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Ki-Tissa. Face to Face with God

Can you meet God face to face?

Yes you can!

Our parsha focuses on God’s face and Moshe’s face. The word ‎פנים\פני‎ ‎appears 20 times, more than any other word, in this passage.‎

And here we encounter a certain paradox:

On the one hand:

The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one man speaks to another. (Ex. 33:11)

On the other hand:

God answered …“you cannot see My face, for man may not see Me and live....and you will see My back; but My face must not be seen.” (33:20-21)

This is confusing. Moses can speak to God face to face (audio) but cannot see God’s face (visual).