Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Quick Vort
Parshas Chukas: Parah Adumah - A Lesson In Self Sacrifice

  "Zois Chukas HaTorah... ViYikchu Aylecha Parah Adumah; This is the statute of the Torah... and they shall take to you a Parah Adumah."  Why does it say, "Zois Chukas HaTorah; This is the statute of the Torah," - instead of "Zois Chukas Parah Adumah; This is the statute of the Parah Adumah,"?

The laws concerning the Parah Adumah are paradoxical. On the one hand, when the mixture is sprinkled, a person who is Tamai becomes Tahor. On the other hand, those who are involved in the preparation of the Parah Adumah become Tamai.

The people appointed to prepare the Parah Adumah may rationally argue, "Why should we become Tamai for the sake of those who were not careful to avoid contact with a corpse?"  Through the Chok of Parah Adumah, the Torah is teaching that a Jew must help another Jew, even if that reqires sacrifice. This is "Chukas HaTorah; A basic principle of Torah," - and though we may not easily comprehend it, we must practice it in our daily lives.