Parsha Chukat

In this week's parsha the Jewish People are about to enter into Eretz Yisrael. However, the land of Edom stood between them and their destination. They politely requested from the Edomites to peacefully pass through their land, even offering to buy food and water that they didn't actually need. Their request was vehemently denied by the hard hearted Edomites.

In wording their request the Jewish People mentioned how they were brethren to the Edomites, being descendants of the brothers Yaakov and Eisav, hoping to arouse the natural mercy of family for each other. This was considered improper by the Almighty that the Jewish People should mention their kinship to the wicked Edomites. They were subsequently punished that the righteous Aharon was taken from them.

The question arises that the Torah itself commands us to remember that we are brothers with the Edomites. The Torah states that we shouldn't despise the Edomites because they are our brethren?

The answer is that the Torah wants us to behave like family behave to each other in a certain way but not to have the feelings that are normally felt. We have to stay separate in our feelings to ensure that we don't go after their ways. We must never forget that our ways aren't their ways and we always have to stay emotionally distant.

Rabbi Beryl Glaser
(From Emes L'Yaakov of Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky)

Parsha Chukat on Youtube

PARSHAS CHUKAS: "The Key To Life -- A Spiritual Accounting" by Rabbi Dovid Horowitz