Parashat Chukat: From Impurity to Purity

Many of the Torah’s commandments are incomprehensible to the human mind. One of these is the Parah Adumah. Shlomo Ha-Melech himself exclaimed, “All of these I have tried with my wisdom, I thought to become wise, but it is still far from me” (Kohelet 7:23). I was able to understand all of the Torah, but when I reached the Parah Adumah, I studied it, inquired and delved into its depths - “I thought to become wise, but it is still far from me” (Yalkut Shimoni, 759).
What is so difficult to understand here? “The difficulty seems to be the fact that it [the Parah Adumah] purifies the impure, but at the same time makes the pure unclean” (commentary of Sforno on Parashat Chukat). How is it possible that the Torah commands us to purify ourselves through a process which itself causes (a lesser level of) impurity?
This paradox repeats itself over and over again. The theme of “Tikkun"
(achieving a higher level of perfection) through impurity runs throughout our history. One example: the Messiah is the descendant of David and Batsheva, and of Rut the Moabite and Boaz. While King David himself fulfilled the great Mitzvah of conquering our enemies, the blood he shed cast a shadow upon his accomplishments. Another example: it is permitted to fast even on Shabbat in certain conditions, but the fast itself mars the Shabbat. In both of these cases, the purification or redemption process passes through a stage of impurity.
This is also the case with the State of Israel. We are witnessing today a process of passing through a series of stages of imperfection. This does not cause us to panic, because we know that it is an essential part of the redemption process. Eventually all of these flaws will lead to perfection and sanctity. These "impurities" serve to accentuate the good, just as on Shabbat night, if one returns from Shul and the candles are lit and the table is set, the good angel prays that it should be this way next Shabbat, and the "bad" angel also forced to answer "Amen" (Shabbat 119b).