Ki Tisa


Chapters 30 and 31 of the book of Exodus contain a very interesting parallel. Moses describes there an altar, a census, a laver, a holy anointing oil, a perfume (or incense), and, finally, Shabbat.

It is explicitly said that only the priests and Levites were supposed to take care for all utensils of the Tabernacle. None of commoners could approach those.



Did God live in the Temple or all verses which mention His dwelling there merely represent a symbol? It is not unusual to find in biblical commentaries such words as “the Ark was a symbol of God’s dwelling” or “God symbolically was presented in the Tabernacle.”

The scholars who hold a position of a “symbolic representation” often base their opinion on some texts; especially 1 Kgs 8:27 which I will examine below.



The special lampstand was one of the key elements of the Tabernacle and later of the Temple in Jerusalem. This lampstand is called menorah from Hebrew מְנוֹרָה found in the Torah. Its importance is well illustrated by a fact that today menorah is a symbol of Jewishness and to some extent of Jewish statehood.



Parasha Mishpatim gives a series of laws which follow the Ten Commandments. Among those laws Moses presents a very famous regulation “eye for eye, tooth for tooth.” This principle was misunderstood, misinterpreted, and misused by many individuals. Usually it was believed that this law presenting a commandment to revenge, reflected underdeveloped state of the ancient Jewish society and was given only because of certain mentality of the people. However, there are many things which one should consider before making conclusions about this law.



Parashah Yitro contains the most famous verses of the Torah. In chapter twenty of the Book of Exodus readers find something amazing namely the words literally spoken by God and known as the Ten Commandments.

Today the idea of ultimate freedom, exaggerated privacy and larger-than-life right to be independent underlies the Western society.



Any situation may seem helpless.

But what if humans are mistaken?

What if they see approaching failure instead of a victory?

Mighty Wilderness or Seven Lessons of Beshalach

In this weekly Torah portion, we find Israelites near the sea when “the wilderness has shut them in” Exod. 14:3. These quoted words are a part of a broader revelation given by God to Moses.



God was about to send the last plagues.

One of them was a destroying swarm of locusts.

Careful reader of the Torah will find amazing details of this plague in the text.

An Intro: Angry Locusts

The story about locusts begins with God’s commandment, “Go to Pharaoh.”[1] Moses and Aaron go exactly as it was said and begin talking to Pharaoh.



God Predicts Pharaoh’s Request

At this point of narrative impetuous actions begin. Right before this beginning God instructs Moses and Aaron,