Beyond comprehension and belief – Rabbi Yosef Katzman

The Red Heifer is one of the most difficult laws in the Torah, it is beyond reason, it purifies the impure and contaminates the pure, and the nations of the world love to tease the Jewish people about this inexplicable law.

One of the purposes of this law is to teach us that the Torah is G-dly, and truly only G-d knows all the secrets, and in the end finite mortals cannot fully understand the Torah, it is G-d’s wisdom which is infinitely superior to any human beings ability to comprehend, it serves to remind us, that there are some things that only the creator knows the what and the why.

One of the mysteries of the Red Heifer is, that it is possible to become pure, even from the most impure position like that of death, by the atonement of the Red Heifer. And the Rabbis explain, that the story of the death of Miriam is written in the Torah next to that of the Red Heifer, to teach us that the death of the righteous equally atones just like the Red Heifer. And just like we don’t fully comprehend the mystery of the Red Heifer, so too we can’t demystify the death of the truly righteous.

Last week we commemorated the 25th anniversary of the passing of our holy Rebbe, and in contemplation we learned, that beyond our comprehension, the fact remains that the Rebbe leads us now more than ever, just look at the numbers.

But overclouding this very special Shabbos, was the tragic news of the sudden passing of Rabbi Tzemach Cunin (43) O.B.M., the Rebbe’s Shliach to Century Village California, the son of the legendary Shliach Rabbi Shlomo Cunin, may he live and be well, one of the Rebbe’s trailblazing Shluchim to California, a pioneer and inspiring role model to thousands of the Rebbe’s Chasidim and Shluchim.

It is very painful to watch a father bury his son, it is especially painful because you can’t make sense out of this tragedy, you are stunned and in pain, and you just ask why?!

This illustrates the point that the passing of the righteous is the equivalent to the Red Heifer, only G-d knows the secret to this mystery, only He knows the what and the why.

But, Rabbi Cunin the true Chosid that he is, responded in kind, like a true devoted Chosid and Shliach, he reacted in a manner which supersedes reason, Rabbi Cunin announced that in loving memory of his dear son, he will establish 25 new Chabad centers across California!!!

That’s the way of connecting with the G-dly, the infinite, beyond reason but down to earth, doing G-d’s work and making the world a better place, to help usher in the final redemption.

May G-d comfort the Cunin’s and the entire Chabad community, and may we merit speedily the ultimate redemption with Moshiach, who will reveal to us all the secrets, including this painful event, and together we will rejoice and be reunited with our loved ones, with the Rebbe leading us triumphantly.

Have a comforted Shabbos,
Gut Shabbos
Yosef Katzman

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