The Mitzvah of Parah Adumah can be quite confusing and demanding. The more we learn the more demanding it becomes.
Children had to be raised from birth in a secluded environment specially designed to protect them from any possible impurity in order to have people with the proper level of purity to prepare the Parah Adumah. They were not able to live among a normal functioning society.
This situation is not unique to the Parah Adumah. There are many of us who feel that in order to live as we should we must separate ourselves from society. In order to maintain the purity of our prayers, blessings, learning and Mitzvot we must seclude ourselves from any external and corrupting influences. How can we possibly maintain our spiritual integrity in an environment, which seems so contradictory to so much of what we believe?
These children were not being secluded from a corrupt society. They lived at a time when people were living with great spiritual honesty and awareness. They still had to be separated. There is no perfect society. There is no way to live in absolute spiritual purity and holiness. This was the gift of the Parah Adumah. When we felt overwhelmed by the demands of life, of making a living and raising our children, when we felt torn away from the joy of connecting with God as we desire in the deepest part of our being, we could travel to Jerusalem and taste perfection, if only temporarily.
The contradictions of the Parah Adumah are the contradictions of life. They are part and parcel of human existence and are not bad. They are the core of our job to discover the holy even in the impure.
And, there’s more…
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