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This week's 10-Minute Torah (July 9, 2022): "Parashat Hukat" 5782



Parashat Chukat 5782 / פָּרָשַׁת חֻקַּת

9 July 2022 / 10 Tamuz 5782 (Diaspora)


Parashat Chukat is the 39th weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading.

Chukat (“Law Of”) opens by describing the process of burning the red heifer and using its ashes for purification. It also tells the stories of the deaths of Miriam and Aaron, Moses’ striking of a rock to bring forth water, a plague of venomous snakes, and battles against the Emorite kings Sihon and Og. [1]

Triennial year 3

1: 20:22-21:3 · 11 p’sukim ·

2: 21:4-10 · 7 p’sukim ·

3: 21:11-16 · 6 p’sukim ·

4: 21:17-20 · 4 p’sukim ·

5: 21:21-25 · 5 p’sukim ·

6: 21:25-33 · 9 p’sukim ·

7: 21:34-22:1 · 3 p’sukim ·

maf: 21:34-22:1 · 3 p’sukim ·

Haftarah: Judges 11:1-33 · 33 p’sukim

Commentary and Divrei Torah Sefaria OU Torah Jewish Theological Seminary

Soncino Chumash: pp. 658 - 664 Triennial Year 3 (Full Kriyah pp. 652 - 664)

Artscroll Chumash: pp. 846 - 855 Triennial Year 3 (Full Kriyah pp. 838 - 855)

Etz Chaim Chumash: pp. 887 - 893 Triennial Year 3 (Full Kriyah pp. 880 - 893)


It would seem like all the complaining and stress from becoming free has taken its toll on everyone. Israel has shown that they can not rise to the challenge of taking the Promised Land. Hashem has assured them that they will be successful and it would seem all they would have had to do was just make the effort. Unfortunately, they didn’t even have that faith even after what Hashem had done for them previously.


It would now seem that even Moses and Aaron were succumbing to the pressure of caring for Israel. Aaron is told prepare for his demise and that it would be his older son, Eleazar who would take his place as the High Priest of Israel. This is because of the Golden Calf and the gossiping.


Moses as well is now doomed to die in the wilderness without experiencing the land of milk and honey. The people are thirsty, and Moses does not follow Hashem’s directions to bring forth water. The price of not sanctifying Hashem, the same words used to explain why Nadab and Abihu, Aaron’s sons, were struck down for offering the wrong incense at the wrong time in the wrong place. Even someone as great as Moses can succumb to his human frailties.


Having said that, we all have the benefit of hindsight. How would we all have behaved had we been there in the wilderness 3200 years ago? Would we have trusted in Hashem? Do we do so now in times of trouble?


Consider….


Parecería que todas las quejas y el estrés de liberarse han pasado factura a todos. Israel ha demostrado que no puede estar a la altura del desafío de tomar la Tierra Prometida. Hashem les ha asegurado que tendrán éxito y parecería que todo lo que habrían tenido que hacer sería hacer el esfuerzo. Desafortunadamente, ni siquiera tenían esa fe incluso después de lo que Hashem había hecho por ellos anteriormente.


Ahora parecería que incluso Moisés y Aarón estaban sucumbiendo a la presión de cuidar a Israel. Se le dice a Aarón que se prepare para su muerte y que sería su hijo mayor, Eleazar, quien tomaría su lugar como Sumo Sacerdote de Israel. Esto se debe al becerro de oro y los chismes.


Moisés también está ahora condenado a morir en el desierto sin experimentar la tierra de leche y miel. El pueblo tiene sed y Moisés no sigue las instrucciones de Hashem de sacar agua. El precio de no santificar a Hashem, las mismas palabras usadas para explicar por qué Nadab y Abiú, los hijos de Aarón, fueron abatidos por ofrecer el incienso equivocado en el momento equivocado en el lugar equivocado. Incluso alguien tan grande como Moisés puede sucumbir a sus debilidades humanas.


Habiendo dicho eso, todos tenemos el beneficio de la retrospectiva. ¿Cómo nos hubiéramos comportado todos si hubiéramos estado allí en el desierto hace 3200 años? ¿Habríamos confiado en Hashem? ¿Lo hacemos ahora en tiempos de angustia?


Considerar….

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