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Parashat CHUKAT
A key to unlocking the mysteries of life's cycle and renewal

Parashat Chukat, which we read this Shabbat, is unique in offering great hope.

It tells us how we can rid ourselves of the impurity of death, a person who comes into contact with a corpse. And when we say that it is possible to rectify this, meaning that we can purify ourselves from the impurity of death, it gives us a hint that death is temporary and that there will be a world without death in the future.

Indeed, some things seem very strange. They take a cow. The cow is the largest domestic animal in human proximity in ancient times. This cow carries much more life within it than a bull. A bull will never be pregnant, but a cow is destined to carry more life within it.

It must be that same cow with a red color. Red is the color of life.

And they also take a cedar tree. Cedar is a towering tree in the Middle East.

Along with that, they also take hyssop. Hyssop is the tiniest tree in the Middle East. And they also add and take unique red worms [Kermes (dye)].

The worm is the tiniest creature in the world and is also red.

And they burn everything together.

All life, everyone. Even the life found in plants and animal life all turns into ashes. This ash symbolizes absolute death.

And we put this ash into living water. Living water is like the soul. It is an uninterrupted flow of vitality!

And when we combine what symbolizes death with this living flow, we see the possibility of believing in the resurrection of the dead.

Here we encounter the profound optimism of the Jewish people who believe in the resurrection of the dead.

And so we have also witnessed in recent generations how the Jewish people rose from the ashes and revived Israeli nationhood.

A message of Rabbi Oury Cherki - the head of the Noahide World Center 

More Weekly Portions

Expanding Horizons:
How Jewish Festivals Evolve Beyond Biblical Times
[Emor]

Parashat Emor highlights the high-volume sanctity of times and places, listing key Jewish festivals connected to the Temple as discussed in Leviticus. It addresses how Moses communicated these to the Children of Israel, and introduces long-tail concepts like the addition of festivals beyond the Torah's scope. The narrative links the Menorah and the Temple to new celebrations such as Hanukkah, and connects the showbread ritual to Purim, indicating evolving traditions that continue to sanctify time through historical and divine revelations.

Unlocking Holiness
A Spiritual Awakening
[Kedoshim]

Examining the commandment to be holy, the article delves into its relational aspects, stressing the need for humans to emulate the divine in their interactions. It discusses the significance of loving others, oneself, and the Creator, drawing from Talmudic interpretations to underscore the interconnectedness of these dimensions. By fostering holistic relationships, individuals can fulfill their moral duties and attain a sense of completeness in their moral identities.

From Wilderness to Promised Land
The Evolution of Kosher Meat Consumption
[Aharei Mot]

In Parshat Achrei Mot, the Torah restricts meat consumption in the wilderness to prevent idolatry. Only kosher animal sacrifices within the Tabernacle were permitted. Unauthorized slaughter was considered a serious transgression, akin to murder. Upon entering the Land of Israel, the Israelites were allowed to consume "meat of desire" anywhere, symbolizing the expanded sacred space of the Tabernacle and Temple.

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