Saturday, February 27, 2016

Parshat Ki Tisa, 7th Portion, Exodus 34:27-35, February 27, 2016

This is a beautiful chapter about enlightenment and teaching.
“And it came to pass when Moses descended from Mount Sinai, and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses' hand when he descended from the mountain and Moses did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while He had spoken with him. (Exodus 34:29)”
It is interesting to me that the Hebrew word for radiant means horns. Michelangelo depicted the radiance as horns. My wife said that she learned in art history that Michelangelo was mistaken depicting them as horns. Luckily, I slept through those 8am classes, and didn't get misinformed.

Moses has horns like a bull. Are we back to the Golden Calf? And the radiance of gold? Is this why Donald Trump spray paints his face gold? Is he trying to project the radiance of Moses? Is he the Golden Calf or the real McCoy (Moses)?

When Moses taught the chapters of the Torah, he first taught Aaron and all the princes of the community, then the children of Israel would draw near. We saw earlier that children meant male Israelites who would go into the army. There was a succession of different people who'd come as the teaching proceeded so some heard it multiple times.
“The Rabbis taught in a Baraitha: How was the Mishnah ordered? Moses learned from the mouth of the Divine. Then, Aaron entered and Moses taught him his portion. Aaron then distanced himself and sat to Moses' left. His sons then entered and Moses taught them their portion. They then distanced themselves and Elazar sat to the right of Moses and Itamar to the left of Aaron. Rabbi Yehuda said, Aaron was always on the right of Moses. Returning, the elders entered and Moses taught them their portion. The elders distanced themselves and the entire nation entered and Moses taught them their portion. The result was that Aaron heard the teaching four times, his sons, three times, the elders, twice, and the entire nation, once. Moses then distanced himself and Aaron repeated his portion. His sons then repeated their portion and left. The elders then repeated their portion and left. In this way, everyone heard everything four times. Based on this method, Rabbi Eliezer said, everyone is obligated to repeat his teachings to his disciples four times. This is obvious, by force of argument: If Aaron learned Torah from Moses and Moses directly from God, and then ordinary people from each other certainly!” (Eruvin 54b)
We see here a little educational theory suggesting that Moses had learned the benefit of repetition. Or was it that ordinary people were slow learners and needed to hear it more?

1 comment:

  1. Horns, radiance-- how about aura? I've thought for a long time that all those halos in religious paintings were auras. Some can see them. I can feel them.


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