This Week’s Torah Portion: Chukat – חֻקַּת (Numbers 19:1−22:1)
“Moses made a copper serpent and mounted it on a standard; and when bitten by a serpent, anyone who looked at the copper serpent would recover” (Numbers 21:9).
Many years would pass, and King Josiah smashed all the gods and idols that the Israelites had been worshiping. Fighting against idol worshiping and idolatry, he also smashed the copper serpent made by Moses.
Sometimes what is sacred to us, becomes idol worshiping. This is one of the most difficult things to admit and accept – when the sacred becomes an idol, we need to smash it.
Parsha Chukat – חֻקַּת Torah Summary: The laws of the red heifer to purify a person who has had contact with a corpse are given. (19:1-22)
The people arrive at the wilderness of Zin. Miriam dies and is buried there. (20:1)
The people complain that they have no water. Moses strikes the rock to get water for them. God tells Moses and Aaron they will not enter the Land of Israel. (20:2-13)
The king of Edom refuses to let the Children of Israel pass through his land. After Aaron’s priestly garments are given to his son Eleazer, Aaron dies. (20:14-29)
After they are punished for complaining about the lack of bread and water, the Israelites repent and are victorious in battle against the Amorites and the people of Bashan, whose lands they capture. (21:4-22:1)
Chukat – חֻקַּת