For this week’s Table Talk, our topic is PEER PRESSURE.
When we read Parshat Ki Tisa, one can’t help wondering, “What would I do?” if I was watching a group of people worshipping a golden calf?
Notice, that after the tribe of Levi kills the worshippers – who total only 3,000 in this group of two million – Moshe turns to everyone the “next day” and says (see 32:30): “You have all sinned greatly. Now, let me go back to G-d and see if I can get Him to forgive you.”
Who’s Moshe talking to? We just saw that the 3,000 worshippers were killed!
It seems like Moshe had to deal with the Jews who were worshipping and then also everyone else who saw it and did nothing, i.e. allowed it to happen.
Discuss that difference – maybe you wouldn’t be one of the worshippers, but would you have said anything?
The nation here is learning an important lesson about collective responsibility and punishment. As a nation, a tight-knit family, we must realize that we need to feel responsible for, not only what we do, but for what anyone “in the family” is doing?
How do you experience this in your life? (At home, at school or in work.) Against what kinds of pressures have you successfully stood up and against which ones do you find you’re weak or scared? Why?
Role-play an example or two with your kids. e.g. Your friend wants you to “watch guard” as he goes through the teacher’s papers to see answers for the test. What do you say? What would you do?