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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Ki Tisa

Seeing the light

Even if a person sins, even if it's one of the worst sins, being close to a prophet affects him. Although there was the sin of the golden calf, when there is communication between Moses and the nation, they can still learn from him without being afraid of the light shining from his face.
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As told in the Torah portion "Ki Tisa", the uplifting event at Mount Sinai of receiving the Torah ends in the sin of the golden calf. This sin led to a number of decrees on the people of Israel. The end of the reading describes the second time the Israel received the Tablets of the Covenant. After forty days and forty nights during which Moses was on Mount Sinai, he comes down with a light beam shining from his face. All the people saw his illuminate face and were afraid to approach him. "And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face sent forth beams; and they were afraid to come nigh him".
The Zohar emphasizes the difference in the people of Israel before and after the sin of the golden calf. Before the sin, they reached a high degree of prophecy and at the Red Sea saw the revelation of G-d. In "Az Yashir", the Song after the splitting of the sea, it says "this is my G-d, and I will glorify Him", as if pointing at G-d. However, after the sin, they were afraid to look even at Moses face.
In spite of the low spiritual level of the nation after the sin, we can yet learn from the verses about their virtue. Moses covered his face, but if one pays attention to the verses, his face was not covered when he spoke to the nation:

"And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him; and Moses spoke to them. And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh, and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai. And when Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. But when Moses went in before the LORD that He might speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out; and he came out; and spoke unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded."

Although the people were afraid at first to go to Moses, after he called them, they come up to him and learnt from him the Torah even when they saw the light radiating from him.
Anyone who is close to a prophet or a tzadik, a righteous person, is affected. Even if a person sins, even if it's one of the worst sins, being close to a prophet affects him. So writes Rabbi Yehuda Halevi in his book, the Kuzari. During the times of prophecy, the great virtue of prophecy wasn't only for the prophets. All who heard their words were raised!
Although there was the sin of the golden calf, when there is communication between Moses and the nation, they can still learn from him without being afraid of the light.
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