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Parashat Ki Tissa


Following the tragic episode of the golden calf Moses took his tent and set it up outside the camp. He reasoned that since G-d was angry with the people, then he, as the Divine emissary, should also show his displeasure by withdrawing from them.

Although Moses was the incomparable leader and the greatest of all prophets, his brother Aharon was more beloved by the people. We find that the mourning following Aharon‘s death exceeded that of Moses’, in that both men and women wept for Aharon whereas with Moses’s death only the men wept. This was because Aharon was someone who mingled with the people, interceding in family disputes and restoring harmony between husband and wife.

Moses’s greatness caused people to keep their distance from him and thus promoted an attitude of obedience and reverence and so his enormous love for the people was not as immediately evident to the average person. Aharon, however, lived amongst the people and in this respect the Mishna states “Be of the disciples of Aharon, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving your fellow man and bring them near to Torah”.