Speak to the Rock – Parshat Chukat
Do you speak to your rock?
In this week’s Torah portion the Jewish people complain (again) that there is no water for them to drink in the desert. G-d tells Moshe to go and speak to a particular rock that has served as a water source in the past. Moshe famously hits the rock instead of speaking to it and after the second whack, water comes pouring forth. G-d reprimands Moshe for not speaking to the rock, and tells him that because of this action he won’t be able to enter that land of Israel together with the rest of the Jewish people.
There are many questions asked by the commentaries about this episode. Some people want to know what the big deal is and why Moshe lost his privilege of entering Israel over this. Others ask why the water even flowed after Moshe’s second hit if G-d wanted him to speak to the rock.
All these questions aside, perhaps there was another lesson that G-d wanted to teach the Jewish people. There are two ways for us to deal with adversity and challenges. We can either use our hands or our mouth. Sometimes we think that with brute force or using a position of power we can push for what we want. However, communicating with words is the way it should be. G-d is telling us that when we need something from someone, using our mouths to express our wishes is the best route.
Rabbi Mendy Hecht