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Torah Commentary Blog

Parashat Ki Tisa (March 18, 2017)
by Bettijane Eisenpreis

PARASHAT KI TISA is such a rich portion that this opening section often is overlooked. After all, when you have the story of the Golden Calf, who cares about a boring census?

Or is it boring? Here is a people, fresh out of slavery, being asked to stand up and be counted, starting with the age of 20 — the age when they (men, of course, not women) would be eligible for military service. By stepping forth and enrolling for service, Israelite men were making a statement: They were agreeing to defend their infant community against older and better organized civilizations.

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