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Congregation Ahavath Achim logo Congregation Ahavath Achim

A Modern Orthodox Synagogue

Parashat Chukat

Dear Friend,
I hope this message finds you well.
Let's take a few minutes to look at some of the topics covered in this week's parasha, Parashat Chukat:
  •  The parasha begins with the Torah giving us the details of the parah adumah, red cow, purification process.  Any individual who had come into contact with a dead corpse, thereby contracting the most stringent form of tumah, ritual impurity, would require the benefits of the parah adumah process in order to become tahor, pure once again.
  • How did the Jewish people survive for forty years wandering in the desert without a ready source of water?  The answer is, that the Almighty supplied His people with a miraculous traveling well of water, from which they were sustained.  This well is referred to as Be'er Miriam, the well of Miriam, as a reflection of the fact that it gave its water in the merit of the prophetess Miriam's presence amongst the people.  When Miriam passes, however, the well dries up.  The nation cries out for water.  The Almighty instructs Moshe Rabbeinu to take his staff in his hand and speak to a particular rock, and that rock will miraculously bring forth water for the nation to drink.  Instead of speaking to the rock as instructed however, Moshe tragically strikes the rock.
  • The parasha concludes with a narration of the various battles that the Jewish people fought with the neighboring peoples on their travels from slavery in Egypt towards their new status as a free people in the Holy Land.
Wishing you a wonderful day,
Rabbi Peretz Robinson