Parshas Poroh

This week’s Haftorah is supposed to mirror this week’s special Maftir of Poroh (the beginning of ParshasChukas that deals with the Mei-Chatas waters that were used to purify someone who became contaminated with Tumah from a dead body). The Haftorah is a Nevua of Yechezkel Hanavi. Hashem tells the Navi that in the final redemption He will sprinkle on us pure waters to purify us from our impurities. As such the link between the Maftir and the Haftorah is obvious: both deal with purifying waters.

Another look at this obvious parallel reveals that there is also a glaring difference. The Maftir deals with a very technical sort of purifying water. When one touches a deceased person one contracts some sort of Tumah-impurity. Once the Torah tells us how one becomes impure, it follows logically that it should then also tell us how to purify one from such impurities. The Torah therefore prescribes the Mei-Chatos purifying waters. The Haftorah, however, is dealing with an entirely different sort of Tumah. The Haftorah tells us that in our exile we will become more and more spiritually contaminated – that we will sink to worse and worse levels of spiritual degradation. Hashem promises us that He will ultimately purify us by splashing us with purifying “miraculous” water. What does TumasMes have to do with spiritual degradation? Does the use of the term ‘Tumah’ in both contexts mean that they are both the same thing?

The reason we read Parshas Poroh now (see Mishna Berura) is to remind us of how we can purify ourselves in order to bring the Korban Pesach. The Korban Pesach is a very special Korban. There is something interesting regarding its nature.  As with all Korbanos, there is a certain basic level of purity which is required in order to be able to bring it. The Torah tells us that those who were not able to bring the Korban Pesach because they were impure complained that this was unfair to them. Hashem had pity on these impure people and granted them a makeup day a month later. It is clear that Hashem provided every possible way to allow everyone to bring a Korban Pesach. Why is it so important that we all have the right and the ability to bring a Korban Pesach?

In the Haftorah Hashem tells Yechezkel that He will purify us from our spiritual degradation, not because we deserve it, but rather for Hashem’s own sake.

When one is Tamei one cannot partake in certain elements of Avodas Hashem. When Klal-Yisroel is at a spiritual low, it is impossible for it to fulfill its role as Am-Hashem. In both situations Hashem clearly provides us with a way out.

Pesach is Zeman Cheiruseinu – the time of Redemption. The whole idea of the Exodus from Egypt is that Hashem provides us all with the supernatural ability to purify ourselves from everything negative and to start anew.

Parshas Poroh may represent the guidelines for technical purification, but it is also a wake-up call to the fact that Hashem always provides us with an opportunity to start again fresh and clean from all wrong.