Chukat – Torah In Haiku

When Miriam dies …
The people start complaining …
It’s not the first time —-

After Aaron dies …
The people start complaining …
It’s not the last time —-

We’ve read many times – and will read in the coming weeks – about the people complaining against Moses, Aaron and G-d. Moses has had to intercede several times to prevent G-d from destroying the entire community. This week there are two significant deaths and two more stories about complaints.

Miriam dies and the people complain, “Why have you made us come out of Egypt to bring us into this evil place? There is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; not is there any water to drink.” (Numbers 20:5)

Then Aaron dies and the people complain yet again. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread nor is there any water, and we have come to loathe this miserable food.” (Numbers 21:5).

G-d reacts to the second episode with a plague, sending “venomous serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many people of Israel died.” (Numbers 21:6)

Ed Nickow | The Torah In Haiku

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