Torah Tidbits

30 August 2014 / 4 Elul 5774

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Issue 1048
Shabbat Parshat Chukat
June 13, 2013
Lead Tidbits
Guest Article

From the pen of Rabbi Berel Wein - Reprinted from Shabbat Shalom #4 with permission

This week’s parsha tells of the tragic end game of the generation of the desert. The great leader of Israel, Moshe, is told that he will suffer the same fate of not living to enter the Land of Israel as does his generation. The premier generation of Jewish history - DOR DEI’A, a generation of great knowledge and intelligence - is doomed never to see the promised land of Israel.

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Guest Article

Hidden in the Sand

As we have said often in the past, we make no claims that our ‘gimatriya discoveries’ prove anything. Our particular style of gimatriya searching is to take p’sukim or significant partial p’sukim and see if anything interesting turns up. It’s like walking along a beach with a metal detector and occasionally getting a beep or a buzz, or whatever sounds metal detectors make. Sometimes you find nothing of interest, but sometimes something hidden in the sand brightens your day.

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Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary

Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary

[P> X:Y (Z)] and [S> X:Y (Z)] indicate start of a parsha p’tucha or s’tuma. X:Y is Perek:Pasuk of the beginning of the parsha; (Z) is the number of p’sukim in the parsha.

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Sedra Stats

Chukat stats

39th of 54 sedras; 6th of 10 in Bamidbar

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Lead Tidbit

ZOT CHUKAT HATORAH #2

The sedra announces and describes PARA ADUMA as the quintessential CHOK, with the words ZOT CHUKAT HATORAH. THIS is the CHOK of the Torah. Rashi’s famous comment, based on the Midrash - because the Satan and the nations of the world ridicule us by saying, ‘what is this mitzva (of the Red Heifer) and what reason is there for it?’ therefore the Torah introduces this mitzva with ZOT CHUKAT HATORAH, (so that we can hold our heads up high and say) This is a decree to us is from G-d and we have no permission (or need) to question Him on it. We do His bidding because He asks us to. That is all the reason we need.

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Other Tidbits
TTriddles "Report"

TTriddles

TTriddles are Torah Tidbits-style riddles on Parshat HaShavua (sometimes on the calendar). They are found in the hard-copy of TT scattered throughout, usually at the bottom of different columns. In the electronic versions of TT, they are found all together at the end of the ParshaPix-TTriddles section. The best solution set submitted each week (there isn’t always a best) wins a double prize a CD from Noam Productions and/or a gift (game, puzzle, book, etc.) from Big Deal

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ParshaPix Explanations

Parsha Pix

The cow is an actual potential Para Aduma (subject to careful examination, and then if it is found pure red, has to stay that way, remain unblemished, and never be worked)
After Miriam’s death, the Well dried up and there was no water for the people (the faucet with the spider’s web at its spout)
Although Moshe was commanded to speak to the Rock (the rock’s ear indicates that it was ready to listen), he struck it with the MATEH twice and water gushed forth from the rock(s)

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Divrei Menachem

Divrei Menachem

Parshat Chukat raises the perennial issue of the CHOK, a statute for which there appears to be no logical explanation. The law of the Red Heifer seems to be the archetype, for not only are the purification procedures seemingly irrational but also the kohen who purifies the person in touch with the dead, he himself becomes impure!

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"From Machon Puah"

New Techniques in In-Vitro Fertilization - Rabbi Elyashiv's Opinion

Last week we discussed some of the history and development of the techniques of in-vitro fertilization and the attempts to transfer the least number of embryos and achieve a pregnancy. Therefore there is a search for the best embryos.

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Portion of the Portion

Three Leaders in the Desert

Throughout the 40 years in the desert the people had the protection of the Cloud, they had water from a Well, and received food every day from the Manna. R’ Yossi the son of R’ Yehuda teaches (Taanit 9a) that these three gifts were in the merit of the three leaders that G-d had sent along with them. “I brought you up from the land of Egypt…

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Parsha Points to Ponder

Parsha Points to Ponder - Korach

1) Why did G-D instruct Moshe to take his staff to the rock if the command was to speak and not hit the rock (20:8)?

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Chizuk and Idud

CHIZUK and IDUD for Olim not yet Olim respectively

Water is an extremely precious commodity in the Middle East. Some military analysts predict that future wars will revolve around this issue, with the next casus belli, one nation diverting a shared water source for its own use.
Ever since we came on Aliyah some thirty years ago, one of the curious features of life in Israel has been the media’s almost daily reports on the water level of the Kinneret. 

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Vebbe Rebbe

Wedding Chupa Question

Question: I was told that the b’rachot made by the rabbi (mesader kiddushin) under the chupa are b’rachot that the chatan should be making, but because some do not know how to do so, the rabbi does so. Is it possible to have someone who is not obligated make the b’racha?

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Word of the Month

Word of the Month

A weekly feature of Torah Tidbits to help clarify practical and conceptual aspects of the Jewish Calendar, thereby better fulfilling the mitzva of HaChodesh HaZeh Lachem…

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Candle Lighting and Havdala

Candle Lighting Sponsored By:

Sedra Stats

39th of 54 sedras; 6th of 10 in Bamidbar

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Word of the Month

Word of the Month

A weekly feature of Torah Tidbits to help clarify practical and conceptual aspects of the Jewish Calendar, thereby better fulfilling the mitzva of HaChodesh HaZeh Lachem…

First op for KL for Tamuz was TUE night, June 11th. First op for 7-day people: Motza"Sh, June 15th - after 9:12pm. Because 9:12 is later than when most regular Maariv minyanim will finish davening, one will either have to say KL alone or with whomever you convince to get together with you.
Those whose practice is to say KL on Motza"Sh, but are not makpid to wait 7 full days, can say KL on that Motza"Sh without having to delay until 9:12pm.
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First-Person Kiddush Levana Report - Tamuz 5773
Tuesday, June 11th, 11:35pm - As soon as this report is done, Torah Tidbits for Parshat Chukat will be done. Then it gets sent to the printers in Rishon Letzion and, hopefully, we will receive them tomorrow morning.
Earlier this evening, this reporter (Phil Ch) went out in search of the moon in hopes of being able to say KL at its first opportunity, according to Minhag Yerushalayim. The difficulty with that was the earliest time to say KL this month was tonight after 9:12pm (3 full days, 72 hours after the molad) and the moon was to set at 9:40-ish, leaving a KL window of opportunity of less than a half-hour. And, during that half-hour, the moon was very low on the horizon, making it very difficult to get a clear view from a city. Buildings and trees and other things obscure the horizon. A quick survey in the Israel Center area determined that I’d probably have to wait for tomorrow night. Not the worst thing in the world, but people who are very dedicated Minhag Yerushalayim Kiddush Levana sayers really try for the fisrt op. What to do? One chance and the clock was ticking. The Dan Panorama Hotel. Tall enough to get a decent view of the horizon. Sign in at the door, ask the receptionist for the night manager. Explain to him - quickly - the reason I want to go to an upper floor with an open balcony. And… he agreed! 11th floor penthouse. Scan the panoramic view. No moon. Wait! There it is! Kiddush Levana and an appreciative thank you to my host. Meanwhile in Bnei Braq, a much feared traffic policeman who is also MAKPID on first op KL, ascended the hill near Slabodka Yeshiva and said his KL. Chodesh Tov to you all!