BS”D Parashat Chukat 5780
Rabbi Nachman Kahana
What is the Rationale?
The classic example of a Torah Chok (a mitzva whose rationale was not disclosed) is Para Aduma – the red heifer whose ashes are critical to restoring ritual purity to one who has come into contact with a corpse.
Notwithstanding the importance of every chok, this one is insignificant when compared to the ultimate one regarding the creation of the world and people in the first place.
One thing we Jews can be sure of. HaShem is goal orientated and unceasingly active for our benefit, as stated by David Hamelech (Tehilim 121):
הנה לא ינום ולא יישן שומר ישראל:
Indeed, the Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps
It’s a Chok!
The universe, in its entirety, comprises space and time and their contents. It includes two trillion galaxies consisting of planets, stars, black holes, and all forms of matter and energy. The actual size of the spatial universe is unknown, but the size of the observable universe is currently estimated at 93 billion light-years in diameter. The distance of a light-year is about 9.46 trillion kilometers (5.88 trillion miles). Therefore, the size of the observable universe is 9.46 trillion kilometers times 93 billion. There are theories hypothesizing that our universe is only one of many disconnected universes belonging to a larger multi-universe, which comprises all of space and time and its contents.
So, the question under consideration is why did HaShem create such a huge and complex entity? We know next to nothing about the inner workings of the Creator. We can only conclude that the functional result of what we see is that we must think big when dealing with HaShem and spiritual ideas. HaShem has little patience for small talk and small thoughts.
Let’s return to our tiny and comfortable planet Earth and to Am Yisrael – its most respected resident. Our great and multi-faceted nation can be divided into many different categories, but the one I am referring to is the range of its spiritual world outlook.
Most Chareidi people cannot – or choose not to – see further than their immediate shtiebel or bet midrash, with the shtiebel next door light years away.
Most Chassidim escape into the warm and comfortable surroundings of their rebbe. They view all other Chassidic groups as irrelevant and not even potential marriage partners for their children.
There are others who are capable of contemplating a larger Jewish community, such as the Jews of England or France. However, very few can view the entire nation of Yisrael as a unified, indivisible nation under HaShem. To do so, one must intellectually and emotionally include every Jew – even the unrepentant heretic.
The master of this treatise is HaShem Himself, when He commanded Moshe to declare in His name (Shemot 4,22):
ואמרת אל פרעה כה אמר ה’ בני בכרי ישראל:
And you shall say to Pharoah, ‘Thus says HaShem my first born (nation of) Yisrael’
In our time, it was the venerable Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, first Chief Rabbi of the yishuv, who taught us how to think in terms of Am Yisrael as comprising all who are born to a Jewish mother or underwent halachic conversion. He was close to the non-observant and even to the anti-Halacha chalutzim (pioneers). He encouraged them to continue their challenging efforts to restore life to the parched earth of Eretz Yisrael.
In terms of Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael in the last 72 years since the establishment of the Medina, we have witnessed some of the most miraculous feats a nation can perform. Unbelievable military victories, the July 4th 3276 kilometer surprise incursion on the airport in Entebbe, Uganda to rescue kidnapped Jews, the liberation of the Temple Mount and our sovereignty over all of Yerushalayim for the first time in over 2000 years, and so much more.
Am Yisrael is prepared for the next stage as HaShem guides us to the geula shelayma (total redemption). If until now the thrust of HaShem’s miracles was the survival of the Jewish nation and settling the land, the next miraculous acts will deal with the people who presently reside in the land. There will be a major population exchange of immense proportions. Millions of gentiles will leave and will be replaced by millions of Jews.
There are close to 400,000 gentiles from the former Soviet Union who arrived here by virtue of having at least one Jewish grandparent. Their purpose was to find a better life than what they had had in the Soviet Union. They have no inherent feelings to the land and no desire nor inclination to convert to Judaism, which requires total acceptance of the Halacha.
There are over 80,000 illegal Africans who infiltrated by way of Egypt. They have taken over southern Tel Aviv and drive away the Israelis. They bring many children into the world, assuming that these children will be the gateway to obtaining permanent residence.
Arabs in Israel number about 1.9 million or 21% of the population. There are another 2 million in Yehuda and Shomron and 2 million in the Gaza area. These 6 million Arabs demonstrate their hostility in varying degrees from putting a knife in a Jew’s back to plotting a full-scale uprising against the Medina.
They will all have to go.
The Medina, with its limited resources and precarious international standing, will not expel these people. Therefore, it is up to HaShem to do as He did at the time of Yehoshua bin Nun.
The miracle will continue when HaShem brings about the conditions that will force the Jews in galut to come here.
When will it happen and how will it happen?
That is a CHOK!
So, remember the three Bs
B careful, B healthy and B here
Copyright © 5780/2020 Nachman Kahana