Calves and Coins

My weekly halachah column: During the episode of the Golden Calf, Aharon seemingly goes along with the mob’s frenzy, to the point of proclaiming that “Tomorrow is a feast to ‘Hashem’” (32:5), apparently intending an idolatrous feast. The Ibn Ezra struggles greatly to reconcile Aharon’s conduct in this episode in general, and in this proclamation […]

Urim, Astrolabes, and Overallegorization

From the ArtScroll Chumash: Vilna Gaon gives a classic interpretation of how the message of the Urim v’Tumim could be misunderstood. When Hannah, the future mother of the prophet Samuel, entered the Tabernacle to pray for a child, the Kohen Gadol Eli saw her unusual demeanor and reckoned her to be a drunkard, rather than […]