Parshat Chuqat (Decree)

The Torah portion is Chuqat, Numbers 19:1-22:1.

This parshah lays out the procedure for the Parah Adumah, the "red heifer", an unblemished, completely red cow that is slaughtered and completely burnt. The ashes are used as part of a ritual for purification after contact with a dead body. Miriam dies, followed by a shortage of water because (according to Rashi) a well followed the people because of Miriam's merit but went dry at her death. G-d told Moses to ask a rock for water, but in his anger he struck the rock to get the water and for this Moses and Aaron were not permitted to enter the Promised Land. Aaron dies later in the parshah. The People have various conflicts on their travels in the Wilderness with the Emorites, the Canaanites and the Amorites.

The haftarah is Judges 11:1-11:33. Involves wars like the Torah portion and recalls that the Torah wars started when nations did not allow the People to peacefully cross through their lands.