July 04, 2020
Tamuz 12, 5780
Numbers 19:1 - 25:9
Micah 5:6 - 6:8
Rabbi Danielle Leshaw and MJL Admin
Through it, we come to understand that with words and with decrees, worlds are created — and worlds are destroyed.
Bethany Mandel and MJL Admin
The famed red heifer is a key part of a biblical purification process. But why do we need laws to create a system of purity and impurity in the first place?
A closer look at Moses's sister.
The story of King Balak and Balaam demonstrates that truly seeing others is what allows fears to dispel.
Rabbi Bradley Artson
Miriam's death should motivate us to recognize people today who provide nurture and support.
Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell
The prophet Balaam's curse, which becomes a blessing, is a reflection of the relationship between God and the Israelites.
What Balaam's donkey and under-represented minorities have in common.
We cannot slip into loopholes and forego responsibility.
How to learn from biblical nature imagery.
Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky
Pinchas saw the relationship of an Israelite and a Midianite as a curse--but perhaps he, like Balaam, could have turned it into a blessing.
Moses' frustration and fatigue were no excuse for his refusal to accept the people's cry for help.
Rabbi Ismar Schorsch
Balak intuited an important truth about the Israelites: Their strength was spiritual, not military.
Rabbi Jordan D. Cohen
Because of his position of leadership, Moses is judged extremely harshly when he sins.
Rabbi Alana Suskin
The Israelites' dwellings in the wilderness provide us with a model for ensuring the existence and dignity of housing for all members of society.
Rabbi Neal J. Loevinger
Like Balaam, we should open our eyes to seeing the problematic paths we take in life.
Rabbi Ed Rosenthal
Miriam, whose death is recorded in Parashat Chukat, embodied the honor and glory of the women of Israel.
Rabbi Shimon Felix
Comparing Moses to Yiftah raises questions about when we should be people of speech and when we should be people of action.
Balaam's death by sword at the hands of the Israelites is ironic retribution for his verbal power over them.
Rabbi Eric Polokoff
Though we may challenge the severity of Moses' and Aaron's punishment, we affirm sacredness by trying to comprehend it.
Rabbi Lawrence Edwards
Unlike Jewish prophets, Balaam was merely a mouthpiece for the word of God, not an active participant.
Our actions and our words must be in line with one another.
How to send environmental problems down the drain.
The Torah law about the red heifer was given because it anticipated the temporal nature and limitation of what Miriam had to offer.
Dr. Reuven Kimelman
He came to curse, and ended up reciting a blessing so beautiful it is prominent in our liturgy.
Jewish sources suggest tears and tzedakah [charity] as two modern replacements for the Red Heifer.
Moses' fatal flaw is his inability to wean his people from their dependence on him.
Rabbi Aaron Gruman
Unlike Abraham, Bil'am failed to examine his own prayers and intentions, attributing their failure to his location of prayer.
Rabbi Avraham Fischer
Were the Canaanites the nation of Amalek?
Rabbi Moshe Becker
Jealousy can paralyze us and force us to define ourselves by another person's successes.
Rabbi Charles Savenor
Just as words can push people apart, so too can they bring us closer.
Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses
In his anger, Moses uses a destructive label for his people in public.
Balak: A resource for families
Chukat: A resource for families
Slaughtering the red heifer.
Learn more about the weekly Torah portion.