January 23, 2019

Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Chukat with Rabbi Justin Goldstein

Our guest this week is Rabbi Justin Goldstein, of Congregation Beth Israel in Asheville, NC. Rabbi Goldstein was ordained in 2011 by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, CA. While in rabbinical school, he taught regularly on environmental sustainability and food security, eventually volunteering as a Rabbinic Fellow for Hazon, the largest Jewish environmental organization in North America. Following ordination, Rabbi Goldstein served in his first congregation in Bangor, ME. He was 2012-2013 Rabbis Without Borders fellow, and he was recently named by the Forward as one of their inspiring rabbis of 2016.

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 discussion focuses on the possible reasons why Moses was punished and denied entrance to the Land of Israel.

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

Rabbi Matt Carl on the idea of letting anger get to us