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Parah 4: The Mother

We can compare the Parah Adumah to a mother who works in the king’s palace. Her son dirtied the palace and his mother must come and clean his mess. So too, Israel sinned with the Golden Calf, the cow, the mother of the calf, must come and clean the mess of her child. (Rashi, Numbers 19:22)

The Talmud quotes Rabbi Akiva who explained why he continued to teach Torah even when he was awaiting his execution by the Romans for teaching Torah: “More than the calf wants to suckle, the mother wants to nurse her young.” The teacher is compared to a cow and his students to the nursing calf.

God is the Ultimate Teacher. Each morning we describe God as the “Melamed Torah l’amo Yisreal”, the One Who teaches Torah to His nation Israel. God is compared to the mother who nurses her child, the same mother who cleans up her child’s mess.

The Parah Adumah is God’s way of cleaning up our messes, our sins and mistakes, so that He will be free to nurture us with His Torah. (Machberes Avodas Hashem)

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