“He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean…” (Numbers 19:12)
This verse appears in the section of the Torah regarding the laws of cleansing oneself from the impurity imparted through contact with the dead. However, the deeper commentaries reveal another layer of meaning in this text.
“A thousand years are like a day in the eyes of God” (paraphrase of Psalm 90:4). Our Sages teach that each of the Seven Days of Creation represents a thousand years of history. There will be six millennia of human history in this physical world, followed by a “Sabbath day,” an elevation to a spiritual realm in which the righteous bask in the glory of the Creator and rejoice in His splendor, while the wicked suffer in humiliation at their exposure to that very same glory which they willingly chose not to revere during their time in the physical realm.
Following this paradigm, the “third day,” that is, the third millennium of human history, contains the event of the giving of the Torah to Israel at Mount Sinai. Therefore, on a deeper level, the above verse means that one shall purify oneself through study and fulfillment of the Torah, which was given on the third day. Then, on the “seventh day,” the day that is completely spiritual, “he shall be clean,” that is, one shall be among the righteous who rejoice eternally in God’s glory in the World to Come.
May we merit to purify ourselves in this world, and rejoice with the Torah during our lifetime, both in this world as well as in the next.
Based on Shla”h, Parshas Chukas
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