Chukat (Statute) B’midbar (Numbers) 19:1-22:1; Balak (Numbers) 22:2-25:9

Torah Portion: Chukat (Statute) B’midbar (Numbers) 19:1-22:1; Balak (Numbers) 22:2-25:9

Haftorah Readings: Judges 11:1-33, Micah 5:6-6:8

Last week we read and studied the Torah portion Korach. Tonight, we look at Chukat and Balak. What is easily overlooked is the time passing between Korach and Chukat. Korach occurred about two years after the crossing of the Reed Sea. Now, here in Chukat, we see the people standing at the doorway to the Promised Land. So our Torah portion takes place 38 years after we last read of the incident of Korach. These people are the children, who are now adults, of the people we last read about. However, as we read this portion we see they had not changed much. Here in our portion we read of the death of Aaron and again of the lack of water. We see a people who rebelled and rose up against Moshe and were punished by the venomous snakes that G-d brought among them. We also see G-d’s provision for them when He instructed Moshe to make a bronze snake. He held the bronze snake up before the people and whomever was bitten could look upon it and be saved. We also see the snake mentioned in John 3:14-15, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness even so must the Son of man be lifted up so that whoever believes in Him has eternal life.” Just as the serpent in the desert brought physical salvation from death, whomever looks upon the Messiah and believes in Him receives eternal salvation.

Va’era (And I Appeared) Exodus (Sh’mot) 6:2-9:35

Torah PortionVa’era (And I Appeared) Exodus (Sh’mot) 6:2-9:35

Haftorah Reading: Ezekiel 28:25-29:21

Tonight, we read of G-d sending Moshe and Aaron on their mission to bring the people out of Egypt and take them to the Land of Promise. To begin, I want to just mention verse 6:9. I have probably mentioned this every year but I consider it important for us to remember. In this verse we read where the people did not listen to Moshe because of their anguished spirit. The word in Hebrew is better translated as shortness of spirit. The people, after 400 years of slavery, had been beaten down to the point of accepting their plight as slaves.