By now, those of us who study Scripture should understand just how much what is Written still applies today. But when an unusual DOUBLE portion resonates SO dramatically with the real, literally “life and death” issues that shape the most significant conflicts in American history, AND corresponds even to the secular anniversary of the event that is almost certainly the MOST important societal AND spiritual event in history, too — it’s time to take notice.
The Erev Shabbat overview:
This double portion begins with the most famous example of a ‘chuk’ in the Torah, the preparation and purpose of the ‘red heiffer’. There’s the death of Miriam, more whining, and the double ‘rock-strike’ that cost Moshe and Aaron their entry into the Land, some famous battles, the bronze serpent on a pole, and finally the story of the ancient equivalent of a famous televangelist, Balam (or Bilaam), the guy that even had a talking donkey.
How all of this that seems to disparate somehow actually fits together, however, is downright amazing.
And there are parallels, uncomfortable as they may be, in what has been given to us, and what is being rejected today.
The combined two-part teaching is here: