This week we read about the Para Aduma, the red heifer, the ashes of which was used in the purification process of those who came into contact with a dead body. This is one of the Chukkim, enigmatic laws which we can’t understand superficially or maybe even at all. Regarding the preparation of these purifying ashes we find that those who prepared them become impure while the work of their hands i.e. the ashes brings purity to those who are impure. My Rosh Yeshiva Rav Aharon Pfeufer explained that this is actually understandable. If you are sick antibiotics can make you better. If you are well, the same antibiotics can make you sick. It works the same in the spiritual world. If you are spiritually sick the sprinkling of the ashes will cure you and if you are spiritually well, the very same substance can make you spiritually ill. Perhaps the lesson here is that sometimes we may also have to get our hands a little dirty to ensure everyone else can have a chance to become pure. I wish you Shabbat Shalom. If you are going or are already away, please be safe. If you are here, I hope to see you Shul side!
G d Bless.
Rabbi David Shaw