This week’s Portion, Ki Tisa (“When You Number”) continues God’s instructions concerning the construction of the Tabernacle. All men, 20 years and older must give an offering of a half-shekel; “a ransom for his soul.” This silver was then melted down and re-cast into the sockets upon which the Tabernacle and Veil rested. The ransom (atonement) offering became the foundation of the entire Tabernacle!
We are given the instructions for making the Brazen Laver, located between the Alter of Sacrifice and the Tabernacle. Before entering the Tabernacle, you must be cleansed on the inside (with the Sin Offering) and then cleansed on the outside by literally washing in the Laver. The instructions continue with the ingredients for the Anointing Oil and the Incense.
We then see the low point of the Exodus in the Golden Calf episode. During Moses’ 40-day absence while on Mt Sinai, the people rebelled and made for themselves idols and images of the Egyptian calf-god. Moses was so angry that he broke the two tables of the Moral Law; he burned the golden calf idol, ground it to powder, scattered the dust upon the water and made the people to drink it. This is the exact procedure to test and adulterous woman, found in Numbers 5:18-24.
Moses ascends Mt Sinai again to plead for Israel, and God agrees not to kill them all; it is believed Moses ascended Elul 1 and returned 40 days later on Tishri 10 – Yom Kippur. But because of their sin, God will send His Angel to lead them.