It is also Shabbat Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1) where we read about the ashes of the red heifer that purify anyone who has touched a dead body or made themselves unclean in some way. It is also the portion where we find out what makes one unclean in the first place. Miriam dies and the people thirst for water, and that is when Moses whips that staff out and hits the rock in what I can only describe as frustration, causing the water comes out with some bad news. Moses and Aaron will not see the promised land according to the big guy.
Then there are the snakes that keep attacking the Israelites when the people “speak against G!d and Moses” during this hot mess. Then everyone sings "'Ascend, O well," and makes nice with G!d once again after he heals them and makes everything comfortable again. And at the end of the parshah Moses leads his people against Sichon and Og. Kings of lands which we have to travel through to get to the promised land. Eventually the Israelites are victorious and and conquer their lands, which lie east of the Jordan.
One of the things I take away from this reading is the real hurt that you see moses go through, he loses his sister who had always found water for the Israelites, and in his frustration over having to take on her job as well as his own he reacts badly and gets banned from the promised land. It almost seems like Korach's unmeasured response from last week. Start a rebellion and get swallowed up by the Earth, hit a stone in frustration and get banned from the one place you have been headed since leaving the place of your birth.
Shabbat Shalom Y'all! Enjoy that three day weekend!
B’vracha and Thanks!