Parshas Chukkas: All the Torah is a chok - Orthodox Conversion Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here

Parshas Chukkas: All the Torah is a chok

“Hashem spoke to Moshe and to Aharn saying, ‘This is the decree of the Torah, which Hashem has commanded saying, Speak tot he children of Israel and they shall take to you a completely red cow which is without blemish and upon which a yoke has not come” (Numbers 19:1-3).

The red heifer is the quintessential idea of what a chok is. A chok is a law that doesn’t make any rational sense. In this context, the kohen took the ashes and put them on an impure person which made him pure but at the same time it made the kohen impure. Why would G-d seemingly give commands to His people that don’t make any rational sense? After all, if He wants us to abide by His law, shouldn’t we be able to understand them?

The reality is that even though there are many laws in the Torah that do make sense, the vast majority do not. One thing we always have to keep in mind is that the Torah is a G-d given book that was transmitted to Moshe Rabbenu who passed it down to the Jewish people. Obviously G-d knows what is best for the Jewish people and therefore we still have to keep the law even if it is not entirely clear what is behind the particular mitzvah.

Many may look at this as a pure leap of faith but in truth the Torah is so deep on so many levels, how is it possible for a person to plum its depths? That does not mean we don’t have to try and understand it to the best of our ability but we must understand that we have limited knowledge. This is why we have to constantly be learning and reviewing so we can perform the mitzvos that we do at the highest level!

This is a lifetime of work but the more we delve into the richness of the Torah and its timely message, the more it will enhance the mitzvos that we perform. This will in fact change our lives because we want to grow spiritually as much as possible. Even if a person works most of the day, there are still many mitzvos we can do that help transform us into the great people we can be.

We don’t want to be discouraged by the fact that there is so much to learn and we have to change our mentiality to the ways of the Torah! It is not how much of ourselves that we put into Torah but how much Torah we put into ourselves. Torah is supposed to change us and there are guidelines of how to do this. We have to stay in those parameters that allow us to maximize what we will get out of it.

At the same time, if we realized that all the mitzvos are really a Divine decree, how could a person sin in the first place? We would not be looking for leniencies and would do the will of G-d because He said so! There are so many undeducated Jews in the world that have no idea what the Torah means and how it affects there lives.

They will claim until they understand what this mitzvah is about…at their own level with a clear understanding then they will keep it. This is untrue because a person could always be looking for the reasons for the mitzvos when the reality is that every answer they receive does not satisfy them. This gives them the ability to say that it doesn’t make sense to them and they therefore don’t have to keep it!

For a believing Jew, whether they understand the mitzvos at a deeper level or not they still have to keep the commandments of the king. May we always be inspired to keep G-d’s commandments at the highlest level and live inspired lives!

Shabbat Shalom

About the Author RabbiChaimCoffman

  • Janet Downen says:

    I find it very difficult not to rely on my own sense of logic and reason. It is challenging.

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