow, as opposed to a sheep or goat. However, I was unable to find any explanation as to why specifically a young calf. I do not think it is plausible to suggest that Aharon specifically made that way for that reason - to be less authoritative. (I was later told that Rav Hirsch suggests this approach.) We find hundreds of years later that Yerav'am ben Nevat also specifically made golden calves. Although it seems this was done specifically to mimic the original calf. I welcome any suggestions.


Have a good Shabbos.

Mishenichnas Adar Marbim be'Simchah!

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:

Dikdukian: Kol Annnos

Dikdukian: Yeiaseh vs.Taaseh by Ephraim Stulberg

Dikdukian: No More Drinking

Dikdukian: Minimizing Sin

Dikdukian: Whys and Wherefores

Dikdukian: Need to Bring this Up

Dikdukian: Oops (Parah)

Dikdukian: Let Your Heart Not be Desolate (Parah)

Please visit the new portal for all Shtikle-related sites,

The Weekly Shtikle and related content are now featured on




Post a Comment

<< Home