Parashat Chukat, "Am I Believing by Faith or Striking the Rock in Unbelief?"


This week’s reading from the triennial cycle
Bamidbar / Numbers 19:1-20:21
, can be divided into two sections (i) the
person coming into contact with a dead body is unclean and disqualified from the religious
service for a period of seven days and (ii) the people arrived in the desert of Zin at a
place called Kadesh.  At the desert of Zin in Kadesh, the Lord instructs Moshe to
take the staff from before the testimony and “vedibartem
el-hasela le’eyneyhem”
speak to the rock in their eyes.”
  Moshe and Aharon took the staff,
went before the people and the rock, and rather than speaking to the rock, they spoke
harshly to the people and struck the rock two times.  God’s instruction was
clearly stated in 20:8, Moshe was to take the staff, assemble the people, and
speak to the rock.  Instead, Moshe assembled the people, speaks to the people, and
strikes the rock with his staff.  In doing this, Moshe fails to sanctify the Name
and the miracle God was going to perform before all of their eyes.  Moshe failed to
listen and obey.  Today, do we fail to listen and obey in a similar manner as Moshe
did here in our text?
Read More here.