Torah for this Hour | March 28, 2024

The red heifer is perhaps the biggest enigma of the Torah: just as it purifies the unclean, so it defiles the pure. Not to mention the question: How can the water of purification, made from heifer’s ashes along with other ingredients, eliminate impurity?

Those engaged in the preparation of the red heifer were the priests themselves, who are commanded to keep their distance from impurity. This pericope teaches us the supreme value of helping another human being, even at the cost of not being able to continue our normal activities.

The Sages explained that this mitzvah has no given reason and that we fulfil it because God commanded so. There are things we just have to do in our lives, like helping others. In our world, in our society, and even in our close circles, there are people who need us. Let’s reach out to them, no questions asked. We don’t need to know or understand everything, just help.