November 20, 2018

Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Chukat with Rabbi Matt Carl

Our guest this week is Rabbi Matt Carl, leader of the East Midwood Jewish Center in Brooklyn. Rabbi Carl graduated from Vassar College in 2000 with a BA with honors, majoring in religion. In 2008 he was awarded an MA and Rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary and Machon Schechter, where he specialized in Talmud and Rabbinics. While at JTS he trained as a chaplain at Sloan Kettering Medical Center. For several years Carl was the day-to-day rabbi for 150 families at Brooklyn’s Congregation Mount Sinai, creating programs for the younger generation and unaffiliated Jews. He co-founded the Brooklyn United Jewish High School Program with several other local synagogue educators and created the Brooklyn Bridge Community Supported Agriculture program. He also served as rabbi of Battery Park Synagogue and as Director of Community Engagement at Hazon.

This week's Torah portion – Parashat Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1) – Features the death of Aaron and Miriam, brother and sister of Moses; the famous story of Moses striking the stone; and Israel’s battles against the Emorite kings Sichon and Og. Our conversation focuses on Moshe’s anger when hitting the rock, the reason for his severe punishment, and the idea of letting anger get to us.

Our previous discussions about Parashat Chukat:

Rabbi Daniel Korobkin on Israel’s use of the power of prayer in their military struggles

Rabbi Sharon Braus on Miriam and Aaron’s role in the story of Israel