Rosner’s Torah Talk: Parshat Chukat With Rabbi David Cohen Henriquez
Born and raised in Panama City, Panama Rabbi David Cohen–Henriquez brings a diverse, multicultural perspective and passion for Jewish education and spiritual guidance. Rabbi David was ordained at the Hebrew College Rabbinical School, focused on a multi-denominational approach to Judaism. He has served in communities in New Hampshire, Panama and Los Angeles, where he served at the Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel. He currently serves in the North Shore of Massachusetts, as Rabbi at Temple Sinai as well as being the resident Rabbi at the Eptstein Hillel School.
The rabbi’s vision is to create engaging opportunities for Jews of all venues to express the values of Judaism in every area of their lives, drawing upon from the natural world and the wisdom of the Torah and our conversation with our tradition. Currently kicking off a Teen Beit Midrash, a multi denominational, pluralistic, approach to Torah and tradition. With sources from the Bible to Midrash, from Yiddish literature to the Hasidic tradition, modern Israeli and American Jewish authors. Rabbi David is dedicated to fostering a creative, participatory, and
genuine embrace of Jewish religious learning and living.
This week’s torah portion- Parashat Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1)- Features the death of Aaron and Miriam, brother and sister of Moses, and the famous story of Moses striking the stone.
After 40 years of wandering in the desert, the people of Israel arrive at the wilderness of Zin, where Miriam dies and gets buried. As the people become thirsty God tells Moses to order a rock to yield water. After Moses strikes the rock twice, God punishes him by denying him entrance to the land of Israel. Aaron dies at and is succeeded by his son Elazar who becomes the new High Priest. After the people speak against God and Moses, snakes attack the Israelite camp. God tells Moses to put a brass serpent on a high pole, and says that whoever will gaze at it will be healed. Moses subsequently leads the people in battles against the Emorite kings Sichon and Og and conquers their lands, which lie east of the river Jordan.
Previous Torah Talks on Chukat