Posted by: mosesfromsinai | June 21, 2015

Chukas – Statutes

This week’s reading is the single Parsha (often Chukas is combined with the next Parsha, Balak), called Chukas -Statutes.  These are the types of commandments that make no sense.  In the Torah there are 3 types of commandments.  There are the Mishpateem, Jurisprudence, the commandments that make perfect sense without a commandment, such as Do Not Steal.  There are the Aidus, the Testimonies, commandments based on commemorating historical events, such as Shabbos, commemorating that the Al-mighty created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th.  Finally, there are the Chukeem, the Statutes, such as the commandment of the Parah Adumah, the Red Cow, where the one that sprinkles the ashes become impure and the one that receives the sprinkling becomes pure – clearly this makes no sense.  Part of our “menu” is to have commandments to fulfill that make no sense.

At the conclusion of the Torah Reading we find Moshe doing battle with two nations.  First there is Sichon, the King of the Amorites, and then finally there is Og, the King of Bashan.  These two kings are defeated by Moshe and the Jewish Nation. Moshe personally defeats Og whom, the Al-mighty told Moshe not to worry about.  Moshe was concerned that Og’s reward for telling Avraham that his nephew Lot was being held captive would still be active.  After all Og was still living about 400 years later.  The Al-mighty assured Moshe that Og’s time was up.  The defeat of these two kings sets the tone for the future conquest of the Land of Israel by Yehoshua, Moshe’s special student.  It also gives us a modern day update on who really owns the West Bank, east of the Jordan River.  Yep, it is documented, Moshe conquered the land and it belonged then and now to Israel and the tribes that will choose to live there as part of the promised portion.

One further comment on the past and perhaps see how it may be relevant now.  Moshe had no intention of fighting Sichon and Og.  He first sent messengers of peace to Sichon.  The King rejected these messengers and went out to war.  Og did not even wait for the messengers of peace, he went out to war immediately.  Perhaps we should learn that our enemies in that area, even today, are not interested in messengers of peace.

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