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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Parsha

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 purify and contaminate are beyond our human comprehension, similarly, all the laws of the Torah (even mishpatim - those laws that appeal to our human intelligence), have elements that are inexplicable. 

King Solomon was the wisest of all men and he

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

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

In this week’s parsha, we discover our tragic predilection for self-destruction. Even if G-d performs open miracles and bestows every blessing upon us, it will be to no avail if we are bent on trouble. G-d performed the most astounding miracles for our forefathers: the plagues that fell upon Egypt, the splitting of the Red Sea, the collapse of Pharaoh and the Egyptian army, manna falling from heaven, water gushing forth from rocks, the giving of the Torah at Sinai - and yet, when the command