Kenneth Cohen

Absolute Faith

The commandment to take the פרה אדומה, the Red Heifer, is classified as a חוק, a Mitzva whose reason is unknown to us. It is considered the most difficult Mitzva of the entire Torah. There are other laws categorized as a Chok, such as the prohibition of wearing a Shaatnez garment, made of wool and linen. And it also applies to the obligation to separate meat and milk.

The important point to note here, is that laws that are חוקים, are not meant to be understood by man. This is the essence of our religion, that we do things strictly because of our faith. Rashi explains laws like these with the words, “This is a decree before Me. You are not permitted to wonder about it.” We also have the rabbinic statement that גדול המצוה ועושה משאינו מצוה ועושה. The one who performs a Mitzva because he is commanded, receives a greater reward than one, who was not commanded.

We must not be afraid to take leaps of faith, and trust in Hashem wholeheartedly. We demonstrate this faith by enthusiastically fulfilling G-d’s commandments; especially the ones we do not understand.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at