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    Climbing the mountain – Chukkat

    Some Divine commandments are easy to understand.

    For example, because of history we can work out why to eat matzah or dwell in a sukkah. Because of human ethics and experience we can work out why to practise justice and compassion.

    Other mitzvot baffle our thinking. We call them chukkim, “statutes”. Despite our attempts at theorising about them, they ultimately remain tests of our obedience to God’s will.

    There are people who slightingly speak of having “blind faith” in such laws, but the truth is that our faith is quite the opposite. It’s not blind at all but spiritually sighted and insightful.

    We see quite clearly where we are trying to go – towards the all-consuming passionate love of God that is the theme of the beautiful Shabbat song, Yedid Nefesh – “Beloved of the Soul”.

    On Pesach when we read Shir HaShirim the love that fills the human heart is the metaphor for the love between man and God that issues in our observance of His chukkim.

    Observing the statutes is like climbing a spiritual mountain but finding the peak enshrined in cloud.

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