This week we learn, read and live Ki Tisa, and we also read the special portion of Parah.
Thursday, 25 Adar, is the birthday of our Rebbitzen Chaya Mushka, ז?ל, may her merit protect us.
The theme of Parah, the purification via the red heifer, is explained in Chassidus and in the Rebbe's talks as the epitome of Torah and its Mitzvos.
For this reason, the verse reads: זאת חוקת התורה - this is the rule of the Torah...! The verse does not say זאת חוקת הפרה: this is the rule of the Parah, but the emphasis is that it is the rule of the entire Torah.
The lessons in Parah that are connected to the entire Torah are many:
One simple teaching, is that just like the פרה אדומה - the red heifer, is a חק, a Mitzvah that is a statute without a reason, so too, EVERY Mitzvah, even Mitzvahs that do have a reason, the משפטים, the laws that many a society would make on their own; they too must (also) be observed as a חק - as a law without a reason.
When we are commanded not to steal and not to murder, we are reminded in Parah, that זאת חוקת התורה - that this is the rule of the TORAH - that every single one of the 613 Mitzvos, must be observed because they were given to us by Hashem.
We don't fulfill Mitzvos because of the logic contained in them. Sure, many Mitzvos are filled with reasons, logic and even deep, mystical explanations.
But ultimately, we fulfill all Mitzvos, beyond reason, as a חק - as a rule that transcends reason.
Fulfilling Mitzvos beyond reason is connected to the weekly reading Ki Tisa, which refers to the census of the Jewish people, and literally "the lifting of the head of the Jewish people".
Lifting the head of the Jewish people, on a deeper level, represents serving G-d higher than one's intellect - symbolized in the "lifting" of the head, beyond intelligence.
Serving G-d beyond reason, is a theme we discussed last week, in regards to the Holiday of Purim.
Purim was named after the lottery that Haman drew, with the intention of annihilating the Jewish people.
A lottery represents that which is totally beyond reason. And on Purim one's celebration must be עד דלא ידע ... at a level that is beyond rationale.
Many a time when I'm asked by someone not familiar with Yiddishkeit why I always walk with a Yarmulka, I include in my response: The Yarmulka on my head reminds me that my intellect is not the highest part of my being.
The Yarmulka reminds us, that there is something above me, and above my head.
Throughout Jewish history there have been great thinkers who were extremely proficient and knowledgeable in the Talmud, who deviated from the Torah and the Mitzvot!
What they lacked was the חוקת התורה, the rule of the Torah, and the acknowledgement, that every part of the Torah is G-dly, holy and beyond reason.
THE MOSHIACH WATCH: There were three stages regarding the Tablets- the Luchos broken by Moshe in Ki Tisa:
1- The first set of Tablets, that Moshe brought down from Mt Sinai, after forty days and nights.
2- The breaking of the first set of Tablets by Moshe because of the sin of the golden calf.
3- The Jewish people repent. Moshe goes back up the mountain for forty days and nights and returns with the second set of Tablets.
These three stages with the Tablets reflect three eras in Jewish history.
1- the era from the revelation at Mt Sinai until the destruction of the second Temple.
2- the era from the destruction of the second Temple until the present - the nearly 2,000 year exile.
3- the imminent era of Moshiach, when we all return to Hashem and return to the Third Holy Temple in Jerusalem!