Chukat: The Divine Water Supply

The water struggle continues to this day.

Levi Chazen,

Judaism Levi Chazen
Levi Chazen
INN:LC
"The children of Israel, the whole assembly, arrived at the wilderness of Zin in the first month and the people settled in Kadesh. Miriam died there and she was buried there, there was no water for the assembly and they gathered against Moshe and Aharon."
The supernatural life that the Jewish people led in the desert was sometimes more than they could bear.
 
After Miriam's death, the well which supplied water for the Jewish people throughout the forty years in the desert disappeared. In fact, for each of the three great Jewish leaders - Miriam, Aharon the High Priest, and Moses - a gift was given over to the Jewish people. In the merit of Aharon, the clouds of glory protected the Jewish people in the desert; in the merit of Moses, the manna fell for them; and in Miriam's merit, the well supplied the people with water.
 
Without a doubt, the supernatural life that the Jewish people led in the desert was sometimes more than they could bear. Clothes that grow on them, the bread which they ate never brought on the need to use the bathroom. For the most part, they lived up to this miraculous lifestyle, but sometimes, egged on by the erev rav - those multitudes of nations which came out with the Jewish people from Egypt - they would complain bitterly to Moshe.
 
The Midrash teaches us that as Moshe and Aharon were sitting shiv'ah for their sister Miriam, the people came to complain before Moshe: "You are mourning for one person, but instead, you should mourn for all the Jewish people, as we have no water to drink for us and our children." HaShem then commanded Moshe to speak to the rock and bring forth water: "HaShem spoke to Moshe, saying, 'Take the staff and gather together the assembly you and Aharon your brother, and speak to the rock before their eyes that it shall give drink to the assembly and their animals.'"

But even as Moshe prepared to perform this great miracle, once again the erev rav raised their ugly heads and denounced Moshe, saying: Let's see if Moshe can bring forth water from any rock! The holy Zohar relates to us that they cried out to Moshe: If you cannot bring forth water from the rock that we want you to get it from, then we want no water at all. Moshe was at his wit's end. He was finally able to bring forth water, but only after striking the rock, instead of speaking to it as HaShem commanded.
 
When the dust settled and the Children of Israel were supplied with water, Moshe and Aharon were prohibited from entering the Land of Israel. The erev rav had won out, and indirectly caused Moses and Aharon not to enter into the Land; for if Moses would have been allowed to enter the Land of Israel, the Temple would have been built right away and the Redemption, which we still await today, would have come.
 
The water struggle continues to this day. It should come as no surprise, then, as reported this week in Arutz Sheva, that B'tselem - the self-hating extreme leftist group - came out and accused Israel of causing a severe water shortage to the Arab population of Yehuda and Shomron by cutting off their water supply and giving it over to the Jews who live there. The modern-day erev rav continue where their predecessors left off.
 
Still, G-d's great love for His people was shown to us davka though water, as we learn in our parsha. As the Jewish people journeyed toward the Land of Israel, they passed through the narrow valley of the Arnon River, and the Emorite nation was waiting for them on the mountaintops on both sides of the valley, planning a surprise attack against the Jewish people. HaShem, though, in His great mercy, joined the two mountains together, causing all of the Emorite soldiers to be killed.

Said HaShem: 'Who will inform My people about this great miracle which I did for them?' All of a sudden, the
G-d's great love for His people was shown to us davka though water.
Jewish people saw their water supply go red with blood, as body parts were washed up. Only then did the Jewish people know of the great salvation which HaShem brought to His people. It was then that they sang a thanksgiving song to HaShem: "Come up, O well, call out to it." Our rabbis teach us that there are ten songs sung to HaShem by the Jewish people, this being one of them; the last one, the tenth, will be at the end of days.

In spite of the evil plans which the nations conspire against the Jewish people, HaShem continuously watches over His people and saves them. As the Jewish people continued with their journey to the Land of Israel, the giant Og, the king of Bashan, uplifted an entire mountain, planning to throw it on the heads of the Jews. Once again, HaShem, in His great mercy, called in a troop of ants, which cut a hole over Og's head, causing the mountaintop to fall on the head of Og himself. Once again, the Jewish people were saved.
 
Today, too, the evil nations - haters of HaShem and His people Israel - continue to plan their evil. But the One who sits on high laughs, for these same plans they work so hard on will only bring about their own downfall. And soon, in the not-too-distant future, sweet waters will emerge from the newly built Temple in Jerusalem and will subsequently sweeten all the waters of the world.




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