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Message Subject OPERATION TERRA - Closing Thoughts
Poster Handle Anonymous Coward
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Golden calf
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

According to the Hebrew Bible, the golden calf (עֵגֶּל הַזָהָב ‘ēggel hazâhâḇ) was an idol (a cult image) made by Aaron to satisfy the Israelites during Moses' absence, when he went up to Mount Sinai. The calf was intended to be a physical representation of the God of Israel, and therefore was doubly wrong for involving Israel in idolatry and for ascribing physicality to God.

In Hebrew, the incident is known as ḥēṭ’ ha‘ēggel (חֵטְא הַעֵגֶּל) or "The Sin of the Calf". It is first mentioned in Exodus 32:4. Bull worship was common in many cultures. In Egypt, whence according to the Exodus narrative the Hebrews had recently come, the Apis Bull and the bull-headed Khnum were comparable objects of worship, which some believe the Hebrews were reviving in the wilderness[citation needed]; alternatively, some believe the God of Israel was associated with or pictured as a calf/bull deity through the process of religious assimilation and syncretism. Among the Egyptians' and Hebrews' neighbors in the Ancient Near East and in the Aegean, the Aurochs, the wild bull, was widely worshipped, often as the Lunar Bull and as the creature of El. Its Minoan manifestation survived as the Cretan Bull of Greek myth. In India Nandi (a bull) is said to be the vehicle of Lord Shiva and is therefore prayed to by many Hindus.

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[link to en.wikipedia.org]
 
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