Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Chukat
To dedicate this lesson
An Overview of the Torah Portion

Parasha Summary - Chukat


Rabbi Stewart Weiss

Our Sedra begins with the ultimate "Chok" (a Mitzva for which the reason is not readily apparent): The Para Aduma (Red Cow). The ashes of the Para Aduma are used to purify those who have come into contact with a dead body (all the while making Tamei - impure the Kohen who administers it).

The narrative then jumps 38 years to discuss events which occur just prior to our entering Israel. Miriam dies, & the well, which miraculously provided water in the desert is gone. So the people clamor for water, & Hashem commands Moshe & Ahron to speak to a certain rock to bring forth the water. Moshe strikes the rock instead, & is punished by being denied entrance to Eretz Yisrael.

The king of Edom refuses to let Bnei Yisrael pass through his land. Ahron dies & is buried on Mt. Hor; his son Elazar becomes Kohen Gadol. The people protest
against Moshe & are bitten by fiery snakes. Moshe erects a pole with a copper snake on its top; whoever looks at it is cured. The people sing a song of praise about Miriam's well.

The Sedra ends with victories in battle over Israel’s perennial enemies Sichon & Og.
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