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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
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Parshat Chukat: The Role of The Snake

Going through all these things twice: The generation of the desert, like Adam, the first man, failed to appreciate the gifts that G-d gives us. Adam blamed the woman G-d gave him for his own eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, and the Israelites in the desert complained about the spiritually refined nourishment known as manna, with which G-d kept them fed for forty years. Is it any wonder that the evil-tongued snake made an appearance in both cases, here being used by G-d as an instrument to exact from Israel a price for their flagrant disregard?

About the Author: Rabbi Chaim Richman is director of the International Department of the Temple Institute.


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