Weekly Parsha Summary

Moshe is taught the laws of the Para Aduma (Red heifer) whose ashes purify a person who has been contaminated by contact with a dead body.

After forty years of journeying through the desert, the people of Israel arrive in the wilderness of Zin.Miriam dies, and the people thirst forwater. Hashem tells Moshe to speak to arock and command it to give water. Moshe gets angry at the rebellious Israelites andstrikes the stone. Water issues forth, but Moshe is told by Hashem that neither he nor Aaron will enter the Promised Land.

Aaron dies at Hor Hahar and is succeeded in the Kehuna Gedolah by his sonElazar. Venomous snakes attack the Israelite camp after yet another eruption of discontent in which the people “speak against Hashem and Moshe”; Hashem tells Moshe to place
abrass serpent upon a high pole, and all who will gaze heavenward will be healed. The people sing asong in honor of the miraculous well that provided them water in the desert.

Moshe leads the people in battles against the Emorite kingsSichon and Og (who seek to prevent Israel’s passage through their territory) and conquers their lands, which lie east of the Jordan.

Rabbi's Shabbos Message

"And the priest is impure until the evening" (Bamidbar 19:17)

One of the most 'interesting'; laws found in the Torah is that of the Parah Adumah, the red cow). It's one of those laws that are completely unexplainable. When a person was spiritually unclean due to contact with a corpse, he would have to go to the Beis HaMikdash. There, the Cohen would take the ashes of the Parah Adumah, make a mix, and sprinkle it on the individual. That individual would become pure again, however, the Cohen who dealt with the ashes, becomes impure.

When a person does chesed, charity or acts of kindness, he must do so with all that he has, to the point of self sacrifice. Just as the Cohen made himself impure so his friend can be pure, so too should a person push themselves hard and sacrifice for the good of others.

The more a person loves another, the more he is willing to give of himself. Two strangers might be willing to do favors for each other, but are certainly not going to go to the extent of good friends. And while good friends will certainly sacrifice for each other, they won't go to the extent that a parent will for their child.

In theory, we should all view each other as at least good friends to help others out.
Have a great Shabbos!

Back to Archives