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    Life with death left in

    Hands aloft by APalkoIt is a difficult sidra, because of the message, not because of the words.

    There is something there which we cannot fathom – a chok (“statute”) which our minds cannot work out (Num. 19:1-2). It is God’s test of obedience. It is axiomatic that God knows what He is doing, but we can’t read His mind. Not just we but our forebears.

    The law of the red heifer (the parah adumah) is a statute which has intrigued and puzzled human minds from time immemorial.

    Of course it is not the only chok. Some people even extend the concept and agonise over their own life experiences, especially over a death.

    When a loved one dies, whatever their age, we say, “Why did God do this to me?”

    Intellectually we know that everyone, including people we love, can die and do. Death is part of life and nobody lives for ever.

    Our minds register that fact, but it remains hard to live with. We find it difficult to look at life with death left in.

    We know, at least in theory, that life isn’t always happy. There are all kinds of losses, failures and disappointments. But the difficult times are hard to take.

    Maybe one day it will all make sense. In the meantime we are full of anguish.

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