Torah Tidbits

2 September 2014 / 7 Elul 5774
Issue 1048
Shabbat Parshat Chukat
June 13, 2013

Divrei Menachem

Divrei Menachem

Parshat Chukat raises the perennial issue of the CHOK, a statute for which there appears to be no logical explanation. The law of the Red Heifer seems to be the archetype, for not only are the purification procedures seemingly irrational but also the kohen who purifies the person in touch with the dead, he himself becomes impure!
In truth, there are reasons behind all the laws of the Torah - but we, with all our powers of perception, do not know how to explain the Chukim. And although R’ Moshe Hadarshan claimed that the Red Heifer atoned for the Sin of the Golden Calf, our rabbis tell us that only Moshe Rabeinu - the singular individual not tainted by that event - was privy to the real reason for this enigmatic command.
Our rabbis also relate that the wise King Solomon figured out the explanations of all the laws and statutes until he came to the CHOK of the Red Heifer. He then understood that if he could not fathom that law, perhaps there were other things that he did not understand; there was much more that even he had to learn. This is surely a timely lesson for anyone who thinks that he or she has the answers to all the secrets of the Torah.

Shabbat Shalom, Menachem Persoff

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