In Parashat Chukat (Num. 19), we learn of the Torah's ultimate, incomprehensible mystery, the ordinance of the Red Heifer. Its true nature is so ethereal that only Moses, the humblest of all men, was able to fully grasp it. Moses' mastery of this subject is a Divine testimony to his greatness and his greatness is in turn a direct result of his humility. The Torah bears witness to Moses' intimate and unequaled knowledge of this elusive subject, as well as to the perpetual and inexorable bond that will always exist between Moses and the Red Heifer, through the words 'and they shall take to you...' (verse 2).
Yet it seems so ironic that in this very same parsha of Chukat, we also meet up with the single mistake of Moses' life, the one that cost him the one thing he lived for entry into the Holy Land. How dearly he paid for this mistake! Did the punishment fit the crime? How are to we understand that in the very same parsha which bears testimony to Moses' level of greatness, we find his only, incomprehensible, unforgivable blunder? Unless there is something else entirely happening here. Could it be that this wasn't a 'mistake' at all, but rather, a well-choreographed, previously-agreed upon ruse? A play being acted out, whose true nature would not become known until generations later, when the gates of the Holy Temple sink into the ground at the time of destruction? Tune into this week's Temple Talk as Rabbi Richman and Yitzchak Reuven discover that Moses' dedication and love for Israel is so great, so uncompromising, so all-encompassing, that he would never abandon them, not in this world, and not in the next.
Parashat Balak: The Lines they are Drawn, the Curse it is Cast: Bilaam was a real prophet, with real powers, but from where did he draw those powers, and who was he working for? And what about that donkey? Curious? Tune into this week's Temple Talk as our hosts discover that Moses and Bilaam are both prophets, but they are as distant from each other as East from West; as light from darkness. Rabbi Richman and Yitzchak Reuven discuss the glib vs. the heavy of tongue, true humility vs. manipulative charisma, and finally, launch into an explanation of the nature of true prophecy. Does it exist in our time? All on this week's Temple Talk.
Also this week, three new video teachings...
Weekly Torah Portion with Rabbi Chaim Richman: Balak
The power of speech differentiates man from all of creation. And with the power of speech comes the power to bring good into the world and sanctify creation, or to bring evil into the world, and denigrate creation. Moshe used speech to achieve the former. Bilaam, the heathen prophet, used speech to achieve the latter.
Bat Melech, with Rena Richman: "Avigail, Wife of David: One of the seven female prophets, Avigail's quick wit and unwavering morality were essential in shaping David the man and future king."
Light to the Nations with Rabbi Chaim Richman: Rambam's Hilchot Beith HaBechira - Maimonides' Laws of the Chosen House - chapter 7: Inside the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies is the spot of the most intimate aspects of the relationship between G-d and man." Premiers Thursday, July 2nd: http://universaltorah.com/programming/category/temple-institute-light-to-the-nations/
Discuss this topic on the new Torah Spirituality for the Nations forum