Sedra Hukkat

The most well known “chok”, or statute, regarding the red heifer, introduces this sedra.

Rabbi Berel Berkovitz quotes Maimonides ..”As perhaps the supreme model of the halachic rationalist puts it so eloquently, a person should contemplate the laws of the Torah and try as far as possible to understand their meaning. But when he comes across something, the reason for which he does not understand, he should not treat it lightly.”

There have been many attempts to understand the laws relating to the red heifer which were important in Temple days. In essence the Cohanim,priests, who prepared the ashes of the red heifer, which had purifying properties, themselves became unclean. Rabbi Joseph B Soloveichik uses the analogy of an individual who finds himself trapped in a quicksand of mud. He must be rescued, but the rescuer, who must lift the victim from the quagmire, will of necessity become soiled in the process.

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