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Friday, July 15

The Weekly Shtikle - Chukas

Today, 9 Teves, is the first yahrtzeit of my sister-in-law, Batsheva Yeres. The shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmasah, Batsheva Blima, a"h bas HaRav Moshe Yosef HaLevi, ybl"t.

I was trying to find a theme from the parsha appropriate to the day. Indeed, the parsha is filled with much sorrow with the death of both Miriam and Aharon and the profound impact those two losses had on B'nei Yisrael. However, there is another very positive theme that is found as the parsha progresses and continues for the rest of the sefer. After the episode of the spies, the dream of entering Eretz Yisrael fades away from the nation, for the most part. It seems to get even worse at the beginning of this week's parsah with Moshe and Aharon also being informed that they too will not enter the land. But finally, we read about the sweeping defeat of Sichon and Og. The nation moves ever closer towards the land that will soon be theirs and the conquest of Eretz Yisrael has begun. We will soon read about the boundaries and specific pieces of land that each tribe will inherit as well as other items specifically pertaining to the nation's inhabitance of the land. The topic of this week's haftarah as well is Yiftach standing up for the defense of the land and defending every inch of its borders.

This was definitely one of the many things that stood out about Batsheva. Her love of Eretz Yisrael brought her to make aliyah despite the many challenges and hurdles involved. She was also known to capitalize on even the slightest opportunity to convince people to do the same. Even though in Eretz Yisrael they are actually up to Balak, the timing is nevertheless fitting.  

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

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