Chukat (Ordinance) B’midbar/Numbers 19:1-22:1

Chukat (Ordinance) B’midbar/Numbers 19:1-22:1  
Bless each of you tonight as we study G-d’s word. I would like to begin with my two questions of the week. I believe this Torah portion presents us with a few points that we will have to dig in order to find an answer.
First, the title of this portion, chukat, gives us a clue as to what will follow. In Hebrew this word is used for laws that are hard to understand or find what G-d is saying through them. In English this word can be best translated as ordinance. This tells us that this law is different from other commandments of Torah.  

Chukat (Ordinances) Numbers (B’Midbar) 19-22

Torah Portion Chukat (Ordinances) Numbers (B’Midbar) 19-22

Haftorah Reading: Judges 11:1-33


Today we read a Torah portion about the death of both of Moshe’s siblings, Aaron and Miriam. We also read of the remedy for being ritually unclean. You could become ritually unclean by being with or in the house of someone who had died. The only remedy for this level of uncleanness was to be sprinkled with water that contained the ashes of a red heifer.

Chukat (Ordinance) Numbers 19-22

This week we read the Torah section named “Chukat” or “Ordinance” in English. It opens with the laws concerning the red heifer. In Hebrew the word Chok means a commandment that may seem illogical to us but never the less is commanded by G-d.  It is said that even King Solomon, in all his wisdom, could not rationalize the commandments of the red heifer.  Sometimes we can’t understand with our human reasoning why G-d has said something but still we know it is from Him. This calls for discernment on our part so that we don’t go off on some wild goose chase. Therefore, we must know His word that we not be deceived.

Chukat (Degree) B’midbar Numbers 19-20

Torah Portion: Chukat (Decree) B’midbar (Numbers) 19:1-21:1

HafTorah: Judges 11:1-33

Tonight we read the Torah portion Chukat or Decree. In this Torah portion we read of the death of both Miriam and Aaron her brother. This leaves Moses alone, the last of his siblings. We also read of the incident of bringing forth water from the rock and the decree of the Red Heifer.

In Numbers 19 we read of this decree of Torah. It tells what is to be done to cleanse a person who is defiled by a dead body. This ritual uncleanness would bar a person from participating in the Temple life of Israel until they were cleansed by the ashes of the red heifer. Always remember this kind of defilement had nothing to do with sin but only barred a person from the corporate worship at the Temple or Mishkan. Interestingly after this decree we are told of the death of two of the leaders of Israel.