Author: Paul Lehr
Numbers 19:1-2 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “This is the statute of the law which the Lord has commanded, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel that they bring you an unblemished red heifer in which is no defect and on which a yoke has never been placed.
Later in January of 2017, Rabbi Benny Hershcovich was on a milk run. The rabbi lives in a remote place in Baja, Mexico. Upon arrival to the farm, he observed a key piece to the construction of the third Temple in Jerusalem, a red heifer.
“I’ve grown up with the stories, so I know how rare and valuable the red heifer is,” Rabbi Benny Hershcovich.
The farmer who owned the heifer was not familiar with Jewish law and the significance of the red heifer. The heifer was “just another cow” as far as he was concerned.
For complete details of the rabbi’s thoughts, pictures, and encounters, check out the Facebook link below. https://www.facebook.com/benny.hershcovich.1/posts/10158203521080554
The ashes from the sacrifice of the red heifer are necessary for purification prior to the building of the Temple.
Let’s look at the qualifications of the red heifer per the Bible in Numbers 19:1-2.
Interpretation of verses provided by the Temple Institute. This is the criteria used for the identification of the red heifer.
…and take a heifer… Since the verse instructs us to take a heifer, we do not purchase a calf and wait for it to grow older while in our custody; “and take a heifer” means that the act of acquisition has to take place while the animal is a heifer. However, if a red calf is available, a price can be set with its owner, and the transaction can be concluded, but we do not take possession until it reaches the proper age as mandated by the Bible.
A heifer by definition is a female cow.
…an unblemished red heifer in which is no defect…This means that the presence of as few as two hairs of any other color will render it invalid. Even its hooves must be red. It must also be totally free from any physical blemish or defect, whether internal or external. A list of blemishes that would disqualify the animal for sacrifice are noted in Leviticus 22.
…on which a yoke has never been placed. The red heifer must have never been used to perform any physical labor. This would include riding, or even leaning on her. But if a yoke were placed upon her even once, even if she were not used to plow – this would be enough to render the heifer unfit for use.
Three to four years of age is an oral tradition that has been passed down through the generations.
You can bet someone from Jerusalem from either the Sanhedrin or the Temple Institute has made the trip to Mexico…
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