Pekudei: Chapter 34

The dross of gold


Rabbi Yehuda wonders why Yisrael chose a calf to make from the gold and not something else, and he wonders who chose it as an image for Elohim. Rabbi Shimon tells how the chieftain who is in charge of the strength of the sun looks like a calf and it is the sun that generates the red gold on earth. He says that red is the spirit of unholiness, and it is also the evil serpent that Samael rides on. He draws a distinction between 'this', referring to the Holy Spirit, and 'these', referring to the spirit of unholiness, 'this' and 'these' being found in many verses of the Torah.