While the rite of the red heifer is the quintessential commandment that makes no sense, midrashim describe it as atonement for the sin of the golden calf. Rav Kook explained that at its root, the sin of the golden calf was people seeking to draw close to God on their own terms. The rite of the red heifer is the polar opposite – it’s a commandment that makes no sense to anyone and in this way it atones for the sin of people only wanting to worship God on their own terms.