Ki Tisa: Wikis


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Ki Tisa, Ki Tissa, Ki Thissa, or Ki Sisa (כי תשא — Hebrew for "when you take,” the sixth and seventh words, and first distinctive words in the parshah) is the 21st weekly Torah portion (parshah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the ninth in the Book of Exodus. It constitutes Exodus 30:11–34:35. Jews in the Diaspora read it the 21st Sabbath after Simchat Torah, generally in late February or March.

Jews also read the first part of the parshah, Exodus 30:11–16, regarding the half-shekel head tax, as the maftir Torah reading on the special Sabbath Shabbat Shekalim (February 20, 2009 (read with parshah Mishpatim); February 12, 2010 (read with parshah Mishpatim); March 4, 2011 (read with parshah Pekudei); February 17, 2012 (read with parshah Mishpatim); February 9, 2013 (read with parshah Mishpatim); and March 1, 2014 (read with parshah Pekudei)). Jews also read parts of the parshah, Exodus 32:11–14 and 34:1–10 as the Torah readings on the Fast of Gedaliah and the Tenth of Tevet. And Jews read another part of the parshah, Exodus 33:12–34:26, as the initial Torah reading on a Sabbath that falls on one of the intermediate days (Chol HaMoed) of Passover or Sukkot.

“The Adoration of the Golden Calf” (painting by Nicolas Poussin)




Building the Holy Place

God instructed Moses that when he took a census of the Israelites, each person 20 years old or older, regardless of wealth, should give a half-shekel offering. (Ex. 30:11–15.) God told Moses to assign the proceeds to the service of the Tent of Meeting. (Ex. 30:16.)

God told Moses to place a copper laver between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, so that Aaron and the priests could wash their hands and feet in water when they entered the Tent of Meeting or approached the altar to burn a sacrifice, so that they would not die. (Ex. 30:17–22.)

Moses Receives the Tablets of the Law (painting by João Zeferino da Costa)

God directed Moses to make a sacred anointing oil from choice spicesmyrrh, cinnamon, cassia — and olive oil. (Ex. 30:22–25.) God told Moses to use it to anoint the Tent of Meeting, the furnishings of the Tabernacle, and the priests. (Ex. 30:26–30.) God told Moses to warn the Israelites not to copy the sacred anointing oil’s recipe for lay purposes, at pain of exile. (Ex. 30:31–33.)

God directed Moses make sacred incense from herbs — stacte, onycha, galbanum, and frankincense — to burn in the Tent of Meeting. (Ex. 30:34–36.) As with the anointing oil, God warned against making incense from the same recipe for lay purposes. (Ex. 30:37.)

God informed Moses that God had endowed Bezalel of the Tribe of Judah with divine skill in every kind of craft. (Ex. 31:1–5.) God assigned to him Oholiab of the Tribe of Dan and granted skill to all who are skillful, that they might make the furnishings of the Tabernacle, the priests’ vestments, the anointing oil, and the incense. (Ex. 31:6–11.) God told Moses to admonish the Israelites nevertheless to keep the Shabbat (Sabbath), on pain of death. (Ex. 31:12–17.) Then God gave Moses two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God. (Ex. 31:18.)

Moses Cast Down the Tablets of the Law (painting by Domenico Beccafumi)

The Golden Calf

Meanwhile, the people became impatient for Moses’ return, and implored Aaron to make them a god. (Ex. 32:1.) Aaron told them to bring him their gold earrings, and he cast them in a mold and made a molten golden calf. (Ex. 32:2–4.) They exclaimed, “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!” (Ex. 32:4.) Aaron built an altar before the calf, and announced a festival of the Lord. (Ex. 32:5.) The people offered sacrifices, ate, drank, and danced. (Ex. 32:6.)

God told Moses what the people had done, saying “let Me be, that My anger may blaze forth against them and that I may destroy them, and make of you a great nation.” (Ex. 32:7–10.) But Moses implored God not to do so, lest the Egyptians say that God delivered the people only to kill them off in the mountains. (Ex. 32:11–12.) Moses called on God to remember Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and God’s oath to make their offspring as numerous as the stars, and God renounced the planned punishment. (Ex. 32:13–14.)

Moses went down the mountain bearing the two tablets. (Ex. 32:15–16.) Joshua told Moses, “There is a cry of war in the camp,” but Moses answered, “It is the sound of song that I hear!” (Ex. 32:17–18.)

Moses with the Tablets of the Law (painting by Rembrandt)

When Moses saw the calf and the dancing, he became enraged and shattered the tablets at the foot of the mountain. (Ex. 32:19.) He burned the calf, ground it to powder, strewed it upon the water, and made the Israelites drink it. (Ex. 32:20.) When Moses asked Aaron how he committed such a great sin, Aaron replied that the people asked him to make a god, so he hurled their gold into the fire, “and out came this calf!” (Ex. 32:21–24.) Seeing that Aaron had let the people get out of control, Moses stood in the camp gate and called, “Whoever is for the Lord, come here!” (Ex. 32:25–26.) All the Levites rallied to Moses, and at his instruction killed 3,000 people, including brother, neighbor, and kin. (Ex. 32:27–29.)

Moses went back to God and asked for God either to forgive the Israelites or kill Moses too, but God insisted on punishing only the sinners, which God did by means of a plague. (Ex. 32:31–35.)

God’s Nature Revealed

Then God dispatched Moses and the people to the Promised Land, but God decided not to go in their midst, for fear of destroying them on the way. (Ex. 33:1–3.) Upon hearing this, the Israelites went into mourning. (Ex. 33:4.) Now Moses would pitch the Tent of Meeting outside the camp, and Moses would enter to speak to God, face to face. (Ex. 33:7–11.) Moses asked God whom God would send with Moses to lead the people. (Ex. 33:12.) Moses further asked God to let him know God’s ways, that Moses might know God and continue in God’s favor. (Ex. 33:13.) And God agreed to lead the Israelites. (Ex. 33:14.) Moses asked God not to make the Israelites move unless God were to go in the lead, and God agreed. (Ex. 33:15–17.) Moses asked God to let him behold God’s Presence. (Ex. 33:18.) God agreed to make all God’s goodness pass before Moses and to proclaim God’s name and nature, but God explained that no human could see God’s face and live. (Ex. 33:19–20.) God instructed Moses to station himself on a rock, where God would cover him with God’s hand until God had passed, at which point Moses could see God’s back. (Ex. 33:21–23.)

Moses with Radiant Face (painting by José de Ribera)

God directed Moses to carve two stone tablets like the ones that Moses shattered, so that God might inscribe upon them the words that were on the first tablets, and Moses did so. (Ex. 34:1–4.) God came down in a cloud and proclaimed: “The Lord! The Lord! A God compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and faithfulness, extending kindness to the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; yet He does not remit all punishment, but visits the iniquity of parents upon children and children’s children, upon the third and fourth generations.” (Ex. 34:5–7.)

Moses bowed low and asked God to accompany the people in their midst, to pardon the people’s iniquity, and to take them for God’s own. (Ex. 34:8–9.) God replied by making a covenant to work unprecedented wonders and to drive out the peoples of the Promised Land. (Ex. 34:10–11.) God warned Moses against making a covenant with them, lest they become a snare and induce the Israelites’ children to lust after their gods. (Ex. 34:12–16.)

God commanded that the Israelites not make molten gods, that they consecrate or redeem every first-born, that they observe the Sabbath, that they observe the three pilgrim festivals, that they not offer sacrifices with anything leavened, that they not leave the Passover lamb lying until morning, that they bring choice first fruits to the house of the Lord, and that they not boil a kid in its mother’s milk. (Ex. 34:17–26.)

Moses Became Radiant

Moses stayed with God 40 days and 40 nights, ate no bread, drank no water, and wrote down on the tablets the terms of the covenant. (Ex. 34:28.) As Moses came down from the mountain bearing the two tablets, the skin of his face was radiant, and the Israelites shrank from him. (Ex. 34:29–30.) Moses called them near and instructed them concerning all that God had commanded. (Ex. 34:31–32.) When Moses finished speaking, he put a veil over his face. (Ex. 34:33.) Whenever Moses spoke with God, Moses would take his veil off. (Ex. 34:34.) And when he came out, he would tell the Israelites what he had been commanded, and then Moses would then put the veil back over his face again. (Ex. 34:34–35.)

In classical rabbinic interpretation

Exodus chapter 30

Rabbi Abbahu taught that Moses asked God how Israel would be exalted, and God replied in the words of Exodus 30:12 (about collecting the half-shekel tax), “When you raise them up,” teaching that collecting contributions from the people elevates them. (Babylonian Talmud Bava Batra 10b.) The first four chapters of Tractate Shekalim in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Talmud interpreted the law of the half-shekel head tax commanded by Exodus 30:13–16. (Mishnah Shekalim 1:1–4:9; Tosefta Shekalim 1:1–3:1; Babylonian Talmud Shekalim 2a–13a.)

The Worship of the Golden Calf (painting by Tintoretto)

Exodus chapter 32

A Baraita taught that because of God’s displeasure with the Israelites, the north wind did not blow on them in any of the 40 years during which they wandered in the wilderness. Rashi attributed God’s displeasure to the golden calf, although the Tosafot attributed it to the incident of the spies in Numbers 13. (Babylonian Talmud Yevamot 72a.)

Raba employed Numbers 30:3 to interpret Exodus 32:11, which says: “And Moses besought (va-yechal) the Lord his God” in connection with the incident of the golden calf. Raba noted that Exodus 32:11 uses the term “besought” (va-yechal), while Numbers 30:3 uses the similar term “break” (yachel) in connection with vows. Transferring the use of Numbers 30:3 to Exodus 32:11, Raba reasoned that Exodus 32:11 meant that Moses stood in prayer before God until Moses annulled for God God’s vow to destroy Israel, for a master had taught that while people cannot break their vows, others may annul their vows for them. (Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 32a.) Similarly, Rabbi Berekiah taught in the name of Rabbi Helbo in the name of Rabbi Isaac that Moses absolved God of God’s vow. When the Israelites made the golden calf, Moses began to persuade God to forgive them, but God explained to Moses that God had already taken an oath in Exodus 22:19 that “he who sacrifices to the gods . . . shall be utterly destroyed,” and God could not retract an oath. Moses responded by asking whether God had not granted Moses the power to annul oaths in Numbers 30:3 by saying, “When a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word,” implying that while he himself could not break his word, a scholar could absolve his vow. So Moses wrapped himself in his cloak and adopted the posture of a sage, and God stood before Moses as one asking for the annulment of a vow. (Exodus Rabbah 43:4.)

Moses Smashing the Tables of the Law (illustration by Gustave Doré)

The Gemara deduced from the example of Moses in Exodus 32:11. that one should seek an interceding frame of mind before praying. Rav Huna and Rav Hisda were discussing how long to wait between recitations of the Amidah if one erred in the first reciting and needed to repeat the prayer. One said: long enough for the person praying to fall into a suppliant frame of mind, citing the words “And I supplicated the Lord” in Deuteronomy 3:23. The other said: long enough to fall into an interceding frame of mind, citing the words “And Moses interceded” in Exodus 32:11. (Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 30b.)

Interpreting Exodus 32:15 on the “tablets that were written on both their sides,” Rav Chisda said that the writing of the tablets was cut completely through the tablets, so that it could be read from either side. Thus the letters mem and samekh, which each form a complete polygon, left some of the stone tablets in the middle of those letters standing in the air where they were held stable only by a miracle. (Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 104a.)

A Baraita taught that when Moses broke the tablets in Exodus 32:19, it was one of three actions that Moses took based on his own understanding with which God then agreed. The Gemara explained that Moses reasoned that if the Passover lamb, which was just one of the 613 commandments, was prohibited by Exodus 12:43 to aliens, then certainly the whole Torah should be prohibited to the Israelites, who had acted as apostates with the golden calf. The Gemara deduced God’s approval from God’s mention of Moses’ breaking the tablets in Exodus 34:1. Resh Lakish interpreted this to mean that God gave Moses strength because he broke the tablets. (Babylonian Talmud Shabbat 87a.)

Reading the report of Exodus 32:20 that Moses “took the calf . . . ground it to powder, and sprinkled it on the water, and made the children of Israel drink it,” the Sages interpreted that Moses meant to test the Israelites much as the procedure of Numbers 5:11–31 tested a wife accused of adultery (sotah). (Babylonian Talmud Avodah Zarah 44a.)

The Rabbis taught that through the word “this,” Aaron became degraded, as it is said in Exodus 32:22–24, “And Aaron said: ‘. . . I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf,’” and through the word “this,” Aaron was also elevated, as it is said in Leviticus 6:13,This is the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer to the Lord on the day when he is anointed” to become High Priest. (Leviticus Rabbah 8:1.)

Exodus chapter 33

The Gemara reported a number of Rabbis’ reports of how the Land of Israel did indeed flow with “milk and honey,” as described in Exodus 3:8 and 17, 13:5, and 33:3, Leviticus 20:24, Numbers 13:27 and 14:8, and Deuteronomy 6:3, 11:9, 26:9 and 15, 27:3, and 31:20. Once when Rami bar Ezekiel visited Bnei Brak, he saw goats grazing under fig trees while honey was flowing from the figs, and milk dripped from the goats mingling with the fig honey, causing him to remark that it was indeed a land flowing with milk and honey. Rabbi Jacob ben Dostai said that it is about three miles from Lod to Ono, and once he rose up early in the morning and waded all that way up to his ankles in fig honey. Resh Lakish said that he saw the flow of the milk and honey of Sepphoris extend over an area of sixteen miles by sixteen miles. Rabbah bar Bar Hana said that he saw the flow of the milk and honey in all the Land of Israel and the total area was equal to an area of twenty-two parasangs by six parasangs. (Babylonian Talmud Ketubot 111b–12a.)

A Baraita taught in the name of Rabbi Joshua ben Korhah that God told Moses that when God wanted to be seen at the burning bush, Moses did not want to see God’s face; Moses hid his face in Exodus 3:6, for he was afraid to look upon God. And then in Exodus 33:18, when Moses wanted to see God, God did not want to be seen; in Exodus 33:20, God said, “You cannot see My face.” But Rabbi Samuel bar Nahmani said in the name of Rabbi Jonathan that in compensation for three pious acts that Moses did at the burning bush, he was privileged to obtain three rewards. In reward for hiding his face in Exodus 3:6, his face shone in Exodus 34:29. In reward his fear of God in Exodus 3:6, the Israelites were afraid to come near him in Exodus 34:30. In reward for his reticence “to look upon God,” he beheld the similitude of God in Numbers 12:8. (Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 7a.)

Exodus chapter 34

The Mishnah interpreted Exodus 34:20 to allow money in exchange for redemption of a first-born son to be given to any priest (kohen). (Mishnah Challah 4:9.)

Rabbi Akiva interpreted Exodus 34:21 to prohibit plowing prior to the Sabbatical year (Shmita) that would reap benefits in the Sabbatical year and to prohibit reaping in the year after the Sabbatical year produce that grew in the Sabbatical year. Rabbi Ishamel argued, however, that Exodus 34:21 applied to the Sabbath, and limited its prohibition to plowing and reaping not elsewhere required by commandment. (Mishnah Sheviit 1:4.)

Tractate Sukkah in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of Sukkot in Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Leviticus 23:33–43; Numbers 29:12–34; and Deuteronomy 16:13–17; 31:10–13. (Mishnah Sukkah 1:1–5:8; Tosefta Sukkah 1:1–4:28; Jerusalem Talmud Sukkah 1a–33b; Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 2a–56b.)

Tractate Pesachim in the Mishnah, Tosefta, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud interpreted the laws of the Passover in Exodus 12:3–27, 43–49; 13:6–10; 34:25; Leviticus 23:4–8; Numbers 9:1–14; 28:16-25; and Deuteronomy 16:1–8. (Mishnah Pesachim 1:1–10:9; Tosefta Pisha 1:1–10:13; Jerusalem Talmud Pesachim 1a–; Babylonian Talmud Pesachim 2a–121b.)


According to Sefer ha-Chinuch, there are 4 positive and 5 negative commandments in the parshah:

  • To give a half shekel annually (Ex. 30:13.)
  • A Kohen must wash his hands and feet before service. (Ex. 30:19.)
  • To prepare the anointing oil (Ex. 30:31.)
  • Not to anoint with anointing oil (Ex. 30:32.)
  • Not to reproduce the anointing oil (Ex. 30:32.)
  • Not to reproduce the incense formula (Ex. 30:37.)
  • Not to eat or drink anything from an offering to an idol (Ex. 34:12–15.)
  • To let the land lie fallow in the Sabbatical year (Ex. 34:21.)
  • Not to cook meat and milk together (Ex. 34:26.)

(See Sefer HaHinnuch: The Book of [Mitzvah] Education. Translated by Charles Wengrov, 1:397–431. Jerusalem: Feldheim Pub., 1991. ISBN 0-87306-179-9.)

Maimonides, however, attributed to this parshah only the following 4 positive and 3 negative commandments:

  • To give a half shekel annually (Ex. 30:13.)
  • A Kohen must wash his hands and feet before service. (Ex. 30:19.)
  • To prepare the anointing oil (Ex. 30:31.)
  • Not to reproduce the anointing oil (Ex. 30:32.)
  • Not to anoint with anointing oil (Ex. 30:32.)
  • Not to reproduce the incense formula (Ex. 30:37.)
  • To let the land lie fallow in the Sabbatical year (Ex. 34:21.)

(See Maimonides. The Commandments: Sefer Ha-Mitzvoth of Maimonides. Translated by Charles B. Chavel, 1:33–34, 45, 143, 180–81; 2:82–84, 182–83. London: Soncino Press, 1967. ISBN 0-900689-71-4.)


The haftarah for the parshah is:

Ezekiel (painting by Michelangelo)

Both the parshah and the haftarah in First Kings describe God’s prophet confronting idolatry to restore worship of God, the parshah in Moses’ anger at the golden calf (Ex. 32:1–35), and the haftarah in the prophet Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. (1Kings 18:20–39.) In both the parshah and the haftarah, the prophet was on a mountain (Ex. 32:1,15; 1Kings 18:19–20); the prophet invoked the names of Abraham and Isaac in prayer to God (Ex. 32:13; 1Kings 18:36); sound (kol) is observed (Ex. 32:18; 1Kings 18:26); the prophet called on the Israelites to choose between God and the false god (Ex. 32:26; 1Kings 18:21); and God manifested God’s choice (Ex. 32:35; 1Kings 18:38).

On Shabbat Parah

When the parshah coincides with Shabbat Parah (the special Sabbath prior to Passover — as it does in 2009, 2010, 2013, and 2017), the haftarah is Ezekiel 36:16–38. On Shabbat Parah, the Sabbath of the red heifer, Jews read Numbers 19:1–22, which describes the rites of purification using the red heifer (parah adumah). Similarly, the haftarah in Ezekiel also describes purification. In both the special reading and the haftarah in Ezekiel, sprinkled water cleansed the Israelites. (Num. 19:18; Ezek. 36:25.)

In the liturgy

The second blessing before the Shema addresses God about “your people” Israel, as Moses does in Exodus 32:11–12. (Reuven Hammer. Or Hadash: A Commentary on Siddur Sim Shalom for Shabbat and Festivals, 29. New York: The Rabbinical Assembly, 2003. ISBN 0-916219-20-8.)

God’s characteristics of graciousness and compassion in Exodus 34:6 are reflected in Psalm 145:8 and in turn in the Ashrei prayer in the morning Shacharit and afternoon Mincha prayer services. Similarly, Jews call on God’s characteristic of forgiveness in Exodus 34:6 with the words “forgive us, our Guide” in the weekday Amidah prayer in each of the three prayer services. And again, Jews cite God’s characteristic of “steadfast lovingkindness (rav chesed)” in Exodus 34:6 in the Kedushah D’Sidra section of the Minchah service for Shabbat. (Hammer, at 1, 4, 228.)

The Weekly Maqam

In the Weekly Maqam, Sephardi Jews each week base the songs of the services on the content of that week's parshah. For Parshah Ki Tisa, Sephardi Jews apply Maqam Hijaz, the maqam that expresses mourning and sorrow. This is appropriate, because it is the parshah that contains the episode of the golden calf, a sad and embarrassing episode in the history of the Israelite people.

Further reading

The parshah has parallels or is discussed in these sources:



Early nonrabbinic

Classical rabbinic

  • Mishnah: Sheviit 1:1–4; Challah 4:9; Pesachim 1:1–10:9; Shekalim 1:1–4:9; Sukkah 1:1–5:8; Megillah 3:4, 4:10; Avot 5:6; Zevachim 9:7; Menachot 9:2; Chullin 8:4; Bekhorot 1:1–7; Keritot 1:1–2. Land of Israel, circa 200 C.E. Reprinted in, e.g., The Mishnah: A New Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner, 69, 157, 229–58, 279–91, 321, 324, 686, 721, 751, 781, 788–89, 836. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-300-05022-4.
  • Tosefta: Challah 2:9; Shabbat 15:16; Pisha (Pesachim) 1:1–10:13; Shekalim 1:1–3:1; Kippurim (Yoma) 1:18, 2:1, 4:9, 13–14; Sukkah 1:1–4:28; Megillah 3:1, 36; Sotah 3:10, 6:6, 11; Bava Kamma 7:4; Sanhedrin 4:9, 13:3; Avodah Zarah 3:19, 4:6; Menachot 1:12, 7:1; Parah 4:4. Land of Israel, circa 300 C.E. Reprinted in, e.g., The Tosefta: Translated from the Hebrew, with a New Introduction. Translated by Jacob Neusner, 1:339, 418, 471–533, 546, 548, 564–84, 644, 652, 841, 856, 860; 2:986–87, 1160, 1182, 1189, 1273, 1276, 1409, 1433, 1754. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Pub., 2002. ISBN 1-56563-642-2.
  • Mekhilta According to Rabbi Ishmael 81:1. Land of Israel, late 4th Century. Reprinted in, e.g., Mekhilta According to Rabbi Ishmael. Translated by Jacob Neusner, vol. 2, 251–57. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988. ISBN 1-55540-237-2.
  • Jerusalem Talmud: Peah 3a, 8a, 10a, 22b, 31b; Sheviit 1a, 4a; Bikkurim 1a, 23a; Pesachim 1a–; Sukkah 1a–33b. Land of Israel, circa 400 C.E. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Yerushalmi. Edited by Chaim Malinowitz, Yisroel Simcha Schorr, and Mordechai Marcus, vols. 3, 6a, 12, 22. Brooklyn: Mesorah Pubs., 2006–2009.
  • Babylonian Talmud: Berakhot 7a–b, 10b, 30b, 32a–b, 55a, 62b, 63b; Shabbat 10b, 30a, 33a, 69b–70a, 86a, 87a, 89a, 119b, 132a; Eruvin 22a, 54a, 96a; Pesachim 2a–121b; Shekalim 2a–22b; Yoma 3b, 22a, 28a, 32b, 36b–37a, 43b, 45a, 66b, 85b–86b; Sukkah 2a–56b; Beitzah 13b, 16a; Rosh Hashanah 9a, 16b, 17b; Taanit 8a, 21b, 27b, 28b; Megillah 6b, 10b, 15a–b, 19b, 25a–b, 29b–30a, 31a; Moed Katan 3b–4a, 9a, 15a, 16b, 18b; Chagigah 6b, 11b, 12b, 16a; Yevamot 6b–7a, 49b, 62a, 72a; Ketubot 30a, 31a, 34a, 106a; Nedarim 10b, 32a, 33a, 38a; Nazir 47a; Sotah 13b–14a; Gittin 60b; Kiddushin 17a, 29a–b, 33b; Bava Kamma 34b, 50a, 55a, 71a, 92a, 112a, 119a; Bava Batra 10b, 15a–b, 75a; Sanhedrin 7a, 13a, 27b, 35b, 38b, 56b, 60b, 63a, 74a, 78b, 83b, 102a, 108a, 110a, 111a; Makkot 8b, 11a, 12a, 13a, 14b, 23a–24a; Shevuot 10b, 15a, 39a; Avodah Zarah 8a, 10b, 44a, 53b; Horayot 4a–b, 6b, 11b; Zevachim 15b, 18a, 19b, 21a, 112b; Menachot 5b–6a, 21b, 35b, 36b, 53b, 72a, 84b, 87b–88a, 89a, 99b, 101b; Chullin 62b, 106b, 114a, 115a, 139b; Bekhorot 3a, 6a, 50a, 51b; Arakhin 4a, 15b, 16b; Temurah 14b, 16a; Keritot 2a, 3a, 5a–6b; Meilah 19a; Niddah 40a, 41a. Babylonia, 6th Century. Reprinted in, e.g., Talmud Bavli. Edited by Yisroel Simcha Schorr, Chaim Malinowitz, and Mordechai Marcus, 72 vols. Brooklyn: Mesorah Pubs., 2006.


  • Exodus Rabbah 39:1–47:9. 10th Century. Reprinted in, e.g., Midrash Rabbah: Exodus. Translated by S. M. Lehrman, 3:458–545. London: Soncino Press, 1939. ISBN 0-900689-38-2.
  • Solomon ibn Gabirol. A Crown for the King, 26:322–23. Spain, 11th Century. Translated by David R. Slavitt, 42–43. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-19-511962-2.
  • Rashi. Commentary. Exodus 30–34. Troyes, France, late 11th Century. Reprinted in, e.g., Rashi. The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary Translated, Annotated, and Elucidated. Translated and annotated by Yisrael Isser Zvi Herczeg, vol. 2, 423–86. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1994. ISBN 0-89906-027-7.
  • Judah Halevi. Kuzari. 1:97; 2:2, 26, 80; 4:3, 15. Toledo, Spain, 1130–1140. Reprinted in, e.g., Jehuda Halevi. Kuzari: An Argument for the Faith of Israel. Intro. by Henry Slonimsky, 68–69, 83, 105, 132, 211, 221–22. New York: Schocken, 1964. ISBN 0-8052-0075-4.


  • Jacob Milgrom. “‘You Shall Not Boil a Kid in Its Mother’s Milk’: An archaeological myth destroyed.” Bible Review. 1 (3) (Fall 1985): 48–55.
  • Aaron Wildavsky. Assimilation versus Separation: Joseph the Administrator and the Politics of Religion in Biblical Israel, 3–4. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1993. ISBN 1-56000-081-3.
  • Marc Gellman. “Gluing the Broken Commandments Back Together.” In God’s Mailbox: More Stories About Stories in the Bible, 68–72. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1996. ISBN 0-688-13169-7.
  • Baruch J. Schwartz. “What Really Happened at Mount Sinai? Four biblical answers to one question.” Bible Review. 13 (5) (Oct. 1997).
  • Katharine Doob Sakenfeld. The Meaning of Hesed in the Hebrew Bible: A New Inquiry. Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2002. ISBN 1579109276.
  • Jack M. Sasson. “Should Cheeseburgers Be Kosher? A Different Interpretation of Five Hebrew Words.” Bible Review 19 (6) (Dec. 2003): 40–43, 50–51.
  • Gloria London. “Why Milk and Meat Don’t Mix: A New Explanation for a Puzzling Kosher Law.” Biblical Archaeology Review. 34 (6) (Nov./Dec. 2008): 66–69.

External links


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