Why Your Relationship Needs “Just Because”

The chok (from which our parsha gets its name) is generally explained to be a mitzvha that we do not understand. Examples include the kosher diet, the purification process of the red heifer (which is discussed in this week’s parsha) and not mixing wool and linen. Why do we do any of these things? Simply, because Hashem said so.

What exactly is the value in doing something “because Hashem said so”?

But first another question: What is the foundation of creating a secure relationship?

If we assume that fear of being abandoned and rejected is the core relational fear. That I am only as lovable and worthy of connection as my ability to look good, be good, perform, impress, provide, etc. What happens if that is absent or missing? What happens to me? To us?

That fear is best countered by a “just because” commitment to one another. The “chok” dimension that says: “There will be times when none of that is available. Where you made a mistake or I became ill, you became depressed, or I lost my job….. But we will still have each other. We will find a way to move forward.”

A great metaphor for this is that of a crucible, where metals are purified, refined and transformed. The heat necessary for this type of powerful, transformative work is extremely high, so the walls of the crucible need to be thick and strong. The chok dimension of the relationship are the thick walls. Without them, the heat and tension of vulnerable relational space is too much.

And this capacity needs to be trained! This dimension of the relationship does not just “show up” when needed if it is not exercised. If it is not exercised, what will show up instead is our PROTECTION against the fear and that will have us doing some fight/flight/freeze variation in order to deal with the “threat”. Unfortunately, none of these moves are relational. They will NOT lead to more security.

So, Hashem immediately incorporates this dimension into our relationship. The sages tell us that the chok of the red heifer purification process was one of the FIRST commandments given to us!

An important caveat. While a supra rational commitment makes sense as the most solid space for a relationship, there ARE human relationships where experience has shown that distance and protection unfortunately DO need to lead. A discussion of when this might be is beyond the scope of this episode, please reach out to a trusted other to help you get clarity if you think this might be you.