Shabbat Parashat Ki Tisa | 5770
Parashat Hashavuah: Seeing the Face of the KingHarav Yosef Carmel
One of the results of the sin of the Golden Calf was hester panim (the hiding of Hashem’s “face”). While Moshe begged that Hashem’s face go along with the nation, Hashem said that His face cannot be seen (see Shemot 33: 15, 20, 23). A parallel idea of a hidden face, this time, a human one, is found in the parasha regarding Moshe’s wearing of a cover on his face when dealing with the people, a cover he removed only when interacting with Hashem (ibid. 34: 30-35).
The covering of the face is also a theme in the recently read Megillat Esther. There were seven important officers who were described as “those who would see the king’s face” (Esther 1: 9, 14). One of the keys to the Jews’ success in the Purim story is Mordechai’s uncovering of the plot of Bigtan and Teresh to assassinate the king. One can prove from Yirmiyah 35:4 that these would-be murderers were very high ranking officers as well.
A similar story with a different ending occurred in
In any case, we see that one has to have a high station to see the face of the king. Now, we can understand better the imagery we have seen. Being able or not being able to see Hashem is a strong indication of the people’s closeness to Him. In regard to Moshe as well, the fact that his face was covered from them, was a way of demonstrating that the people had dipped below the level where they could interact directly with their humble, but holy and untainted, leader.
May we merit being among those who get to see the face of the King!
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This week’s Hemdat Yamim is dedicated in loving memory of