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Cherubim

Atoning for the Golden Calf with the Kapporet

Atop the kappōret, the ark’s cover, sat the golden cherubim, which framed the empty space (tokh) where God would speak with Moses. Drawing on the connection between the word kappōret and the root כ.פ.ר (“atone”), and noting how the golden calf episode interrupts the Tabernacle account, the rabbis suggest that the ark cover served as a means of atoning for the Israelites’ collective sin.

Dr.

Rachel Adelman

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Reading the Golden Calves of Sinai and Northern Israel in Context

The story of the Golden Calf overtly describes a religious sin in the wilderness generation, but aspects of the story also evoke the (later) behavior of King Jeroboam I of Israel. Ancient readers would have understood these resonances as having political ramifications.

Prof.

Frederick E. Greenspahn

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God Abandons the Garden of Eden and Dwells with the Cherubim

Four Aramaic targumim (ancient translations) have God, and not just cherubim, taking up residence east of the garden. This is based on a slightly different vocalization of the Hebrew text, which is likely a more original reading than our current biblical text (MT).[1]

Dr.

Raanan Eichler

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What Kind of Creatures Are the Cherubim?

A tour of the multiple interpretations given over time, including the latest iconographic and archaeological findings.

Dr.

Raanan Eichler

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The Cherubim: Their Role on the Ark in the Holy of Holies

Tradition has interpreted the Cherubs to represent anything from a child to a man, woman to an angel, from a bird to a Torah scholar. Ancient Near Eastern evidence answers this uncertainty, or at least tells us what the Cherubim originally meant.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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