Parshas Chukas

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Parshas Chukas


In this week’s parsha, the Torah discusses the death of Miriam and Aharon.  Although they were the siblings of Moshe, there is no overshadowing their immeasurable greatness. We can’t even begin to fathom the level that Aharon and Miriam were on. There is no question that their loss was felt throughout the Jewish camps and had a tremendous impact on the Jewish nation of that generation. When discussing the loss of Miriam, the Torah tells us a seemingly disconnected fact. The Torah says there was no water for the people to drink, and therefore the people gathered against Moshe and Aharon. Strange that the Torah would place this passage right next to the story of Miriam’s death! Rashi tells us that this is no coincidence, and this passage is definitely not out of place. Rashi explains the fact that there was no water for the people was due to the death of Miriam. The water that sustained the Jewish people the entire 38 years before Miriam’s death was specifically in her merit. But there’s even more to the story than just that. It seems that the people had no idea that Miriam was the sole reason for the water. Only after she died and there was no more water did the people realize where the water was coming from. It could be that their assumption was the merit of all the Jewish people together brought the water for them to drink. Or maybe it was due to the merit of their leader Moshe. But the Almighty was telling them otherwise. It was all because of Miriam.

I’m sure that the Jewish people understood the loss of such a great person as Miriam, and realized the effect it could have on them. But ‘ה wanted to let them know that there’s even more to the story than meets the eye. It’s very important for everyone to understand the lesson from this episode in the Torah. Although one might think they know the whole story, they never really do. Who knows in which merit the Almighty bestows upon us our abundance. Sometimes the merit is due to the people as a whole. However, it could always be due to that one person that we have all the good bestowed upon us. We can never underestimate anyone on any level, because we have no idea what the person could be doing for us at this very moment. It may very well be that the water we drink is all from the merit of one person from the community. Not only that water, but the food, clothes, houses, furniture, cars, etc. It’s impossible to know in whose merit we’re receiving our blessing, but one thing is for sure; it could be any one of us.



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