Tag Archives: red heifer

Chukkat (Numbers 19:1 – 22:1)

This portion is only 87 verses long but covers close to 38 years, at the end of which the Israelites are encamped in the plains of Moab, on the bank of the Jordan, opposite Jericho.  Yet we learn very little … Continue reading

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Vayak’hel-Pekudei (Ex. 35:1 – 40:38), Shabbat Parah (Numbers 19:1-22)

Inching toward spring, hurrying toward Leviticus, though most would prefer the reverse. This week, as the snow melts in Wilmington, we finish reading the book of Exodus with a double portion, Vayak’hel-Pekudei, 214 verses that are largely a rerun of … Continue reading

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Chukkat (Numbers 19:1 – 22:1)

Compared with the sturm und drang of the last few readings, this week’s portion is relatively subdued and is partly tying up loose ends.  What follows below are mainly comments from 2013.  Two additional thoughts: 1.)  According to Rashi, everything … Continue reading

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Ki Tissa (Ex. 30:11 – 34:35), Shabbat Parah (Numbers 19:1-22)

It is three days after Tuesday’s frozen slop storm.  It is still cold.  The white stuff is just starting to melt.  Yesterday, I spent about 40 minutes hacking about 4 inches of ice-on-snow off my windshield and rear window.  I … Continue reading

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Chukkat (Numbers 19:1 – 22:1)

This week’s portion concerns purity, death, and water. Chapter 19 includes the laws of the red heifer, parah adumah, which is needed for the ritual purification of those who have come into contact with a dead body.  An unblemished, completely … Continue reading

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Shemini (Lev. 9:1 – 11:47), Shabbat Parah

This week: a stupendous ceremony that ends tragically, clean and unclean animals, and an extra portion about a red-haired young cow. We begin with the ending.  Tomorrow is Shabbat Parah, the third of four Shabbatot before Passover on which we … Continue reading

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Chukkat (Numbers 19:1 – 22:1)

Have you ever seen an intense movie, or read an engrossing book, where, as you get near the end, it seems that the author loses energy, or gets tired of the story, and just wants to tie things up as … Continue reading

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