Torah thought forFriday 9 Tammuz 5782 July 8 2022

Chukat [outside of Israel, Balak in Israel]

(translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK)

How a Slight Disadvantage May Be Very Profitable!

In this week’s Parashah we shall learn about the mitzvah of the “Parah Adumah” - “Red Cow”, which was slaughtered and burnt on Mt. Olives. Afterwards they would sprinkle the ash of the cow on a person who had become impure via the dead.

Today we have no ash of the Parah Adumah until Mashiach will comes, and then we will merit to purify ourselves from all our impurities. Then we shall merit that Hashem will poor upon us a heavenly spirit to understand His Torah and its’ secrets. As Maran the Hida z”l writes that Rabbeinu the Arizal merited to have sprinkled upon him the ash of the Parah Adumah by Eliyahu HaNavi in order to merit to fathom the Torah’s secrets.

At the beginning of the command about the Parah Adumah the Torah states, “…the following is declared to be the Torah’s decree” (Bamidbar 19:2). Why is this mitzvah specifically coined “a decree”? Our chachamim explain: Because the satan and the nations of the world pained Am Yisrael and said, What is this mitzvah? What reason does it have? Therefore, it is called “a decree”, “A decree before Me and you have no right to question it” [Yoma 67b].

But why is it called “the Torah’s” decree? It should have said, “this is the decree of purity”, or “this is the decree of the cow”, why state here “Torah”? It is to teach us that the entire Torah is akin to the mitzvah of the Parah Adumah and that we must also accept it despite not understanding its reasons. Happy is the person who studies and explores, and merits the Torah’s secrets to fathom the true reasons of the mitzvot.

Similarly, our chachamim explain what the Torah states regarding the laws of impurity of the dead: “When a man dies in a tent, this is the Torah’s law” (Bamidbar 19:14), why does it state here “Torah”? It is to teach us that the Torah only remains with a person who kills himself over it [invests all his energy]! Amongst the many ideas expressed here is that he surrenders his personal opinion and goes with a pure heart, with a full belief that the Torah is entirely true. It has many reasons, and its’ secrets cannot be fathomed.

A person such as this, whether male or female, who accepts the Torah with a complete belief and in its entirety, both the Written and Oral Torah, it is said about them: “One who walks in his innocence is a righteous man; fortunate are his sons after him” (Mishlei 20:7), because from Heaven [he will be gifted it] if he toils in Torah, he will merit to understand the Torah’s reasons. Even one who doesn’t merit, he will nevertheless merit to be looked after by Heaven, even beyond the letter of the Law, even beyond human comprehension!

Rav Yaakov Galinski zt”l relates about Rav Avraham Yafyan zt”l (1886-1970, Novhardok, Rosh Yeshivah): He was a simple student, not bright in anyway and everyone pitied him. What will be of him? How will he sustain himself?  How will he cope with life?

And what actually happened to him? He had a few coins and bought a lottery ticket and filled out the numbers. After a few days the whole city was full of commotion, he had correctly chosen the lottery numbers (for the sake of illustration, it was 415, see further)! The young lad won a legendary amount of 5,000 rubles, a huge amount in those days [comparatively, approximately 500,000 USD in today’s worth]!

The lad walked proudly and when they all congratulated him on his good fortune, he said: “This wasn’t luck! It was Divine Inspiration!” They asked him, “What inspiration?” He replied:

“At first, I was never going to play the lottery! But I saw in my dream the numbers: 17, 18, 370. I understood that that Heaven is showing me my lucky numbers!”

They didn’t understand; “But you only have 3 numbers to fill in!”

With a broad smile he said, “ “That’s it! You need to be clever in life! Heaven wanted me to join the numbers, 17 + 18 + 370 equals 415! And so it was! This was the lottery number!”

One of the listeners was astonished, “But the numbers add up to only 405!!!”

“If so,” said the young man, “How lucky that I cannot add up!”

A true story but what did the Gaon wish to convey? That we know nothing. We don’t understand a thing. Not what is good and not what is bad. Sometimes a deficiency can be an advantage and an advantage can be a deficiency. We must entrust ourselves with our Creator, in good sense and with a balanced mind, whilst constantly aware that everything is in Hashem’s hands. He gave us a true Torah and he planted eternal life within us. He constantly watches over us from above in ways beyond our comprehension. We must adhere to His will and to pray to Him that He fulfil our heartfelt wishes for the good!

Shabbat Shalom!

Recent Parasha

"תנא דבי אליהו כל השונה הלכות בכל יום מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא"

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