top of page
  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash


Parshat Ki Tisa informs us about the sabbath and the census, but it also speaks about uncontrolled rage. When the golden calf is smelted from the women's gold, God sees the fickle nature of God's people and God rages. Later, when Moshe descends from the mountain and witnesses the people worshiping the calf, Moshe's anger overwhelms him and with his rage he smashes the stone tablets, grinds it into dust and makes the Hebrews drink the potion he made by mixsing the gold dust with water.

Rage. It happened then. It happens now in households across the world. It doesn't matter if the family is rich or poor, large or small, living in the city or the country, the anger or frustration of a family member overflows and violence, whether physical or psychological, is inflicted upon family members. The effects of this violence can forever scar family members. I have chosen a male as the aggressor here, but it could just as easily be a female , young or old or anywhere in between.

Although it would be easier to write about fragrant oils or the sabbath this week, today's snippet is about anger and families.

May we hear good news soon.



the morning floor

uneasily hosts

shards of glass from his outburst.

The kitchen is the witness.

tomato sauce paints the wall

where he threw his dinner.

The room echoes his shouts.

uncontrolled and hoarse.

His wife still bears the burdens of his insults,

His curses like knives to her psyche.

Angry venom spilled forth like lava


burning those it touches.

and cold gray cloud of fear descends upon the house.

The children creep to their rooms

close their doors

so gently.

Pretend to be busy.

Such good children,

they shutter their ears

against the hurricane

raging below,

shrinking themselves. Oh,

so small, they are.

If they are tiny enough

perhaps they can



He yells and steams.

His cup runneth over

as his anger drains

away like the rumble


departing thunder.

He is emptied now,

a wrinkled bladder

emptied of its contents.

Those around him have swallowed

his wrath,

like dirtied rags,

they absorb

that which should have been solved

so long ago

and now are stained,

while he

lowers his head.

The house is very still

as he uneasily



וַֽיְהִ֗י כַּאֲשֶׁ֤ר קָרַב֙ אֶל־הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֔ה וַיַּ֥רְא אֶת־הָעֵ֖גֶל וּמְחֹלֹ֑ת וַיִּֽחַר־אַ֣ף מֹשֶׁ֗ה וַיַּשְׁלֵ֤ךְ מִיָּדָו֙ אֶת־הַלֻּחֹ֔ת וַיְשַׁבֵּ֥ר אֹתָ֖ם תַּ֥חַת הָהָֽר׃

As soon as Moses came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, he became enraged; and he hurled the tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain.

Exodus 32:19



וַיִּֽחַר־אַ֣ף מֹשֶׁ֗ה

59 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All



bottom of page