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Chukat

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“This is the Torah’s decree... have them bring you a completely red heifer which has no blemish...” -Chukat 19:2ff. This is the mitzvah of parah adumah (red heifer). Contact with a human corpse, or even being together with a corpse overshadowed by one cov...
Chukat begins with an account of the Red Heifer, a strange practice whose object was the purification of those who had become contaminated through contact with the dead. The heifer was burned, and its ashes, mixed with water, sprinkled on those who had be...
This week’s Torah reading begins: Zos Chukas HaTorah, “This is the statute of the Torah,” establishing a connection between the type of mitzvos called chukim and the entire Torah. The root for the word, chukim, means “engrave.” Engraving involves strenuou...
Remember the story of the miraglim in Parshas Shelach? Instead of doing exactly what Moshe said, the miraglim added things which they were not instructed. Parshas Chukas describes another team of miraglim, sent out many years later. The Jewish people were...
Parshas Chukas; Numbers 19:1-25:9
Adapted fromLikkutei Sichos, Vol. XVIII, p. 229ff What Mortal Knowledge Cannot Grasp The term Chukim refers to those mitzvos whose rationale cannot be grasped by human intellect. Within this category, however, the laws of the Red Heifer stand out as uniqu...
Chukat
While we sometimes might express frustration at our children’s behavior, it is obvious that our love for them is genuine. But difficult circumstances can unearth how deep this love really is.
Chukat
Rational decisions are based on outcomes, but having children is “an epistemically transformative experience.”
Chukat
What works for me may not be optimal for you, so rationally trying to convince you to do things “my” way can be ineffective.
Numbers 19:1–22:1
The sixth section of the Book of Numbers opens with the law (or “rule,” chukat, in Hebrew) governing the process of purification from the state of ritual defilement that a person contracts through contact with a human corpse. After this, the Torah’s narra...
"זאת חקת התורה...ויקחו אליך פרה אדמה" “This is the statute of Torah...and they shall take to you a red heifer.” (19:2) QUESTION: Why does it say “Zot chukat haTorah” — “This is the statute of the Torah” — instead of “Zot chukat parah adumah” — “This is th...
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