In the aftermath of the sin of the golden calf, we are introduced to a new reality for our Jewish people. A once enslaved and innocent nation is now the subject of trial, and possible destruction. The beautiful story of Moshe brining Am Yisrael from slavery to freedom and receiving the Torah as the blueprint for how we are to live in the land of Israel, is now transformed into a sad state of seeking forgiveness. Parshat Ki Tisa is the reminder of our shortcomings and the struggle for both Moshe and Hashem as to what the future holds after perfection is lost.
Amid the drama, we are introduced to a fascinating decision made by Hashem. In Perek 33 Pesukim 1-3 Hashem tells Moshe that he and Am Yisrael should ascend to the land which He promised to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, to the land flowing with milk and honey, yet it will be an angel who leads the nation and not Him. This decision is due to the fear of a future failure which will call for the destruction of Am Yisrael if Hashem is present. Better to have an angel lead the way, then a possible episode which can ruin the promise entirely.
Hashem so desires Am Yisrael’s entry into Eretz Yisrael, that He forgoes the reality of sin, and attempts to ignore what might happen, so that Am Yisrael can enter the promised land. In Ki Tisa, Eretz Yisrael is in no way a prize we are deserving of, it is rather a gift which Hashem is eagerly awaiting to finally give to His children. The assumed rejection we hear from Hashem is very painful, but it sheds light on how precious it is for Hashem to ultimately give the gift of Eretz Yisrael.
As we celebrated the holiday of Purim, every Jew took upon themselves a sense of unity as we unconditionally gave, with no reservations, the Mishloach manot. The ideal way to perform this Mitzvah is through sending someone to be your messenger to give the gift. The recipient knows who the gift is from, but the delivery is through the messenger. The beauty of this mitzvah is that there is no second guessing as to who is or is not deserving. We do not give hand to hand as that may stir doubts for who is worthy of our gift, rather we adopt the attitude that we want to be givers, we want to make sure someone else receives from our gift.
The Mishloach Manot Hashem has given to Am Yisrael is the gift of Israel. The source of this gift is rooted in the unwavering passion of Hashem to be a giver for His firstborn children. As we approach the celebration of Israel at 70 and reflect on our flourishing country both physically and spiritually, we cannot help but feel the eternal heartbeat calling the children of Avraham Yitzcahk and Yaakov to ascend to the land flowing with Milk and Honey. Whether through a messenger or Hashem Himself, we are the beneficiaries of Hashem’s unconditional desire to give, and that gift should continue for generations to come.