Scala/Art Resource, NY

An enraged Moses shatters the tablets containing the Ten Commandments in a furious response to the Israelites’ worship of the golden calf at the foot of Mount Sinai. The scene is captured by the Australian artist Arthur Boyd (1920–1999). Elie Wiesel wonders how a people could have both encountered God and at the same time grumbled against Moses and prostrated themselves before a graven image. Wiesel credits the Bible with preserving an honest, warts-and-all portrait of the Israelites, a people whose story does not end, but rather begins, at Sinai.