Student Teaching in the New Millenium

5771 Hukkat

In Numbers on July 6, 2011 at 3:04 am

Say once, say again
And remember it third ways
Never good enough

Water of lustration from the ashes of a cow burned with it’s dung? For cleansing people who touched corpses. How does ash and poop wash away ash and poop?

How are you supposed to find a red cow without any blemish? What does blemish mean in the Torah?

Why does the text read “he who fails to cleanse himself” after requiring someone else to dash the ashes? If touching a corpse makes someone unclean, and touching the ashes, of another corpse no less, makes someone unclean, why not let the unclean person truly cleanse himself?

What rod? Aaron’s rod from Korach?

Why did Moses embellish God’s command? Why does God jump to the conclusion that Moses lacked trust? I can command my dog with hand gestures. Why is this different? Why is this affirmation so important? The waters are named form the sanctification. Was God’s sanctity affirmed or not?

Why don’t Moses and Aaron protest here? Why isn’t God’s anger kindled here?

How could the community be without water when Kadesh is a town?

How can the Gates of Repentance always be open when, as we know from the rest of the text, Moses does not see the land?

How can Moses say “we cried to the Lord” after the shameful behavior of the Israelites just a few verses ago?

Why was Aaron punished for Meribah “for you disobeyed my command.”. Is “you” Moses or Aaron or both? It reads like God is addressing Moses. If Aaron or both, what did Aaron do? Or does the Prophet ask, what did Aaron not do?

Aaron submits without complaint. Is Aaron a Noah? A Joseph? Was Aaron really doomed here, or earlier? Eleazar, not Aaron, is prescribed in the red heifer ritual before this in the text. Why do this so soon after Aaron is confirmed by God himself?

How can the house of Israel be ready to murder Aaron in one moment, and mourn his loss for thirty days in another?

Does the Torah ask why the people keep changing the Exodus story? Does the prophet answer that we are no different from Ammonites?

Why, after Korach, do the people ask Moses to intercede? Does Jephthah say “I intercede for you, I intercede for myself”? Does this parsha, then, become about the responsibility of the individual to encourage the community, and the responsibility of the community to encourage individuals? Don’t hazzan’s encourage communities who don’t know how to pray to pray, and don’t communities that don’t know how to pray encourage hazzan’s to learn how to pray? Is intercession purely servile, and should those in this function dress as plainly as possible?

What is “The Book of the Wars of the Lord”?

Why does God give the people countries to possess when they should be busy trudging around in the wilderness?

Why does Japhthah have to go through with offering up his daughter? Isn’t human sacrifice forbidden? Why wasn’t his hand stayed, like Abraham’s?


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