Parashat Chukat


Chukat means laws and ordinances whose reasons are not disclosed to us, laws which we are told to obey in the faith that they are the laws

of Hashem.


This Parsha describes the ritual involved in the sacrifice of the red

heifer, a cleanliness ritual for those coming in contact with the

dead.  The central theme of Chukat concerns the striking of the rock

(by Moshe) to get water, resulting in Hashem’s displeasure with Moshe and Aaron.  Hashem informs them that they had an opportunity to do a kiddush Hashem and they blew it.  On account of their mistake, they will not enter the promised land and will die with the rest of the people in the desert. “Because you believed not in me, ye shall not bring this assembly into the land I have given them.”

The Parsha also mentions the deaths of Miriam and Aaron, the

unsuccessful negotiations with the Edomites, the descendants of Esav, and the wars with Sichon, the Amorites, and Og, King of Bshan.  The victories over these enemies helped raise the spirit of the people and gave them a proper perspective on conquering the land of Canaan.

Moshe leads the people for forty years in the desert and as their

journey comes to a close they prepare themselves to enter the land.

They are no longer enslaved but a new generation that has forged a new beginning and future for their children.

We are living in a very similar new generation with a re-born State of

Israel.  A generation is given the opportunity to once again have its

people, the Jews of the world raise our heads in pride and honor

regardless of where we live.


Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Gabe  Elias


Sponsored by Shema Israel Minion 


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