Chukat is the thirty-ninth reading from the Torah. The word chukat (חוקת) means “statute.” The name is derived from the second verse of the reading: “This is the statute of the law which the LORD has commanded” (Numbers 19:2). Chukat presents the mysterious laws of the red-heifer ceremony for purification after contact with human death.
This reading also contains the story of Moses striking the rock, the stories of the deaths of Aaron and Miriam and the wars with the Amorites. The portion concludes with the children of Israel encamping on the edge of the Promised Land.