Death-Impurity and the Pursuit of Life
The first chapter of Parashat Hukkat deals with death and the struggle with its potentially paralyzing dimensions. The chapter has two parts. In the first part, we hear about the process for preparing the ashes of the red heifer that serves as the vehicle for purification in cases of corpse impurity. The second part describes the ways in which people and objects contract this type of impurity. Read together, they call us to see that life must continue moving forward even as it does and must encounter and engage with death.