Episode 12 - The Role Of Mitzvahs In Judaism The Thinking Jew Podcast

Check out The Thinking Jew Podcast episode 12 for the accompanying audio to this source sheet.

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ד"א וארא ראה העגל שעשו ושברן. משל למלך שקדש אשה ואמר לה לאחר זמן אני שולח כתובתך ביד השושבין עד שהשושבין בא והכתובה בידו מצאה שקלקלה וזינתה ראה השושבין הקלקול וקרע הכתובה אמר מוטב שתדון כפנויה ולא כאשת איש כך הקב"ה קידש את ישראל במתן תורה ואמר לשלוח הלוחות שהן הכתובה תוך ארבעים יום ע"י משה שושבין בא משה והכתובה בידו וראה שקלקלו בעגל ושבר הכתוב':
וארא, “I saw;” another parable will illustrate what Moses meant. Moses saw the golden calf the people had made and as a result he broke the Tablets. Imagine a king who had become engaged to be married to a certain lady, having told her that he would send her the marriage certificate, ketuvah¸ after a certain period of time, using his best man as the messenger. By the time the document had been written and he had found his best man, he found out that the lady was not worthy to become his wife. What did he do? He tore up the marriage certificate. His reasoning was that it was in that lady’s interest instead of becoming an unfaithful wife after the marriage ceremony, to remain unmarried when her conduct was subject to a lesser penalty. The same happened with the relationship between G–d and Israel at that time. Israel had become betrothed to G–d at time of the revelation at Mount Sinai. The Tablets were meant to be the marriage document that He would give His people forty days later. When Moses saw how corrupt they had become in the interval, he decided that it was in their best interest to tear up the marriage document, i.e. the Tablets, so as to make their legal status less serious than if they had committed adultery after the wedding ceremony. (Tanchuma, section 11)
וּבַיּ֖וֹם הַשְּׁמִינִ֑י יִמּ֖וֹל בְּשַׂ֥ר עׇרְלָתֽוֹ׃
On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.—