Chukat: Chapter 4

A red heifer


We learn that the offering of a cow is to purify the unclean, and that red means a sentence of law. The cow must be without defect to indicate soft judgment, and without blemish since all blemishes are healed through the illumination of Wisdom. Rabbi Elazar explains why the offering was taken to the adjutant to Aaron and not directly to the high priest, saying that this would be improper because Aaron approaches from the Holy Side not the pure side. We hear about the seven washings, the seven years of Shmitah and the seven Sfirot. Rabbi Elazar says that throwing cedar wood on the burnt ashes weakens the energy of the unclean aspect, so the people become cleansed. We hear about the "water of sprinkling" that is for purification when the world dwells in Judgment, and Rabbi Elazar concludes by saying that defilement and purification are the most important rules of the Torah.

[Verse 26] Moses says that it is forbidden to plow during the Shabbat with an ox. He says that the lower Shechinah is a red cow from the aspect of Gvurah, and he goes on to talk about the aspect of the higher Shechinah that is liberty. The result of the offering is that there is no authority for the Other Side to rule.