Thursday, March 20, 2014

Halocho #1310 - What color is a Red Heifer?

This Shabbat a second Sefer Torah is taken out for Maftir and the laws of פָּרָה אֲדֻמָה – the Red Heifer – are read. (The beginning of Parshat חֻקַּת, Numbers 19:1-22)

There are opinions that it’s a Torah obligation to hear it being read, and people who don’t have access to a Minyan should find one this week.

A Kosher פָּרָה אֲדֻמָה is a (female) cow past its second birthday that is completely ginger-brown. Even two white or black hairs near each other would invalidate it.

The cow is slaughtered and burnt and the ashes mixed with spring water and sprinkled on people who come in contact with a corpse, on the third and seventh day of their purification process.

This was a prerequisite for access to the בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ (Temple).

Since there’s a Mitzva to go into the בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ on Pessach, we read this in anticipating of being able to implement it this year, or at least בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵינוּ – soon in our lifetime.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 140:2-3, Mishna Masechet פָּרָה, Ch. 1, Rambam Hil. פָּרָה Ch. 1

Shabbat Shalom

- Danny
Thursday, 18 Adar II 5774

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