learning: parshah chukat

This week we read Parshah Chukat, Bamidbar (numbers) 19:1-22:1

I tried to write a nice summary this week but this one is so much better than what I’ve been able to write. I will try quick point out some key items: 1) we learn about the red Heifer, 2) Miriam dies, 3) the people complain and hashem has moses make a rock splurt water, 4) Moses and Aaron are told they will not enter the Land, and 4) Aaron dies.

this probably sounds blasphemous.. but I’m mostly doing these weekly reviews of the parsha to make sure that i try to at the very least read through it. I must seem like some crazy super religious individual. i really am not. I have my beliefs and practices and they are mine and you can do what you want or not; I don’t care much.. as long as you treat your neighbors with kindness and understanding.

moving on…

Where to jump in? I care about Miriam so she will be my focus today. And remember, these are my stumbling through the Torah. I’m not really skilled or trained at this.

Bamidbar 20:1 starts.. “The Children of Israel, the entire assembly, arrived at the Wilderness of Zin in the first month and the people settled in Kadesh. Miriam died there and she was buried there.”

Where did this come from? In the previous chapter there was no discussion of Miriam. Rashi pipes up “Miriam died there. Why is the passage of Miriam’s death juxtaposed with the passage of the red cow? To tell you, just as offerings atone, so, too, does the death of the righteous atone. Miriam died there. She, too, died through a kiss. so why did it not say of her ‘she died by the mouth of HaShem’? for it is not a respectful manner of speaking with regard to Him who is on high.”

Thank you Rashi. I think I grok a little more. I think. I really don’t understand death and I try to not think too much about it. I try to accept it when it happens to those I love. Burial means a lot to me. To go and visit. anyway.. I’m getting to personal and into details I don’t want to share with the world, so I’m going to stop now. Please read this d’var torah by Dr Erica Brown.


This post was written on E’s new computer using a keyboard he picked up two months ago.. which I have decided I don’t really like. All typos are hereby blamed on it. The computer however is quite nice.

שׁבּת שׁלום

sources (unless linked):
Leibowitz, Nehama and Aryeh Newman (translator). Studies in Bamidbar (Numbers). The World Zionist Organization, Department for Torah Education and Culture in the Diaspora: Jerusalem 5740/1980.
The Sapirstein Edition of The Torah, student size.