Chukat/Balak | Weekly Inspiration 2023
June 27, 2023
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Chukat, HuQath , Hukath, or Chukkas (חֻקַּת —Hebrew for “decree,” the ninth word, and the first distinctive word, in the parashah) is the 39th weekly Torah portion (פָּרָשָׁה, parashah) in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading and the sixth in the Book of Numbers. The parashah sets out the laws of corpse contamination (tumat hamet) and purification with the water of lustration prepared with the Red Cow (פָרָה אֲדֻמָּה, parah adumah, also called the “Red Heifer”). It also reports the deaths of Miriam and Aaron, the failure of Moses at the Waters of Meribah, and the conquest of Arad, the Amorites, and Bashan. The parashah comprises Numbers 19:1–22:1. The parashah is the shortest weekly Torah portion in the Book of Numbers (although not the shortest in the Torah), and is made up of 4,670 Hebrew letters, 1,245 Hebrew words, 87 verses, and 159 lines in a Torah Scroll (סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה, Sefer Torah).