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Chukas: Torahs Hashem

וידבר ה' אל משה ואל אהרן לאמר זאת חקת התורה אשר צוה ה' לאמר, דבר אל בני ישראל ויקחו אליך פרה אדומה תמימה אשר אין בה מום אשר לא עלה עליה עול.

“And Hashem spoke to Moshe and to Aharon saying: ‘This is the law of the Torah that Hashem commanded you, saying: Speak to the Jewish people and take for yourself a Red Heifer that is wholesome, and that is without a blemish, upon which no yoke has ever been placed.” (Bamidbar 19:1-2)

The commentators ask why the verse states that “this is the law of the Torah,” as if the mitzvah of Para Aduma (the Red Heifer) is the only mitzvah. The verse should have said instead that “this is the law of the Red Heifer.”

It says in Mishlei (4:2): “I am giving you a good deal; My Torah you shall not forsake.” With the word “deal,” the verse is already referring to the Torah, so why does it then repeat itself? It would have been enough to say: “I am giving you a good deal; do not forsake it.”

We can answer this question with the first verse in Tehillim: “Fortunate is the person who didn’t walk after the advice of the wicked, and in the ways of the sinful ones he didn’t stand, and he didn’t sit at a meeting of scoffers, for in the Torah of Hashem is his desire.” Why does the verse emphasize that the Torah is of Hashem when this is self understood?

The answer to this is a very important insight. The Torah is full of wisdom, depth and beauty, yet it is not a science like all other sciences. The essence of Torah is that it is Torahs Hashem, it is Hashem’s blueprint for the world; it has not been compiled by a human being, and therefore it is in a class of its own, far above any other science. Someone who wants to master Torah must see it as Torahs Hashem, not just an interesting science. One must learn Torah with purity. Our Torah leaders have taught us that the Torah attaches itself to those who learn it with purity. Someone who learns Torah without the required purity may indeed understand it and even repeat what it says in the Torah, but he cannot internally connect to Torahs Hashem.

Dovid Hamelech is telling us something very important. There may be people among the wicked, the sinful and the scoffers who know plenty of Torah, yet they learned it with impurity. Fortunate is the person who doesn’t follow their advice, walk in their ways or sit among them! Just learning Torah is not enough, but one must learn Torah properly, attaching oneself to Torahs Hashem. The holy Baal Shem Tov and his disciples emphasized this teaching, and the Maor V’shamesh elaborates on this concept (Parshas Emor).

This may be the meaning of the verse in Mishlei: “I am giving you a good deal; My Torah you shall not forsake!” The Torah is a delight and many people want to benefit from it, but do not think that you can gain from learning Torah unless you see it as My Torah. You shall never forget that it is Torahs Hashem, the word of the Creator, for only then can you truly connect to Him through Torah study.

The above-mentioned verse hints at this teaching. “This is the law of the Torah that Hashem commanded you.” The word chukas (law) has the same letters as the word tikach, which means to take, to obtain. Hashem is telling us: This – the following mitzvah of the Red Heifer, which is a means for purifying people – is the way to obtain the entire Torah. Not just plain Torah wisdom, but “the Torah that Hashem commanded you!” Through purity, one can connect to Torahs Hashem and benefit from the holiness and elevation of Hashem’s word.

If we will purify ourselves, Hashem will help us with all our needs, and we will merit greeting Moshiach speedily in our days, Amein.


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