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Torah Commentary Blog

Parashat Chukat (June 27, 2015)
by Jennifer Knobe

IN THIS TORAH PORTION, God introduces the ritual law of the red heifer, whose ashes are used to purify those who are impure after being contaminated by a corpse. Miriam dies. The Israelites, bereft of water, despair that they are still in the wilderness. Even though God says water will emerge from a rock, Moses strikes the rock twice before it pours forth. Moses and Aaron are punished by not being allowed to enter Canaan. Aaron dies at Mount Hor, and Eleazar succeeds him as High Priest.

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