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

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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”
meaning
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.

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Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher. Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​ He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!