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Judaism: Exodus 32
#1
Do any of you here believe Aaron was punished for making the golden calf?

Thanks.
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#2
I don't know that he specifically was punished. That whole part of the bible is filled with emotions. Anger seems to be at the forefront.

If we see the story as a metaphor for life. It is a repeated story. It happens all the time. As a people we are warned to not take the easy path. We should keep to what we know is true, and not substitute or compromise our values. Staying the course takes patients. That's just one way of looking at it.

I always wondered why a calf ? Why not a horse, sheep, or person.
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#3
(01-09-2019, 06:15 PM)George wrote: Do any of you here believe Aaron was punished for making the golden calf?

Thanks.

That depends upon whether you believe not living to enter Canaan should be considered punishment.
בקש שלום ורדפהו
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#4
(01-10-2019, 12:06 AM)Baruch wrote: I always wondered why a calf ? Why not a horse, sheep, or person.

There are a number of explanations, some midrashic, none of which are definitive.
בקש שלום ורדפהו
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#5
(01-10-2019, 12:06 AM)Baruch wrote: I don't know that he specifically was punished. That whole part of the bible is filled with emotions. Anger seems to be at the forefront.

If we see the story as a metaphor for life. It is a repeated story. It happens all the time. As a people we are warned to not take the easy path. We should keep to what we know is true, and not substitute or compromise our values. Staying the course takes patients. That's just one way of looking at it.

I always wondered why a calf ? Why not a horse, sheep, or person.

It could be because that was the first animal they saw, but how do we explain the golden calf in other Scriptures?  1 Kings 12: 28-30 and Hosea 8:4-6, but maybe they were just copying Aaaon?

(01-10-2019, 03:02 AM)RabbiO wrote:
(01-09-2019, 06:15 PM)George wrote: Do any of you here believe Aaron was punished for making the golden calf?

Thanks.

That depends upon whether you believe not living to enter Canaan should be considered punishment.

And Aaron lost two sons.
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#6
(01-10-2019, 12:06 AM)Baruch wrote: I don't know that he specifically was punished. That whole part of the bible is filled with emotions. Anger seems to be at the forefront.

If we see the story as a metaphor for life. It is a repeated story. It happens all the time. As a people we are warned to not take the easy path. We should keep to what we know is true, and not substitute or compromise our values. Staying the course takes patients. That's just one way of looking at it.

I always wondered why a calf ? Why not a horse, sheep, or person.

(01-10-2019, 03:02 AM)RabbiO wrote:
(01-09-2019, 06:15 PM)George wrote: Do any of you here believe Aaron was punished for making the golden calf?

Thanks.

That depends upon whether you believe not living to enter Canaan should be considered punishment.

Isn't it possible that Aaron was not punished because he repented?

 Exodus 32:26 says, “Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, ‘Who is on the LORD's side? Come to me.’ And all the sons of Levi gathered around him.” As a son of Levi, Aaron was one of those who repented, and God forgave. 
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#7
(01-10-2019, 12:06 AM)Baruch wrote: I always wondered why a calf ? Why not a horse, sheep, or person.

I wonder whether the Egyptian worship of cattle might have had something to do with that choice of a calf?  I have Richard Friedman's book The Exodus, but couldn't find a reason in there regarding the choice of a calf. 
 
I was excited this morning to discover that a Kindle edition of Richard Friedman's book Who Wrote the Bible is finally being released on January 15th, and I've already put in my pre-order.  I really love books on Kindle, because it's so much easier to electronically search on a specific word within the book, then it is to use the hard copy's index.  Plus, not everything is indexed in the hard copy.
Heart !לחיים

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#8
This is a very good article about why the calf. It is not specific to Exodus, but still a good short read about it.

" Calves appear dozens of times in the Bible. We frequently find calves in lists of sacrificed animals, for example as part of the ceremonial inauguration of Aaron as priest:

On the eighth day Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel; and he said to Aaron, “Take a bull calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, both without blemish, and offer them before the Lord…” (Leviticus 9:1-2) "

Link Here: https://blog.israelbiblicalstudies.com/h...lden-calf/
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#9
Thanks for that link, Baruch!
 
As a follow-up to my previous post...  I received my Kindle download of Richard Friedman's Who Wrote the Bible? this morning, and immediately did a search on the word "calf."  Friedman asks in the introduction to his book the same question you did, Baruch, regarding "why a calf"?
 
Richard Friedman wrote:What was happening in this writer's world that would make him tell a story in which his own people commit heresy only forty days after hearing God speak from the sky?  Why did he picture a golden calf, and not a bronze sheep, a silver snake, or anything else?  Why did he picture Aaron, traditionally the first high priest of Israel, as a leader of a heresy?
 
There's an entire section on the Golden Calf in Chapter 3: "Two Writers, Two Kingdoms."  Richard Friedman brings up the Jeroboam connection that was mentioned in that blog entry you linked to, Baruch, but Friedman goes into much more depth than the blogger did.  Apparently, there were politics mixed in with religion, which led the "E writer" (from Israel, as opposed to the "J writer" from Judah) to focus on a calf rather than any other particular animal or symbol. 
 
Friedman's conclusions are pretty intriguing, regardless of whether other scholars agree with him.  I remember when some of us were discussing his book, The Exodus, in the old forum.  I think I'm more into Who Write the Bible? than I was into The Exodus.
Heart !לחיים

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#10
Not trying to derail the thread. I have Richard Friedman's book Torah and Commentary. Just recently finished a second reading. It's a great book. He does not specifically give reason as to the calf. But he does offer a great deal of alternative interpretations. I'm still a die hard Rashi fan when it comes to commentary.

Here: https://www.amazon.com/Commentary-Torah-...0060507179
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