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“And Di Zahav.” (1:1)

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The  Sifri adds a very  notable explanation to the  above words: “And a sufficient amount of gold for  the Mishkan, and a sufficient  amount of gold  for the  Golden Calf.”  One who  is a  fickle and crooked person steeped in hypocrisy  is worse than  one who is fully wicked. We  find that  Eliyahu Hanavi told the evil prophets of the Baal “How long will you continue to stand on both steps, if Hashem is G-d, then follow Him, if it is the Baal, then follow him.” Here is a clear illustration  that it is better  to  be  fully wicked  and worship  the  idol,  than  to vacillate, in false duplicity, pretending to  be believers in  Hashem, while being prophets of the Baal. The reason for this is that true evil can not and will not endure. Its colors and evident wickedness are soon revealed. However,  he who  simultaneously  maintains  good  and evil tendencies, has the likelihood of deceiving  himself and others  for a long time. Moreover, he clearly indicates a lack of emotional  and intellectual stability. We find a halacha regarding three judges; if one were to rule guilty, while the other two rule innocent, the verdict is innocent. However, if one were to say “I don’t  know,” then we are compelled to  seek a  fourth judge  to render  a halachic decision. The reason for  this is that one who is not sure his equivication is worse than one who disagrees with the majority. This was Moshe’s rebuke to the Bnei Yisroel. “You gave gold to the Mishkan, and you gave gold to the Golden Calf.” You attempted to be supportive of two poloraized  views, which made the transgression all the more extreme.

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