The Gilded Jackass

Recently, we have studied to Torah portion Ki-Tissa, Exodus 30:11-34:35. This is the portion where the Israelites, upset that Moses had not come down from Mt. Sinai, and with the agreement of Aaron, gave up their gold objects to construct a calf of gold for them to worship. Moses sees them and, furious, throws the tablets of the Law down at them , orders them to grind up the calf and put it in the water, and drink it as punishment.

Now we have donald trump; at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC),, a gold-ish statue of trump, made in Mexico and of Fiberglass, was trundled onto the lobby, and the attendees adored it, with a picture of one man bowing down to it like it was an idol.

This comes from evangelical Christian political movement, supposedly a religion banning the worship of a graven image. But it latched onto donald trump as their candidate, so that legislation hostile to LGBTQ people, people of color, and immigrants could be enacted. this is the false god they now worship; and just as the Israelites threw their gold away to construct the original Golden Calf, the followers of the multi-million-collar evangelists donate their money, even their entire fortunes, to the false messiahs on TV, hoping for something better to come to their lives.

These religious charlatans are perfect allies for donald trump, who made his fortune selling false hopes with his “university;” who kept talking about himself as a business whiz, after the bankruptcies of his casinos, and whose fathers money bailed him out; and whose other business ventures-trump Steaks, trump Shuttle Airline, trump World magazine, trump Vodka, trump Steaks, etc.-were one failure after the next.

This is the false god that the conservative movement, the evangelical Christian movement, and the Republican Party bow down to. Just as the Israelites were punished for their sin of worshiping the Golden Calf, so will these movements face disaster, and a well-deserved one at that.

Hemperiffic Card

Parshat Ki-Tissa

This weekend we studied the Torah portion Ki-Tissa, Exodus 30:11-34:35. God instructs Moses on the making of the basin for the water that Aaron and his sons, the priests, to wash their hands and feet before entering the Mishkin, the traveling tabernacle. The portion also has the ingredients for making the oil for anointing the priests and the posts of the Mishkan, and the ingredients of the incense; could we try to make them using these recipes now?

The Israelites, panicking over Moses being away for so long,   Aaron urges the Israelites to donate their gold to the making of the Golden Calf; this was the same gold they attained from the Egyptians on their way out of Egypt, as a form of reparations for over four decades of slavery. In their panic, they forgot the God who brought forth the miracles of the plagues upon Egypt, and the parting of the Red Sea.  Did they think this object they manufactured with their hands was their true God?

And-was Aaron afraid of being killed by the mob? Or was he buying time until Moses came back?

Throughout the Torah, the Israelites complain about their situation and yell, “Let’s go back to Egypt!” to the slavery that they experienced, the only reality they knew, having been slaves for such a long time. Were the Israelites, in making the Golden Calf, hoping to appease the Egyptians by doing this?

It’s happened in domestic violence situations; battered spouses run away from their batterer, then they go back to their abusive partners, hoping they have changed and would not do it again; but the violence starts up again. They needed Moses’ leadership to have faith in God and themselves in making themselves into the nation meant for God’s service.