January 22, 2019

Rosner’s Torah Talk: Parashat Ki Tisa with Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Our guest this week is Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik, spiritual leader of The Forest Hills Jewish Center in New York. Rabbi Skolnik was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1981. Immediately upon his ordination, he served as Assistant Rabbi under the late Rabbi Ben Zion Bokser for almost three years. With Rabbi Bokser’s death in 1984, Rabbi Skolnik assumed the rabbinic leadership of the congregation, and has served in that capacity ever since. In addition to his responsibilities at The Forest Hills Jewish Center, Rabbi Skolnik is involved in numerous communal activities. He is the immediate past President of the Rabbinical Assembly, a Vice President of the Zamir Choral Foundation, a Vice President of MERCAZ, the Zionist arm of the Conservative movement, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Masorti Foundation. A past president of the Commission on Synagogue Relations of UJA-Federation, he also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Solomon Schechter School of Queens, and the Board of Governors of the New York Board of Rabbis.

This Week’s Torah Portion – Parashat Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35) – begins with the census of the people of Israel and with further instructions concerning the Tabernacle and the Shabbat. The portion then proceeds to tell the story of the Golden Calf, Moses' plea to god, the splitting of the Tablets into two, and the giving of the second tablets. Our discussion focuses on the dialogue between God and Moses in the aftermath of the sin of the golden calf, when Moses asks God “Show me your ways,” and on God’s relationship with Moses in general.

Our past discussions on Ki Tisa:

Rabbi Gabe Greenberg on the breaking of the First Tablets and the notion of the Second Tablets

Rabbi Rachel Ain on the reason behind the people of Israel’s discontent and on the possible role of Moses' leadership in their sin.