An Introduction by AhMbDvd
This piece is being written offline in one pass to provide my readers with deepest and most esoteric understanding of this parsha. There may indeed be deeper and more literal based interpretations that are already out there on the Internet. My intention is to provide links to these works after my work is completed and has been successfully uploaded to the Internet.
The life we are all living is by default the only single reference point that we have. In order to develop a rudimentary understanding of parsha chukas we have to expand our point of reference, via analogy.
The simplest reference we might come up with to understand how: we can burn a pure red cow and then sprinkle have a mixture of the ashes from this cow along with water sprinkled upon us, and this can purify us from having contact with the dead.
There are so many esoteric concepts concealed within even the most literal reading of the parsha, that the first inclination should be, that the parsha should be understood within the most mystical context that we could possibly endeavor to understand.
Or, we should simply accept this parsha as one of the mitzvot that was once revealed to us, but today we can not possibly understand its reason. We can only comprehend the value of this mitzvah after rebuilding of the holy temple in Israel and when Meshiach arrives.
As we start to learn the deeper and more essentialmeaning of things there is one thing of which we can be sure of: things are never as they appear to be. Kabbalah teaches us for example the animal that we see as a cow is only a very small piece of the reality which is a cow.
An easier example to understand comes from the computer world. When you install new software into your computer often there is a long narrow rectangular box that begins to fill in as the software is installed.The box that we see on the computer screen is indeed part of the code which is being implemented in our computer, however the thing that we are seeing is a only a very small and insignificant aspect of the changes that the program code is making in our computer.
More times than not, in our world of Kabbalah, a chair is very rarely just a chair.From a simple point of view it may appear outlandish that the ashes from an unblemished and pure red cow can make something which has become defiled or impure due to contact with the dead, pure. In fact this particular parsha from my understanding, has become the centerpiece for the explanation which is not an explanation that often becomes invoked in the world of orthodox Jewish observance, we do it because Hashem told us to do it. Alternatively we do not understand it because it is beyond our ability to understand.
Indeed our Rabbis also inform us that it is our demonstration of our emunah (or trust in Hashem) tha we do things often without understanding the reason for doing it. While the mitzvot of purifying us from the contamination which comes from contact with the dead in parsha Chukas is relegated to the classification of things we can not do until Messhiach arrives, there are also the mitzvot that we do because Hashem tells us to do, without even attempting to understand why. The perfect example of this is the mitzah of not having both linen and wool as part of the same garment. The very interesting exception to this rule is in wearing the tzitzit, here apparently it is okay to have both linen and wool in the same garment. However that’s a whole other parsha.
Lets try looking at a cow from an entirely different perspective. A cow is a kosher animal which chews its cud and has a cloven hoof. When the cow is slaughtered properly we can eat of its meat. We can also drink its milk. However we can not drink its milk and eat of its meat in the same meal. The simple reason that we can not do that as given in the torah as we may not boil a kid in its mother’s milk. The laws of kashrus are often cited as laws which we obey because we have received them from Hashem. We do not try to understand them from a logical perspective. We are taught that eating treif (non-kosher) food can also contaminate our neshoma (soul) therefore we are very careful in adhering to the laws of kashrus.
In order to begin to even fathom how the ashes from a dead animal can purify us from contact with the dead, it may be worthwhile to at least attempt to investigate how contact with the dead contaminates us in the first place.