Kabbalists teach that when a person passes away, the soul leaves the body, and the physical body becomes impure; meaning, negative forces can attach themselves to it. And if a person is in proximity to that dead body, he or she receives some of that impurity. That impurity is removed through a process called the para aduma, the red heifer, and it is the physical discussion in this week’s portion, Chukat.
The Zohar explains that it’s not just about the technical process of removing this impurity, but rather that it goes to the core of how a person disconnects himself from the forces of darkness, from what’s called the Sitra Achra, the Negative Side. Therefore, when we talk about the force of death, which is what this week’s portion is about removing, we are not just talking about that moment of physical death that people experience. Rather, we are talking about the force of death that... read more