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    A lesson in public relations – Chukkat

    radio microphoneWhy is this sidra called Chukkat, “a statute”?

    Tradition divides the mitzvot into those which reason can and cannot elucidate. The latter are called statutes.

    Rashi says the nations of the world ask Israel why they keep commandments such as the rule of the red heifer. In response, the Israelites say, “It is a Divine decree, a statute!”

    In other words, instead of seeking explanations for certain laws we simply say it is the word of God.

    This echoes the modern problem of public relations. We have to be smart enough to know which approach to take when outsiders question us – whether to try painstaking explanations, or to choose to say, “This is a mark of Jewish identity!”

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