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Friday, March 1

The Weekly Shtikle - Ki Sisa / Parah

This past Tuesday was the yahrtzeit of Moshe Fuller, z"l, of Ner Yisroel. This week's shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmaso, Moshe ben Chaim Tzvi.

Generally, the special parshios we read around this time fall out when they may. There usually is not any significant connection between the regular parsha we read and the special reading that follows (with the exception, perhaps, of Shekalim on Vayakheil in a leap year.) The connection between Parah and Ki Sisa (the parsha on which it falls in most non-leap years) is abundantly clear. Rashi in Chukas, 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. We find hundreds of years later that Yerav'am ben Nevat also specifically made golden claves. I welcome any suggestions.


Leftover Purim Torah: Can it be a coincidence that the story that has dominated the news this week was the Sequ-ester!

Have a good Shabbos. Mishenichnas Adar Marbim beSimchah!

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
Dikdukian: Kol Annnos
Dikdukian: Yeiaseh vs.Taaseh by Ephraim Stulberg
Dikdukian: Velo Shasu
Dikdukian: Oops (Parah)
AstroTorah: Holy Cosmic Cows! by R' Ari Storch

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