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Daily Aliya for Ki Tisa, Shishi (6th Aliya)

Aliya Summary: G‑d seals a covenant with Moshe, assuring him again that His presence will only dwell with the Jews. G‑d informs the Jewish people that He will drive the Canaanites from before them. He instructs them to destroy all vestiges of idolatry from the land, and to refrain from making any covenants with its current inhabitants. The Jews are then commanded not to make molten gods, to observe the three festivals, not to eat chametz on Passover, to sanctify male firstborn humans and cattle, and not to cook meat together with milk.

The Midrash says that when G-d dictated to Moshe the laws of meat-in-milk, Moshe asked G-d’s permission to write meat and milk (rather than the potentially misleading and confusing goat in the milk of its mother). It seems that Moshe anticipated the questions and comments that people would have, and the wrong ideas that would spring from the wording of this mitzva. Is it forbidden only to cook but permitted to eat? Only the animal’s own mother’s milk or any meat with milk? Just meat from a young animal, or a mature one too? G-d’s answer in the Midrash comes from the passuk that follows: And G-d said to Moshe: you write these things, for it is on the basis of these things that I make my covenant with you with Israel. Some see G-d’s response as teaching Moshe about the significance of the Written Word and the Oral Law. The Written Word is incomplete without the Oral Tradition handed down from generation to generation, and G-d meant it to be that way. He does not want the Torah to be correctly understood by those who have and value only the written word.