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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Thursday, June 29, 2017


This week we read the parsha of Chukas. “Zos chukas haTorah asher tzivah Hashem (this is the ‘chok’ of the Torah that Hashem has commanded) [19:2].” The Torah is filled with many different types of commandments. There are those that make sense to us and those which do not. The understanding of the ‘chukim’ is beyond us. Our parsha begins with the laws of the para adumah — the red heifer that purified those who had become ritually impure by coming in contact with a corpse.

Why didn’t the parsha begin by stating that this is the ‘chok’ of the para- adumah or that this is the ‘chok’ of taharah (ritual purity) or tum’ah (ritual impurity)? Why was this ‘chok’ labeled as the ‘chok’ of the entire Torah?

We’ve discussed previously that tum’ah

Parshas Chukas opens with the enigmatic words, “This is the decree of the Torah... and take unto you a Parah Adumah - a Red Heifer...” (Numbers 19:1) The obvious question is why does the text preface the commandment regarding the Red Heifer with those puzzling words - “This is the decree of the Torah...” It should have simply stated, “This is the decree of the Parah Adumah - the Red Heifer..”

But herein is a very profound teaching. Even as the laws of the Parah Adumah, which can simultaneously

The Midrash teaches that there were two wealthy people in the world — one, a Jew named Korach, the other, a gentile named Haman.

They both lost their wealth as well as their lives because they allowed jealousy to consume them. In addition to wealth, Korach had everything that a man could dream of. He was the descendent of a noble family, a cousin of Moses. He enjoyed respect and admiration and was also blessed with a beautiful family, and yet, he was discontented.

He couldn`t bear that Moses

We all nod our heads in agreement when we hear the phrase, "Two Jews, three opinions." We similarly chuckle when we hear the anecdote about the Jew who was discovered after years of living alone on a desert island. His rescuers noticed that he had built two huts aside from the one he lived in. He told the puzzled people who saved him that they were shuls, or synagogues. When asked why he needed two shuls, he retorted, "One is the one in which I pray, and the other is the one into which I would

Benjamin Franklin made the phrase "God helps those who help themselves" famous by including it in his Poor Richard’s almanac. It is a popular saying emphasizing the importance of self-initiative which would certainly have appealed to 18th century colonists. Many mistakenly believe the phrase has biblical origins. It doesn’t although echoes of it can be heard throughout King Solomon’s Proverbs. We emphasize that man must make some effort before expecting assistance from Heaven. Kabbalistically