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One of the most infamous events in the Bible is Moses' striking the rock to bring forth water. Why did Moses do what he did? Was it a mistake or was there a reason? How can this seemingly rebellious act be understood within the context of Moses' perfect obedience to G-d?

Striking the Rock

Striking the Rock

How to Study Torah - Chukat

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Striking the Rock: How to Study Torah - Chukat

One of the most infamous events in the Bible is Moses' striking the rock to bring forth water. Why did Moses do what he did? Was it a mistake or was there a reason? How can this seemingly rebellious act be understood within the context of Moses' perfect obedience to G-d?
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Moses Strikes the Rock, Chukat
Rabbi Mendel Kaplan is the founder and spiritual leader of Chabad Flamingo in Thornhill, Ontario, he also serves as a Chaplain of the York Regional Police Service.
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Barry Rostholder The Villages, Florida June 24, 2015

I was spellbound for the entire talk. So many lessons for us and so finely presented. Reply

wise one 00 June 30, 2014

The real reason G-d was angry (part 2) This story also brings home the question, of how often do we fail to sanctify G-d before our own hearts and allow disbelief to drive us to sin? When we are walking in obedience to God and a challenge comes our way, we should reassure our hearts that G-d is with us (just as Caleb reassured the Israelites) therefore we will be okay in the end. Reply

Anonymous 00 June 29, 2014

The real reason G-d was angry I don't think G-d was angry because Moses struck the rock twice, I think its because, in this situation, Moses failed to calm the people down as he had done other times, by encouraging them not to worry and to trust G-d will provide for them (just as Caleb did when he told the Israelites not to fear the giants they were going to fight against, because G-d was with them). Moses failed in this situation, to make G-d's ability seem sufficient (and in a superior class of its own) in the eyes of the people. Reply

Anonymous Dallas June 28, 2014

Power and Faith And God said to Moses, "You can leave your staff at home...you won't be needing it for this mission." Of course, that is NOT what He said. He explicitly told Moses to take the staff even though it would not be needed. Why? Why tell someone to shlep a stick he won't even need? Was it to teach Moses that he should never go anywhere empty-handed? Hardly. It was a test.
On the one hand you have the staff. On the other hand you have God. Which would Moses chose to bring forth water from the rock? The stick? or God? Power or faith? That is the test. Moses chose the stick, of course. But why? Did he think that just speaking to the rock wouldn't work? That God wouldn't deliver on His word? Why did Moses make that awful choice? It was because Moses wanted the people to think that he, Moses, with his special powers was responsible for the miracle. Why? Did the humble Moses suddenly become power mad? No. It's because it is so much easier to rule by power than faith. Reply

David Issever Los Angeles June 27, 2014

Tough topic, well done I am so thankful for this shmooze. Thank you, thank you. Reply

Lou Kraus Bath Township, OH/USA August 2, 2012

Stricking the Rock A Question: Does Moses ever repent/apologize for stricking the rock? Reply

james cooley Kansas city, Kansas-usa June 28, 2012

video Great to hear your video today,
thanks for your research/work!! Reply

Anonymous glendale, california June 27, 2012

Enjoyed the webcast! Great insight about faith. As you said, a bigger problem than water, worse than life and death, is loss of faith. This Torah portion seems to reveal that faith is necessary to enter into the promises of G-d. Moshe and Aaron demonstrated at the rock that faith was necessary to enter the Promised Land. The staff appears to represent Divine Judgment – at the rock, as well as at the plagues in Egypt, at the battle with Amalek (the staff in Moshe’s hand), and when Aaron's staff blossomed. The rock appears to represent Moshiach - struck three times total because he brings peace and reconciliation. Water seems to represent both Divine Judgment and Divine Mercy – such as the flood of Noach, the Red Sea, and the valley of ditches (with the Moabites). Reply

Ilene Stackel Naples, FL June 26, 2012

Telecast - Striking the Rock Are you delaying so that we will fully understand the frustration that Moses felt ? :-) Reply

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