Thursday, June 25, 2015

Simply G-dly

In this week's Parsha, Chukas, we are taught the law of the Red Heifer. If someone comes in contact with a dead body, they have to be purified by being sprinkled with water mixed with the ashes of the red heifer. About this Mitzvah the Torah says "Zos Chukas HaTorah", "THIS is the decree of the Torah". Meaning, there is something about this Mitzvah which is central to Torah and its observance. 

This Mitzvah is a "chok", a Mitzvah who's rational is beyond human comprehension and is done just because it is Hashem's will. 

What are some lessons that we can take from this Mitzvah that effect Jewish life and observance? 

The first lesson is that we must be alive. Our attitude, outlook and focus must be positive and alive. Some see Torah as a bunch of rules telling them what they can't do. To them Torah becomes a miserable ball and chain which they lug around. Some even take pride in this form of misery "Look at how miserable I am for Hashem". This is not living. The Torah wants us to purify ourselves from even contact with death. To live with Torah, is to see the positive purpose and mission that Hashem has given to us. Instead of a ball and chain, Torah becomes wings with which you can soar. Mitzvos become a joy to do. Even the negative commandments are kept out of joy and positivity. You get to be Hashem's messenger to do these things. 

Another thing we can learn from the red heifer is, that its reason is beyond human comprehension. We only do it because it is Hashem's will. Same could be true about all the Mitzvos, even the ones we do understand, we can and should do them for a higher purpose, because it is Hashem's will. This makes our seemingly mundane actions meaningful too. 

Being unable to do anything for myself, I see more than ever how simple actions can be meaningful and G-dly. Just sitting, keeping me company, is so precious to me. 

This perhaps is the  most important lesson of all. It is easy to see prayer, Torah study, teffillin, Shabbos candles, etc. As G-dly. To Hashem, our most mundane act can be G-dly. This is especially true when we show kindness to one another, what is more G-dly than that. 


  1. Thank you! So powerful, so much to think about.
    Miss you rabbi, looking forward to spending time together again soon.
    Good shabbos!

  2. And now it is time that G-d sprinkle the "pure waters" over all of us and purify us and redeem us. May we all forever remain alive and "alive" and joyful. May G-d grant you complete lively physical health now!

  3. Rabbi, You point out that what appears to be mundane, may actually be a significant and Spiritual act of huge significance. Even just sitting with another person is a Mitzvah. It shows respect, affection, humility, and compassion for another of G_d's children. Thank you for your observations. Dr John

  4. Rabbi Hurowitz you are incredible person.I couldn't agree more one act of kindness goes a long way! i enjoy reading your post you are an inspiration,may Hashem give you complete Refuah,have a good Shabbos