Tuesday, July 11, 2017

[DRASHOS] Chukas

Chukas 77

We have mentioned in the past that parshas parah is read to remember the eigel, but to make a separate reading just about the eigel would be exceedingly disgraceful to ourselves. There was even a position in the gemara to skip its reading entirely as it would cause us great shame but the gemara says that specifically that shame helps in the sin's atonement.  As we read about the parah adumah & its reference to the eigel we feel broken and somewhat down and there is a danger of yiush – a loss of hope with our never seemingly never ending predicament of guilt.

However the shvilei pinchos notes an interesting correlation between the Parah Adumah and the name Eliezer. Tum'as mes is literally a "dead – end". There should not be any sensible, natural way out of this 'end'. But Hashem decreed a chok that gives a new start of purity to the defiled person through the parah adumah.

When Avraham sought to fight the four kings he took 318 students with him but they all fled, leaving only Eliezer. The  gemara points out that his name is gematriah 318. When all others suffered from Yiush – gematriah 317, Eliezer was still driven – one number and one step ahead of yiush.

Moshe heard Hashem proclaim that the halacha is like R Eliezer regarding the (2 yr) age of the Parah, and Moshe asked Hashem that this great tzaddik should be from his descendants. The medrash says that Hashem granted his wish as it says ושם האחד אליעזר (כי אלוקי אבי עזרי ויציליני מחרב פרעה). One cannot help but be reminded of the quote אפ' חרב חדה מונחת על צואריו אל יתייאש מן הרחמים . Eliezer is the name that shows hope in the face of despair.

The first Tanna mentioned in shas is the same R' Eliezer (ben Horkenus) that discussed the Parah Adumah, and his first statement in shas is about the end of a kohen's tumah that allows him to eat trumah in purity. As darkness descends, their purity prevails.

The Bnei Yissoschor brings from the sefer yetzirah that Hashem created chodesh Tammuz with a ח and chodesh Av with a ט. The challenges of chodesh Tammuz and Av are built into creation. חטא calls out to entice us and it's easy to despair and give in.

Let us remember the message of Parah Adumah and Eliezer. R' Yeruchom Levovitz told his Talmidim in Mir Poland that due to the challenges they were facing at the time, (probably the temptation of the haskallah) they are as great as R' Akiva Eiger!

The greatness of a Torah observant Jew living in our day and age in our society, is nothing short of spectacular! Let us not give into the thoughts of "who am I anyway". Let us NOT feel down about our challenges. Let us appreciate our successes as small as they may seem and as far and in between as they may be. Be hopeful and give it your best fight. May we then be zoche to the final וזרקתי עליכם מים טהורים וטיהרתם מכל טומאותיכם and the geulah b'karov.


Posted By Dovi milstein to DRASHOS at 7/11/2017 10:55:00 PM

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