Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Parshat Chukat, 2nd Portion, (Numbers 19:18-20:6), 7/11/2016

We hear more in this portion about the procedure for the unclean to become clean. Some times it is an offering, sometimes waiting until evening, and sometimes both. In the Talmud there is quite a bit on the degrees of uncleanliness which deals with the effect of one unclean person or object touching or being in the room with another.

I’m forever curious about the reason for living with such laws. Does it improve our quality of life? Does it make the world a better place? Does it reduce suffering?

One positive aspect to the system is that it might encourage mindfulness. You might become very careful when you walking into a room lest their be a corpse there that would make you unclean.

Starting with Numbers, Chapter 20, we find that Miriam, the oldest sibling of Aaron and Moses, dies. She was a prophetess, and predicted as a child that her mother would give birth to the man who would free the Israelites from Egyptian bondage.

Then the people quarreled with Moses telling him that they wish they had died because now they are dying for they have no water.

Moses and Aaron, not knowing what to do, fell on their faces. Then “the glory of the Lord appeared to them.”

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