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Torah QueeriesWeekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible$
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Gregg Drinkwater, Joshua Lesser, and David Shneer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814720127

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814720127.001.0001

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Mounting Sinai

Mounting Sinai

Parashat Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11–34:35)

(p.109) Twenty–One Mounting Sinai
Torah Queeries

Amichai Lau-Lavie

NYU Press

This chapter highlights Moses' ascension to Mount Sinai and Israelite's worship of the Golden Calf, in the readings of Parashat Ki Tisa of Exodus. These two simultaneous events happening at the top and at the foot of Mount Sinai respectively symbolizes a compelling fusion of sex and spirit, as well as body and soul. These incidents mitigate the divide between one's base instincts and highest consciousness; hence, intensifying the vertical connection between humanity and divinity. In particular, the story of the Golden Calf represents one's painful past—an unresolved memory of a great psychological wound. Meanwhile, Moses' ascension demonstrates that such a pain can also present an opportunity for Tikkun—a deeper healing, specifically, a sexual healing.

Keywords:   Moses, Mount Sinai, Golden Calf, Parashat Ki Tisa, Exodus, psychological wound

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