Friday, June 29, 2012

Short Parsha Riddles: Chukas / חֻקַּת

בְּמִדְבַּר / Bamidbar / Numbers 19:1-22:1

Click for printable PDF version.

Don’t forget to read my Parsha Poem and parsha overview, plus this very easy snake craft project.  Plus… copywork and parsha activities – something for every week of the year!

Art credit:  Once again, actual original artwork, specially commissioned from a talented illustrator on fiverr


image פָּרָשָׁת חֻקַּת
for Parshas Chukas
בְּמִדְבַּר / Bamidbar / Numbers 19:1-22:1

[1]

The parsha teaches about a red heifer,
A word that only rhymes with zephyr;
An easier word you can say for it now,
‘Cuz a heifer is really a girl kind of __________!

[2]

This may be a source of infernal frustration;
But please guess the meaning of the word “lustration.”
Does it mean envy, purity, festivity, wrath…
Or maybe the steam that escaped from your bath?

[3]

The mitzvos we learn from the Torah so dear,
Six-thirteen we read in our shuls each year.
But only three different kinds – what a shock;
Mishpatim and eidos, and those called a __________!

[4]

Moshe lived for honesty, and not for petty lies,
But Aharon’s death was news the Jews accepted with surprise;
In fact, they couldn’t believe him at first –
So how did Hashem help them realize the worst?

[5]

It’s very strange to think Hashem would take a man to task,
For messing up a little thing that He would deign to ask;
And yet we know He holds tzaddikim higher than the rest,
And we can see that Moshe here had failed to do his best. 
What was his mistake?

[6]

In many ways we’re all confused with what this parsha teaches,
And many different folks all come to help explore its reaches;
When Moshe hit the rock so hard, to quench the masses’ thirst,
He got water the second time, but what came out the first???

image

STUMPED?? Here are some answers: 
[ 1 ] Cow!  Do Torah translators get paid for finding fancier words???
[ 2 ] Purity.  The red heifer ritual was used to create “waters of lustration.”  Google it – it’s true!  Speaking of fancy words…
[ 3 ] Chok (see Devarim 4:45).
[ 4 ] They couldn’t believe that Aharon, who’d helped them defeat death and was more beloved than Moshe, was gone.  Some even claimed Moshe murdered him.  Hashem showed them a vision of Aharon on his deathbed, which quelled the rumours. (Rashi 20:29)
[ 5 ] He hit the rock instead of speaking to it (20:11).
[ 6 ] Blood.  The midrash in Shemos Rabba (13:3) introduces this based on a verse in Tehillim (78:20).  Somewhat convoluted, but fascinating!

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