Parashat Chukat (חֻקַּת) 5782, & Illogical Laws?

     This week’s Torah portion, Chukat (חֻקַּת),  is the 39th (39/54 or 52, depending on the year: this year, it’s 54…) reading in the annual cycle, and the 6th parashah in the book of B’Midbar/Numbers.  Normally it is doubled up with next week’s parashah, Parashat Balak, but this year, 5782, being a leap year, it is read separately, in B’Midbar/Numbers 19:1-22:1

     The word Chok, related to Chukat, means a law or rule that has no logical basis, and is one of the four (if I recall correctly, Dolly or David??) categories of laws in the Torah, as categorized by the Rabbis.  Hence the puzzle of the red heifer, which is what I think of first when I see this parashah.   We also read of two important deaths, water shortages, snakes, and battles with a guy that some imagined to have survived Noah’s Flood by hanging on to the Ark, but I’ll leave that for next year.

         What do you think our world would look like if we really tried to build a logical society? 

     I look forward to hearing your opinions on this matter, Thoughtful Readers.

We can really  Do Better.



     Last week was: Parashat Korach (קוֹרַח) 5782 & Necessary Hierarchy? ,

     I look forward to hearing your opinions, Thoughtful Readers.

We can really  Do Better.


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    Share your thoughts on how to build buy-in to create a more equal, or at least less inequitable, society, please.   Guest posts are always welcome.  Writing, by the way, is my personal contribution to Project Do Better

What would yours be, if you had the spare time and energy?


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Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BsCs

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10 thoughts on “Parashat Chukat (חֻקַּת) 5782, & Illogical Laws?

  1. As a Christian reading this Scripture from Numbers, I see it as the rules God gave the people of Israel to follow to teach them the discipline of following His Word. Their adherence to His Law was to set them apart. The way they dressed and what they ate, etc. created community within their numbers and served as an example to the Gentiles of what dedication to the One God looked like. The specificity of the red cow is beyond my understanding; however, I imagine it had a connection to something else in the Scriptures. Does the red heifer signify Jesus Christ? I don’t know. My spiritual journey is far from over, so please take my comments merely as my thinking — wrong as it may be. On Earth we see through a glass dimly, but in Heaven all God wants us to understand will be revealed. Thank you for highlighting this Scripture today. It prompted me to stop and read it and look for its meaning. It’s always good to do that in the middle of a busy day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is good, and thank you, Janet, for leaving these thoughts here for us to ponder. I agree that at the time it was indeed part of the process of setting apart. For the modern day, I am reminded that it is often not easy to so the right thing, and often that can make a person feel as if the rest of the world is apart, following the beat of a different drum. Sometimes one must live with that apartness, rather than follow the rest of the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If we do what we feel is right instead of what is easy, we will always be swimming against the mainstream, the blind followers. A goal would be to make people realize that they have to take responsibility for what they are doing. Nobody can absolve them from it, so blindly following does not take the responsibility from the individual, that is an illusion.
    As far as a logic society is concerned, I think that people in general are very emotional, not rational, especially in the US, if I may say so, people react very emotional on everything. So one has to take emotions into account.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. True, it is easier to follow, and I’ve even been told that “it is bad to know too much” by a person who prefers illusion to responsibility. Partly, I think, because emotional reaction and short-sightedness have been strongly encouraged here in the US since the 1980s, at least. This deliberate ‘mis-education’ has resulted in what we see now, and I hope that there is still time to turn the tide and bring back logical thoughtfulness, before things go too far.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Very typical as we see it here in Europe is this “winners and losers”, “You are either with me or against me”, You are either part of the solution or part of the problem”.
        Life is not like that, life has more than two contradicting solutions. But using these expressions is a very forceful form of manipulation.

        Liked by 2 people

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