This Shabbat is פרשת פרה in addition to פרשת כי תשא. Some say that it is a Torah commandment to hear the reading regarding the פרה אדומה, the Red Heifer.
The reason this Parsha is read is that all of the Jewish people needed to purify themselves before coming to Jerusalem for Pesach. Women also needed to come as they were obligated to eat from the Pesach sacrifice in a state of purity.
The ashes of the פרה אדומה were needed specifically to spiritually cleanse a person who had come in contact with a corpse. This is a חוק, which means that we are not to really understand the reason for this Mitzva.
The difficulty is that on the one hand, it purifies the impure. But on the other hand, those who handle the פרה, become impure.
We need a פרה אדומה in order to build the third Temple. There are rumors that such a cow is in waiting. May we need that cow very soon.
As one Chicago rabbi once said, in honor of פרשת פרה, we will daven Mooosaf! Shabbat Shalom