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True Knowledge

This week we read Parshas Parah. Parshas Parah always follows Purim. What is the connection?

On Purim the mitzva of the day is "Ad d'lo yada" - to reach a point where we don't know. We lose our ability to discern, to understand, to analyze and to comprehend. This is strange, normally we do everything we can to understand???

The answer is that of course we try to understand but we must realize that after everything is said and done, "mir farshtaisin GORNICHT!!" - we understand NOTHING [I hope the Yiddish is accurate]. We are sooo limited in our knowledge of even the physical world - a fortiori [kal vachomer] the spiritual world.

Take the BIGGEST Professor in his field. He might know more than other people about his area of expertise but there are still many many things he doesn't know. What about other fields? He knows almost nothing! Have you ever met a Professor of EVERYTHING?? Even if he would exist there is still so much knowledge that has not been discovered. The GREATEST Doctors on earth have one or maybe two specialties. But if you go to the biggest brain surgeon alive and tell him that you have a toothache he will send you to any dentist. Dentistry is not his thing. Nor is Cardiology or Opthamology etc. etc.

The Parah Adumah is a mitzva about which Shlomo Hamelech the wisest of all men exclaimed "Amarti echkama vihee richoka memenee" - I tried to understand but it is beyond me. In fact many reasons have been given for this mitzva. What Shlomo is saying is that this mitzva is special in that our job is to constantly understand and then conclude after all of our explanations that we still don't fully understand.

We know that the Parah Adumah is burned and then sprinkled upon an impure person who then becomes purified. There is nothing more purifying than HUMILITY!

From the Ad d'lo yada of Purim to the puzzling mitzva of Parah Adumah which purifies the contaminated and at the same time contaminates the pure we reach the pinnacle of knowledge, in the words of our Sages - "Tachlis Hayidea Shelo Nayda" - The purpose of all knowledge is to know that we don't know!

Heavenly Shabbos Sweetest Friends!!

PS - I mentioned Doctors. If you suffer from a stiff-neck [or you live in TeaNeck, Great-Neck, or once knew someone who was chayav CheNeck], this might interest you.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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