Tag Archives: water

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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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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Beshallach (Ex. 13:17–17:16), Shabbat Shirah, Tu Bishvat

With everyone busily preparing for the blizzard due to hit us tonight and tomorrow (Gas for the snow blower? Check. Milk? Check. Bread? Check.  Working flashlight?  Hand-cranked radio?  Somewhere around here. Potent potables? Check.), it’s hard to accept that Tu … 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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Hayyei Sarah (Genesis 23.1-25.18)

It’s a relief to read this portion.  No threat of human sacrifice, no sister-wife lies, no banishment into the wilderness, no Sodom and Gomorrah, no incest.  Yes, Sarah dies, but she’s 127, and the portion is called “Hayyei Sarah,” the … Continue reading

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Chukkat (Numbers 19:1 – 22:1), Rosh Chodesh

Saturday and Sunday mark the beginning of the month of Tammuz, so we read Numbers 28: 9-15 from a second scroll (sacrifices) and the Shabbat Rosh Chodesh haftarah, Isaiah 66:1-24. Parashat Chukkat covers 38+ years in 87 verses.  Actually, it skips … Continue reading

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Chukkat (Numbers 19:1 – 22:1)

At the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, the Israelites are about two years into their 40-year trek.  At the end of the portion, it’s 38 years later, and they’re encamped on the eastern bank of the Jordan, getting ready … Continue reading

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