What is true and real does not always shine. In this week’s parshah, Moshe Rabbenu is late in coming down from Mt. Sinai. The people have no patience to wait, and they make a golden calf.
Rabbi Yaacov Galinsky derives some lessons for our time from this incident. Many times, he says, “Moshe Rabbenu is late.” Whoever is identified with ancient, deep, eternal values does not always run with the daily highway pace of modern life. He does not always comply with the expectation to get everything now.
Moshe Rabbenu is not always the wittiest or most up-to-date. He doesn’t offer magic solutions. He doesn’t have “peace now” or “justice now” or “security now.”
And he doesn’t only make promises. In fact, he mainly demands of the people to go through a prolonged process.
And that which was in the past will also be in the future, explains Rabbi Galinsky. The Jewish People have often been criticized for not being sufficiently up to date, for not adhering to the times. We have been told to adopt faster and more glamorous things. This is not a historic story, but a current danger.
But the fact of the matter is that the depth and sanctity of Moshe’s Torah does not always look like the golden calf.