This Week’s Torah Portion: Chukat – חֻקַּת (Numbers 19:1−22:1)
“This is the law of the Torah that Adonai has commanded….” (Number 19:2)
We expect a true revelation to follow such an introduction, The Law of The Torah should be the highlight of the most sacred book of all, the Law coming from Adonai our God should be a moral uplifting moment of sacredness.
And the Law of the Torah is about the red Heifer. Something that makes no sense, something that Rashi the great commentary to the Torah is afraid that will cause ridicule.
Not everything in the Torah actually makes sense, a big chunk of the Torah makes no sense, and there is no point in trying to find logic in it.
Parsha Chukat 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