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Rationalist Judaism

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Monday, September 12, 2011

The Golden Calf

The Golden Calf: "hen Moses came down the mountain, were all 3 million Jews dancing around a golden calf? No. The Torah in Exodus 32:28 says it was only about 3 thousand people, mostly the mixed multitude of individuals who left with the Jews because they were so impressed by what went on with the Ten Plagues.1

That means that only about .1% of the Jews (one in a thousand) participated and 99.9% of the Jews did nothing wrong, (although the majority’s failure to stop the minority from worshipping the Golden Calf was considered a mistake). Yet God’s reaction makes it clear he is blaming the whole nation.


We already mentioned that amongst all ancient books the Bible is unique in its objective criticism and that the purpose of this criticism is to educate. But why the hyper-criticism?"

1. See: Rashi, Exodus 32:4; Ramban, Exodus 32:7 & 32:28.
2. See Sefer HaHinuch 611
An excellent example is the obligation to give 10% of your income to charity. In addition to giving humanity the concept of social welfare, the first animal rights legislation and the first environmental law also come from the Jews. For additional information see: Ken Spiro, WorldPerfect-The Jewish Impact on Civilization (Health Communications Inc., Deerfield, Florida, 2003) chap. 14.
3. For more information on this fascinating subjest see: Yaakov Kleiman, DNA & Tradition-The genetic Link to the Ancient Hebrews. Israel: Devora Publishing, 2004.

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