Commentary on Parashat Chukat, Numbers 19:1 - 22:1
1. The animal whose sacrifice is described in this week’s parashah had four principle characteristics. What were they?
2. Someone who touches a dead body becomes unclean. For how long? On which days does he purify himself?
3. Where did Miriam die?
4. When the people complained that there was no water, and that they would have been better off had they remained in Egypt, God gave Moses specific instructions on how to satisfy the peoples’ complaint. What did God tell Moses to do and what did he do?
5. Because Moses showed a lack of faith in God and failed to follow His instructions, he was severely punished. What was the punishment?
6. Where was Aaron buried, and what action of the people showed that they revered him?
7. The people had to circumvent Edom because the King would not allow them to pass through. Once again they began to complain because of their hardships. How did God punish the people this time for their disobedience, and how was the punishment ameliorated?
8. When Moses sent messengers to the King of Edom, how did he describe the relationship of Israel to Edom and on what basis?
9. The people had to fight their way through three peoples to get to the Land. Who were they?
1. The animal had to be a heifer, red, unblemished, and never under a yoke before (19:2).
2. If someone touches a dead body he becomes unclean for seven days. He purifies himself on the third and seventh days (19:11-12).
3. Miriam died at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran (20:1).
4. God told Moses to take his rod, gather the people along with Aaron, and speak to the rock that would give forth water. Moses struck the rock twice with his staff and it produced water (20:7-11).
5. Moses and Aaron were not allowed to enter the Land (20:12).
6. Aaron was buried at Mount Hor and the entire assembly wept for 30 days (20:25, 29).
7. God sent fiery serpents to bite them. Moses prayed for the people and God told Moses to make a fiery serpent and put it on a pole; anyone who was bitten could look at it and be saved (21:6-8).
8. Moses described their relationship as brothers because the Edomites were descendants of Esau, brother of Jacob (20:14).
9. They had to fight the Ammorites, Bashanites, and Cannanites to get to the land (21:1, 26, 33).
Provided by special arrangement with the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies.