In Loving Memory of our Dear Parents

Benjamin Assa & Rebeca Assa z"L

Parasha Chukat

The Parasha begins with the “Laws of the Red Heifer,”

through its ashes people could purify themselves from the impurity acquired by coming in contact with a dead person. 

In total 9 red heifers have existed, which their ashes purified the People for more than 1000 years during the times of the Beit Hamikdash.

On the tenth of Nissan of the fortieth year in the wilderness, Miriam passes away...”And there was no water for the congregation,” in her merit the People had drinking water during the 40 years in the wilderness.

Bnei Israel found themselves in tremendous distress after the Well suddenly disappeared, andThe people complainedto Moshe and Aaron: “Why have you made us come out of Egypt, to bring us into this evil place?”

Hashem instructs Moshe to “gather the congregation together, you and Aaron your brother; and you shall speak to the rock before their eyes, and it shall give forth its water.”

But Moshe, feeling the People´s pressure, lifted up his hand and with his rod struck the rock twice, and water came out in abundance.

Immediately Hashem tells Moshe and Aaron: “Because you did not believe in Me, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the Land which I have promised them.” 

Arriving to Hor Hahar, Hashem announces to Moshe and Aaron that Aaron shall die, and instructs Moshe to take Aaron, and Aaron’s son Elazar, up to the top of the mountain, where he should dress Elazar in Aaron’s priestly garments, and there Aaron will die. When all of the congregation learned of Aaron´s passing, they wept for 30 days, all the house of Israel.

After Aaron´s passing, the people of Arad attacked the children of Israel, taking with them some Jews as captives, because it was Aaron´s merit that the 7 Clouds of Glory protected Am Israel, but with Aaron´s death, the Clouds no longer existed.

In tremendous despair the People beg Hashem for the recuperation of the captives, and that is how the people of Arad are defeated and the captives are rescued.

The Clouds of Glory were only briefly absent from the Camp. Hashem restored them to Am Israel, in the merit of Moshe.

Once again the People complain to Moshe about the long journey through the desert and the mann (Heavenly food), which is why Hashem sends serpents to attack the People.

Hashem said to Moshe: “Make for yourself a serpent, and set it upon a pole; and it shall come to pass that every one who is bitten, when he looks heavenward, he shall live.” 

Then a great miracle occurs at the River Arnon, as the Emorite soldiers were approaching to attack Bnei Israel, Hashem moved the two mountain ranges until they smacked together, crushing all the enemy soldiers. After discovering the great miracle Hashem had performed for them, they sang a song of praise about the wonderful Well of Miriam that had revealed the great miracle for them!!

The Parasha concludes by mentioning the first two conquests of Am Israel: the 1st with Sichon and the 2nd with Og the king of Bashan.

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