G-d tells Moses to take a census of the adult male Jews by collecting a half-shekel silver coin from each one.

The account of the Golden Calf and its aftermath is the recorded.

Moses told the Jewish People, that he would be spending 40 full days on Mount Sinai, but the Jews mistakenly counted the first half day as one of the 40, hence, when Moses failed to appear as promised, they clamoured in hopelessness and made the Golden Calf. This incident records the worst tragedy of the Jewish Peoples history.

“They sacrificed to the calf….” (32:6)

How was it possible that the people, who witnessed the greatest revelation of all time at Mount Sinai, could commit such a blatant transgression so soon afterwards?

True that it was only a percentage of the people who worshipped this idol, but even so, this is hard to imagine.

The Sages of the Talmud therefore teach us that indeed, the Jews at that point were incapable of sinning. In order for the Jewish People to rise to the heights of spiritual achievement only attainable through repentance, G-d forced the entire incident upon them.

In this light, we can all focus on our past misdeeds as opportunities through which we can scale spiritual heights that we could not rise to otherwise.

This week we take out two Torah scrolls.  In the second, we read the portion called “Parshat Parah” (the Red Heifer), the third of the special portions we read prior to Pesach.

Have a wonderful Shabbat and successful week to follow.