http://revach.net/article.php?id=2410

Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Chasidus
Parshas Chukas: Kotzker Rebbe - Cheap Vessels, The Value On The Inside
 At the time of the Bais HaMikdash , there was a way of purifying oneself from Tumas Meis, through the Parah Adumah. Today, unfortunately, we don't have the Parah Adumah and we are all Tomayei Meisim. In the course of the discussion of Tumas Meis, the Torah alludes to other discussions of Tumah v'Tahara. One type of Tumah is that of Keylim - vessels.

There are two types of vessels that have two different sets of Tumah laws: There are metal utensils (kli mateches), which become Tameh from outside contact with sources of Tumah. There are also earthenware vessels (kli cheres), which only become Tameh from the inside.

In the case of the earthenware vessels (kli cheres), actual contact between the vessel and the Tumah is not needed. Even if a sheretz is suspended inside the kli cheres, the utensil becomes tameh.

The Kotzker Rebbe, zt"l, explains the difference: Metal itself is a precious commodity. Therefore as soon as contact is made -- even on the outside -- it becomes tameh.

An earthenware, kli cheres, however, is made from material that is almost valueless. The whole value and importance of the vessel is determined by its functionality -- what it can contain. Therefore the vessel can only be made impure by attacking its functionality -- from within the walls of the vessel.

The Kotzker says that people can also be compared to earthenware vessels. Man's value is not based on his external appearance. The value of a human being is based on what is inside. Sometimes we get too caught up with the "Chitzonios" and lose focus on the more important "Pnimius"!