Parsha: Ki Sisa (2024)

Are we a “stiff necked people?”

If you want to excuse someones bad behaviour you would usually say something nice about them. Point out their virtues, demonstrate that they usually are very good.

The last thing you want to do is to say something negative about the person you are trying to defend and excuse.

Here’s the strange thing.
In this weeks Parsha, Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses) attempts to put a case in defence of the Jewish people.
After the sin of the golden calf, we needed something positive to be said about us.

Among many things Moshe says, “They are a stiff neck people.”

That doesn’t sound like a good defence, nor does it express our virtues.

The message Moshe was trying to convey was actually very profound and comforting.

These people that did wrong are also a very strong and resilient people
They. Never. Give. Up.
They are “stiff necked and stubborn,” in a positive way.

Moshe said, “These same people that may have rebelled, will show their power of resilience and ability to overcome adversity time and time again.
They will be stubborn to always cling to you and stay true to their mission and who they are.

For this reason Moshe asks to forgive them.

This teaches us two very important lessons

1. To look at a seemingly negative trait and see its positive side.
Moshe was able to look at the stubbornness of the Jewish people and expose it’s true potential as a source of power and resilience.

2. Each of us as being part of the Jewish people have this power of “positive stubbornness.”
We should utilise it. Use it to over come adversity and challenges.