96. וּשְׁלֹשָׁה דִינִים הָיוּ: אֶחָד, וַיִּגֹּף ה’ אֶת הָעָם. וְאֶחָד בִּבְנֵי לֵוִי. וְאֶחָד שֶׁהִשְׁקָה אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְהַיְנוּ חַג שֶׁל בְּנֵי לֵוִי. לַה’ – שֶׁוַּיִּגֹּף ה’. מָחָר – שֶׁהִשְׁקָה אוֹתָם משֶׁה. וְלָנוּ בְּאוֹתוֹ לַיְלָה, וּלְמָחָר נִמְצְאוּ נְפוּחִים וּמֵתִים. וְאוֹתָם הַמַּיִם הָיוּ מְכַשְׁכְּשִׁים בִּמְעֵיהֶם כָּל הַלַּיְלָה, וּבַבֹּקֶר נִמְצְאוּ מֵתִים, וְלָכֵן חַג לַה’ מָחָר. וְכָל הָרְפוּאָה שֶׁעָשָׂה אַהֲרֹן, מִשּׁוּם שֶׁכָּתוּב וַיִּבֶן מִזְבֵּחַ לְפָנָיו.
97. בֹּא וּרְאֵה, (אוֹתוֹ מִזְבֵּחַ שֶׁל קְדֻשָּׁה הָיָה) שֶׁכָּתוּב וַיַּרְא אֶת הָעֵגֶל וּמְחֹלֹת, וְאִלּוּ מִזְבֵּחַ לֹא כָתוּב. שֶׁהֲרֵי אַהֲרֹן יְדִיעָה הָיָה יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁכָּתוּב (שמות כב) זֹבֵחַ לָאֱלֹהִים יָחֳרָם בִּלְתִּי לַה’ לְבַדּוֹ, וַדַּאי נִצַּל אַהֲרֹן בְּעֵצָה טוֹבָה שֶׁהִנְהִיג לְנַפְשׁוֹ, וְהַכֹּל בְּרָצוֹן שָׁלֵם טוֹב, שֶׁלֹּא הִתְכַּוֵּן לְרַע.
Zohar Ki Tisa
“וַיַּרְא אַהֲרֹן וַיִּבֶן מִזְבֵּחַ לְפָנָיו וַיִּקְרָא אַהֲרֹן וַיֹּאמַר חַג לַיהוָה מָחָר.”
“So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to YHVH”
“וַיָּחֶל יוֹנָה לָבוֹא בָעִיר מַהֲלַךְ יוֹם אֶחָד וַיִּקְרָא וַיֹּאמַר עוֹד אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם וְנִינְוֵה נֶהְפָּכֶת.”
“Jonah set out on the first day of his walk in the city and proclaimed and said, “In forty days Nineveh will be demolished!”
The words “וַיִּקְרָא וַיֹּאמַר” “proclaimed and said” exist in the two verses. It implies that judgment is near. Aaron received a prophetic message that bestowed on him from the Holiness of the Altar that he just built. He knew that judgments would come to the people.
There were three judgments;
One was the plague on the people.
“וַיִּגֹּף יְהוָה אֶת הָעָם עַל אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ אֶת הָעֵגֶל אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה אַהֲרֹן.”
“So YHVH plagued the people because of what they did with the calf which Aaron made.”
Another judgment inflicted when Moses sent the Levites to kill those who participated in the sin of the Golden Calf.
“וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בְנֵי-לֵוִי, כִּדְבַר מֹשֶׁה; וַיִּפֹּל מִן-הָעָם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, כִּשְׁלֹשֶׁת אַלְפֵי אִישׁ”
“So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men fell that day.”
The third judgment was when Moses burnt the Golden Calf to dust and spread it over the water where the Israelites were drinking from. Those who desired the Golden Calf didn’t wake up in the morning.
“וַיִּקַּח אֶת-הָעֵגֶל אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ, וַיִּשְׂרֹף בָּאֵשׁ, וַיִּטְחַן, עַד אֲשֶׁר-דָּק; וַיִּזֶר עַל-פְּנֵי הַמַּיִם, וַיַּשְׁקְ אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל”
“Then he took the calf which they had made, burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder; and he scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel drink it.”
“וַיְהִי, כַּאֲשֶׁר קָרַב אֶל-הַמַּחֲנֶה, וַיַּרְא אֶת-הָעֵגֶל, וּמְחֹלֹת”
“So it was, as soon as he came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing.”
The verse doesn’t mention the Altar because Moses saw the evildoers and their actions. Aaron dedicated the Altar to YHVH with a pure heart and that saved himself from the harsh judgment that inflicted upon the people. As we explained above, his sons carried the judgment for his faults.
The Golden Calf is a symbol of the dependency on the material world. The Erev Rav were desperate when they didn’t see Moses back from the mountain with new ‘magic’ tools that they experience in Egypt.
They went immediately to create their own ‘god’ made out of gold, a material that expresses the Left and desire. As with every material, its state is temporary and can be broken down and disappear into dust.
The world is experiencing nowadays a fight against an evil Coronavirus that disrupts every aspect of our lives. Rich and poor people, celebrities, politicians or forgotten homeless in a dark alley, may all be affected equally by this virus.
The lack of faith in YHVH rush people to embrace their ‘gold’ by accumulating food at home and sell their investment in stocks etc.
If a person gets sick and on his deathbed, he realizes that all his ‘gold’ doesn’t worth another moment of life.
Those with faith know that elevated life begins for them at the time of death.
We are closer to the month of Nisan and the holiday of Passover when we can achieve true freedom. Nisan begins the year for calculation of tithing. It is most advisable to calculate the yearly tithe and share the balance of your tithe among those channels of Light that benefit our souls and help us grow our spiritual vessel.
The month of Nisan as the first month of the year starts a new cycle of Life and when we start it without debts we are free from slavery to the Golden Calf of this world.
This is pure spiritual teaching and not a direct solicitation to give to the Daily Zohar. Obviously the DZ project would appreciate the support and do more but the key is to give and be free because when we give from our ‘gold’ we transform the ‘vacant’ space with pure light that benefits and protects us when we need it the most in our lives.
A story that I heard recently from Rabbi Y. Yosef Pinto.
There was a rich man that gave to charities and even helped in building a big Yeshiva for Torah studies. He also supported the students until one day he lost all his fortune. He used to come and sit outside the Yeshiva and listen to the students discussing Torah studies. One time a student asked the man; “Don’t you have regrets giving us this building, you would have left with a lot of money”.
The man answered “Are you kidding? I don’t have even a small regret. This building is all I have left!”
We learn that the good deeds we do are the ‘investment’ that we can never lose and it always giving, even beyond life in this world.
Make a list of those who benefit you and start investing for unlimited ROI (return on investment). Do that before Rosh Chodesh Nisan (This year is on March 25th, 2020).