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Parshat Chukat

Parshat Chukat

A LESSON IN CHARITY

In the Parsha, we discuss the Red Heifer and how it's ashes purifies the man who became impure as a result of handling a dead body and how the Kohen /Priest who purifies him becomes impure himself requiring seven days outside the camp and then purification by immersing in a Mikvah.

It is well known that the laws of the Red Heifer are from the few Chukim - laws we can not and do not understand. Even King Solomon, the wisest of all men, failed to understand this process and set of laws.

While we may not understand these particular laws and how they work, we can learn a tremendous lesson in collective responsibility and charity.

The Kohen / Priest may righteously question why should he be required to purify this other person and in the process become impure himself.

The true and simple answer is that as Jews we are responsible one for another. If a Jew is impure, it is the obligation of the Priest to purify him.

When a fellow Jew is in financial trouble, we are all collectively responsible to help him/her.

Here the Torah teaches that we can not say, but I need this money for myself etc or why should I give away my own money that I worked hard for to help a fellow Jew.

On the contrary, we are taught that we must help, we are actually obligated to help.

Ultimately, the good we do in this world will always come back to benefit ourselves as well.

Shabbat Shalom

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