Parshat Ki Tissa

Ki Tissa begins with the final details about the Sanctuary, including a collection of money from the people that was to serve as a census. The parsha then moves into high drama with one of the most gripping narratives in Jewish history. The people, panicking in the absence of Moses (who is up the mountain, receiving the tablets from God), make a Golden Calf and dance before it. God tells Moses to go down. Moses does, and in his anger smashes the tablets. He censures the people, then returns to the mountain to plead with God to forgive them. Eventually God does, and Moses returns, with a second set of tablets, unaware that his face is now radiant.