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Devar Torah - Chukas

Thursday, 13 June, 2013 - 8:00 pm

The Everlasting Bond
By Rabbi Shimon Raichik

This week’s parsha, Chukas discusses the laws of the parah aduma. Hashem told Moshe Rabbenu, “Vayikchu Aleicha” Take the parah aduma to you. Chazal explain that taking to you means for to take it permanently. All the other parah aduma in later generations will not be ones that last, but yours will last.

Moshe Rabbenu brought the first parah in the midbar. Ezra brought the second in the time of the second Beis HaMikdash. Every 50 years another was brought up until the churbon Beis HaMikdosh. Moshiach will bring the tenth.

Why did the ashes of Moshe Rabbenu’s parah last for over 1000 years until the first churbon? How is this connected to Moshe Rabbenu? Every Kohen who prepared a parah needed to use this ash in order to become pure first. Why was that necessary to mix his parah with all others that were made after his, even with the 10th parah that Moshiach’s will make?

Rashi explains that the parah was a female. The purpose was to receive forgiveness for the sin of the golden calf. This is analogous to a mother (the parah) cleaning the filth of the child (the calf).

What does the sin of the golden calf represent on a deeper level? Once bnei Yisroel experienced Matan Torah they became altogether free from death. As the medrash says don’t read that the luchos were “charut-engraved” rather read “cheirus-they were freed” (from death).  When they sinned at the golden calf however, that brought death back into the world. The mitzvah of parah aduma cleanses away the impurity of death, and restores the state of freedom once again. This is why Rambam explains that Moshiach will bring the 10th parah. This is because he will bring complete purity for now and for always. “Es ruach hatumah avir min haaretz” The spirit of impurity will utterly disappear and therefore the malach hamaves will no longer exist.

This is the connection to Moshe Rabbenu. More than nullifying the impurity, he removes its true cause, death itself. Only Moshe Rabbenu has that power. The gemara in Sukkah says ;“Maaseh Moshe nitzchiim”  Every action that Moshe Rabbenu took had an everlasting effect. Even the things that he made that disappeared, the Mishkon, the Luchos etc., will resurface at a later date. The gemara in Sotah says that just as Moshe stood and served Hashem then, so too now he did not pass, he continues to serve. Because of this the ashes of Moshe Rabbenu’s parah lasted for over 1000 years and his parah has the power to forgive our sins and remove the impurity until Moshiach arrives and removes all impurity forever.

This is the power of the parah aduma that was made by Moshe Rabbenu and the reason that all subsequent paros were prepared by first purifying using those ashes. It is because that parah is connected with Moshe Rebbenu who has complete bitul, is completely nullified before Hashem. Moshe Rabbenu was extremely humble. He was the faithful servant of Hashem that had complete self sacrifice for the Jewish people. Mesirus nefesh never changes, it is beyond both time and place. Nothing changes in regard to what we must accomplish for Hashem. This is the ash of Moshe Rabbenu that lasts. From this ash comes all taharah.

What is the message to each and every one of us today? “Atem Hadeveikim bHashem chayim..-those that are connected to Hashem are alive today. Any disconnection equals the opposite (R’L). How do we see this in our daily life? A person says: “I’m not into it today”, or he gets effected by moods that get’s one off track. With mesirus nefesh however he remains connected to Moshe Rabbenu, rain or shine, whether he’s in New York, California or Hawaii. It’s the same if it were 20 years, 40 years or 100 years ago. This is true in the times of the Alter Rebbe, the Baal Shem Tov or today.

There are two main points here. The ash itself exists today, and that all the subsequent parahs needed the cleansing of Moshe Rabbenu’s and was mixed with some of his for perpetuity. The ash itself existing today represents the awakening of the essence of a Jew and his power of mesirus nefesh. Cleasing from the ash and mixing it in with others represents the strength and vitality that mesirus nefesh gives to all of the Torah and mitzvos that we do.

In the end of the 25th chapter in the Tanya it says that we need to remember to be ready to serve Hashem in everything that we do. This includes davening in general and the Shema in particular in which we arouse mesirus nefesh and ahava for Hashem.  This continues as we enter into the world as we take with us the impressions from our davening and mix it together with all that we do. Then the connection to Hashem is seen in all of our ways.

This is the connection to Gimmel Tammuz. Gimmel Tammus arouses the inner connection to the Moshe Rabbenu of our generation. It places every chosid on a higher plane with the bitul we have to the Rebbe. We then mix it with everything we do in our daily life throughout the year. This helps us cleanse and prepare ourselves, and those around us every day for the complete revelation of Moshiach Now.

(Adapted from Likutei Sichos v. 33)

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