28 So the king took counsel and made two golden calves. He said to the people, “You have been going up to Yerushalayim long enough. This is your god, O Yisrael, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!”
va-yi-va-ATZ ha-ME-lekh va-YA-as sh’-NAY eg-LAY za-HAV va-YO-mer a-lay-HEM rav la-KHEM may-a-LOT y’-ru-sha-LA-im hi-NAY e-lo-HE-kha yis-ra-AYL a-SHER he-e-LU-kha may-E-retz mizt-RA-yim
12:28 You have been going up to Yerushalayim long enough
The division of the People of Israel into two kingdoms — Yisrael in the north and Yehuda in the south — is a tragedy. Yerovam, the king of Israel, wants to prevent the people under his control from making pilgrimages to the Beit Hamikdash in Yerushalayim, which is located in the rival kingdom of Yehuda. Yerovam is afraid that his people will kill him if they decide that the king of Judah, Rechovam, son of King Shlomo, is the true king. Therefore, Yerovam tells his subjects not to travel to Yerushalayim. He erects idolatrous golden calves, and establishes his own festivals within the northern kingdom. This leads the people to idolatry and hastens the end of his kingdom. It is easy to see that severing the connection to Yerushalayim is both spiritually and physically dangerous. It results both in distance from Hashem and lack of unity among the people, ultimately leading to destruction and exile.