Parshas Chukas-Excerpts from Likkutei Torah

Selected Excerpts from Likkutei Torah

Parshas Chukas



Explorations of the Excerpts:

1.      Why is the Para Aduma is considered “The Mitzvah” of the Torah?

2.      Is the animal soul truly evil?

3.      How does one serve Hashem with Gava?

4.      What is the main aspect of prayer?



Para Aduma-The general Mitzvah of the entire Torah:[1]

The verse states that the Mitzvah of Para Aduma was the general Mitzvah of the Torah. Why is this Mitzvah given such importance? The reason for this is because the Mitzvah of Para Admu contains the two forms of Divine service of Ratzo and Shuv, which is the general aspects and purpose of all Mitzvos. Ratzo is the passionate love experienced for G-d. Shuv is the desire to draw G-dliness below. In general, each Mitzvah contains these aspects in a concealed form, however the Mitzvah of Para Aduma contains both of these aspects, of Ratzo and Shuv, in a revealed manner. The Ratzo is represented in the burning of the cow into ash while the Shuv is represented in the placing of water into the bucket. The Mitzvah of Para Aduma serves as the source of the Ratzo and Shuv found in all the other Mitzvos.


The Tikkun affected by Para Aduma:[2]

The Kelipos are able to receive spiritual nurture from the level of Gevurah. The level of Gevurah contracts the Divine life force into miniscule amounts which allow even Kelipa to receive vitality from it. The purpose of the Para Aduma is to stop this nurture from the Kelipos

Why is the Tmei Meis sprinkled specifically on the 3rd day?[3] The 3rd day represents Rachamim/mercy and from there comes the ability to purify a Tmei Meis.


Burning the cow-The animal soul is not essentially evil:[4]

The animal soul is not truly evil; rather it is a soul that contains inclinations and desires without any necessary goal or spcification. This means that the animal soul is not inborn with a desire for only and specifically physical and worldly pleasures and acts of evil, but rather for any pleasure of any form. Thus, just as one is able to use his animal soul to desire evil, similarly it can also be used to desire good and gain a passion to cleave to Hashem. When one desires evil, he simply garbs his animal soul with an evil garment. The requirement of a Jew is for him to remove this evil garment and garb the animal soul with a garment of Holiness, hence having it desire good and spiritual matters. This is what is hinted to in the ceremony of the burning of the Para Aduma. When an item is burnt it returns to ash. Ash is one of the four composites of an item, which are fire, water, air, dust. This hints to the idea that one is to burn his animal soul and refine its essence from its garments, hence leaving it only with its “ash” or essence which can then be used for good and Holiness.


How to burn the animal soul:

The animal soul is burnt by one preventing its expression in those matters that are forbidden and belong to the side of evil. One closes his eyes against seeing evil, closes his ears against hearing evil, and protects his mind from contemplating evil. By doing so one destroys the evil form of the animal soul and leaves only its ash which can then be used for holy purposes.


The soul found in the inanimate and vegetation:[5]

Although every item contains a soul, the level of the soul differs based on creation. Inanimate existences, such as a stone, contain a soul that serves to combine the four elementary principals of fire, water, air and earth, in order to keep the form of the stone in existence. This soul does not give the stone any life and it hence remains inanimate and does not grow. Vegetation on the other hand contains a soul that aside for combining its four basic elements also gives it ability to grow.


Gava of Kedusha-Holy arrogance:[6]

A person is at times able to serve Hashem with arrogance. When a Jew is faced with a challenge to sin he can arouse within himself a feeling of Jewish pride, a pride of the G-dliness contained within his soul, and due to this pride he is not be willing to lower himself to the worldly desires. 


Even one verse of Torah contains the entire Torah:[7]

The different parts of the Torah are completely united, as it represents and reveals Hashem’s unity in the world. When one learns even a single verse in Torah, it incorporates the entire Torah.


Continuity of life:[8]

At every moment there is a new life-force that comes and enlivens the creations. The life force that was received a moment ago has already returned above and a new life-force has come to take its place. [This teaches one how at every moment he is subject to Hashem’s kindness of creation, and how one must try to dedicate each moment to G-d. It also teaches that it is never too late to change, as every moment is a new creation.]


Man chooses from where his life-force comes from:[9]

There exist chambers of Holiness and chambers of evil in the spiritual worlds. It is up to man to decide from which world he desires his life-force to come from. When one dedicates himself to Torah and Mitzvos, his life-force is received from the chambers of Holiness, and through it comes all of man’s physical blessings. However when one chooses to chase after physical pleasures, he receives his life-force from the chambers of evil. Man is given freedom of choice to choose his source of life.


The main aspect of prayer:[10]

The main aspect of prayer is to pour out one’s heart before Hashem of the pain he has in living in spiritual darkness and limitations. One is to feel a taste of bitterness from all of the thoughts speech and actions that he is daily involved in that have no connection to Hashem.


Overindulgence in business clogs the mind:[11]

Overindulgence in business leads to the mind’s transformation from a spiritual receptive limb, to a coarse and corporal limb. When one indulges too much in his livelihood, and is constantly looking for more and newer ideas of making money, it can lead to him thinking that it is his strength and might that brings him the income. This removes one’s trust from Hashem and makes his mind become coarse. His mind is not able to naturally grasp spiritual matters due to this coarseness. 



[1] Likkutei Torah p. 56a

[2] Likkutei Torah p. 56b

[3] LT Chukas

[4] Likkutei Torah p. 56b

[5] Likkutei Torah Chukas 57b

[6] Likkutei Torah Chukas 57b

[7] Likkutei Torah Chukas 62b

[8] Likkutei Torah Chukas 62b

[9] Likkutei Torah Chukas 65a

[10] Likkutei Torah Chukas 66a

[11] Likkutei Torah Chukas 66b

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