Today’s Aliyah

Dvar Torah for Chukat 3rd Aliyah

In response to the Jews’ complaints about the lack of water, G-d instructed Moshe to speak to the rock so that water would come forth, but Moshe famously hit the rock instead. Moshe’s punishment for “not having faith to sanctify G-d…” was that he would not be allowed to enter the land of Israel (20:12). However, the very next pasuk seems to contradict the one before, stating that G-d was sanctified through the water (20:13). It’s also worth trying to understand how the punishment for Moshe fits his action.

Moshe had an opportunity to use words to explain to the people why complaining about the lack of water wasn’t a productive exercise, and that they should instead ask G-d for water directly. That would have prioritized words over actions, something the Jews would need to internalize when moving into their land. Moshe’s choice of action over words when dealing with the rock confirmed that his skill set wasn’t what the Jews needed as they entered their new home. Although it has been said that actions speak louder than words, communication is always meant to be our first option.