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    Which came first? – Chukkat

    The sidra starts with the concept of the red heifer, which is Chukkat HaTorah, a Torah Statute – a Divine command which we are duty-bound to obey simply because God demanded it.

    In many cases a rule in the Torah is explicable as a response to something that happens. An example is the eating of matzah on Pesach which is a commemoration of lechem oni, the bread of affliction which the Israelites ate in Egypt. But Chukkat HaTorah is obligatory because it is the word of God.

    The question is, “Which came first – God, or the Law?” Though we have the power of reason, the fact that God was there first tells us that Judaism is a Divine revelation and not something that we worked out for ourselves.

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