Ki Tissa, The Golden Calf of Miscommunication: This week we read about the biggest mistake the Jewish People made, fashioning and then worshiping the Golden Calf. Certainly inauspicious, the incident teaches us a lesson about how to conduct our relationships properly.
The medieval work, the Kuzari tells us the Calf was made because the people got scared, confused about what time Moses said he was coming back from his trip up Mount Sinai to talk to God. This led to the big misunderstanding, and the people turned to an idol, not because they were rejecting God, but because they were desperate for some tangible sign of God, so they made the Golden Calf.
They fell victims to greater error through lack of good communications and letting their fears about their relationship with Moses and with God run wild.
Too often in human relationships this is the very same problem that we face. We have problems in our relationships with others, not so much because we don’t like them, but because we either aren’t attuned to what they are really saying to us, or because we ourselves aren’t expressing our needs carefully enough. Then we let our sense of not being understood raise all sorts of other doubts and troubles, and then the problem grows greater.
Had Moses simply said, “I’ll be back in 40 days from today” or had the Jews said, “we’re really concerned to be without you” the problem would have been solved.
Let us pray and work hard to have far more happy and meaningful and loving relationships than that, but when difficult days do present themselves, remember the lesson of the Golden Calf, and be sure to always take the time to talk to those you care for, express your troubles, and listen. If you do this, you won’t necessarily avoid all the hard days, but you’ll know how to get through them.