Chukat – R’vi’i

"Don't even think about it."

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

After Miriam’s death, Moshe sent emissaries to the king of Edom. (The Edomites were descended from Yaakov’s brother, Eisav.) Moshe’s representatives conveyed a message about what the Jews had endured since the Exodus. Now the Jews were camped on the outskirts of Edom, requesting to pass through peacefully. They promised not to cause any trouble whatsoever, sticking to the highway until they were through.

“Don’t even think about it,” Edom replied. “If you so much as set foot in our land, we will consider it an act of war and respond with force.” Israel asked them to reconsider, so Edom sent their army to scare them off. Israel had no choice but to go around.

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