Today’s Aliyah

Dvar Torah for Chukat 1st Aliyah

When introducing the laws of Parah Adumah (red heifer) that purify those who are contaminated, the Torah uses the phrase “This is the state of the Torah…” (19:2). Would it not make more sense to introduce these laws more specifically as those of the Parah Adumah?

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein suggests that this language is meant to teach us that the entire Torah is similar to the laws of the red cow in its duality. For example, humility is good for ourselves, but we should be proud of others’ traits and accomplishments and honor them. We should be generous with our own money by giving to charity but be more mindful when dealing with others’ money. This duality is a constant in our lives, and the Torah is here to serve as our best navigator.