Lesson 39

Parashah 39: Hukat (Regulation ) 19:1-22:1

(in regular years read with parashah 40, in leap years separately)

The Torah of Purification those in contact with dead – Paruh adumah (Red Heifer)

KEYWORD: Paruh, heifer, seven times, seven days, burn, blood, ceder wood, hyssop, sheni tola’at, scarlet, wash, cut off, tamei, tahor, until erev, touches the dead, mayim niddah (separation, sprinking), ashes, purify

I have decreed it; You have no right to challenge it.

19:1 (i) Statutes for Defilement

And ADONAI (יהוה) spoke to Moshe and to Aharon, saying:

19:2 This [is] the Chukah (ordinance) ha Torah which ADONAI (יהוה) has commanded, saying:

Speak to al- Benai Yisrael:

that they bring you a Paruh adumah (Red Heifer) without spot, wherein [is] no blemish, [and] upon which never came yoke:

19:3 And you shall give her to El Azar ha Kohen, that he may bring her forth without the camp, and [one] shall slay her before his face:

19:4 And El Azar ha Kohen shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the Ohel Moed (tent of meeting) seven times:

19:5 And [one] shall burn the heifer in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn:

19:6 (Kohen will ask aloud each of these 3 items 3 times ensure correct)

And the Kohen shall take

cedar wood, and

hyssop, and

sheni tola’at (scarlet, ), and

cast [it] into the midst of the burning of the heifer.

19:7 Then the Kohen shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in mayim, and afterward he shall come into the camp, and the Kohen shall be tamei (unclean) until the erev (evening).

19:8 And he that burns her shall wash his clothes in mayim, and bathe his flesh in mayim, and shall be tamei (unclean) until the erev (evening).

19:9 And a man [that is] tahor (clean) shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay [them] up without the camp in a tahor (clean) place, [p108j] and it shall be kept for the congregation of the Benai Yisrael for a mayim niddah (separation, sprinking): it [is] a purification for sin.

19:10 And he that gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be tamei (unclean) until the erev (evening): and it shall be to the Benai Yisrael, and to the stranger that sojourns among them, for a statute forever.

19:11 He that touches the dead body of any man shall be tamei (unclean) seven days.

19:12 He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be tahor (clean): but if he purify not himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be tahor (clean).

19:13 Whosoever touches the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifies not himself, defiles the tabernacle of ADONAI (יהוה); and that nefesh shall be cut off from Yisra’el: because the mayim niddah (separation) was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be tamei; his uncleaniness [is] yet upon him.


This [is] the Torah, when a man dies in a tent: all that come into the tent, and all that [is] in the tent, shall be tamei (unclean) seven days.

19:15 And every open vessel, which has no covering bound upon it, [is] tamei (unclean).

19:16 And whosoever touches one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be tamei (unclean) seven days.

19:17 And for a tamei (unclean) [person] they shall take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and running mayim shall be put thereto in a vessel:

19:18(LY:ii) Sprinkle the Contaminated

And a tahor (clean) person shall take hyssop, and dip [it] in the mayim, and sprinkle [it] upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave:

19:19 And the tahor (clean) [person] shall sprinkle upon the tamei (unclean) on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash his clothes, and bathe himself in mayim, and shall be tahor (clean) at erev (evening).

19:20 But the man that shall be tamei (unclean), and shall not purify himself, that nefesh shall be cut off from among the kahal (congregation), because he has defiled the Mikdash (sanctuary) ADONAI (יהוה): the mayim niddah (separation, sprinking) has not been sprinkled upon him; he [is] tamei (unclean).

19:21 And it shall be a perpetual statute to them, that he that sprinkleth the mayim niddah (separation) shall wash his clothes; and he that touches the mayim niddah (separation) shall be tamei (unclean) until erev (evening).

19:22 And whatsoever the tamei (unclean) [person] touches shall be tamei; and the nefesh that touches [it] shall be tamei (unclean) until erev (evening).

Beit Midrash Torah-Seeker

Why was the Zot Chukat ha Torah for Defilement neccessary?

The previous chapters judgment of Korach rebellion, the corpse contamination from the plague that killed 14,700 must be addressed. Adonay commands zot chukat ha Torah (this is the statute of the Torah) for decontaminating individuals who have came in contact with death.

mitzvah p 107j This mitzvah concern those who had physical contact with the decease makes a that person tamei (unclean) (unclean) whether the decease body is touched or whether a person comes under the same roof as the corpse body. The scripture teaches us that death is symbolic of sin and we must do all possible to separate ourselves from the ways of sinfulness and death. The household of family of decease must carry out the necessary purification as in verse 19:17

The Paruh adumah (Red Heifer) must be brought to the “Mount of Annointment,” a precise location on the Mount of Olives, opposite the eastern gate of the Temple Mount. There the heifer must be slaughtered and burned. Afterwards, its ashes are mixed together with natural spring water. It is this solution, called by the Bible “the waters of sanctification,” which is used to sprinkle on those who are impure.