Red Heifer Update: Heifer Burning Practice

Numbers 19:5-6 And the heifer shall be burned in his sight. Its skin, its flesh, and its blood, with its dung, shall be burned. And the priest shall take cedarwood and hyssop and scarlet yarn, and throw them into the fire burning the heifer.

Before the third Temple will be built, a red heifer must be burned for purification. Rabbis at the Temple Institute have established qualifications for the red heifer as noted in Numbers 19:1-2. See the link below for the specifics.

https://www.templeinstitute.org/red_heifer/red_heifer_requirements.htm

Heifer burning practice has been initiated. Granted, the heifer was slaughtered outside of Jerusalem and not on the Temple Mount. So technically, this was not a sacrifice in the strictest sense. Below is an overview from an article published by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz at Breaking Israel News. See the link for more details.

https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/135387/exclusive-burning-red-heifer-takes-place-preparation-third-temple/

The location of the burning of the heifer was on the Mount of Olives. The event lasted about 9 hours.

Professor Zohar Amar, Department of Land of Israel Studies at Bar-Ilan University made the following comments.

“A simulated experiment of burning a red heifer was conducted to investigate several research questions, such as: How much wood was required to burn a red heifer completely to ashes and how much ash actually remained after the burning? How is it possible that ashes from immolating one heifer, as it appears in the sources, can supply  ritual purposes for many years?”

Photo: Zohar Amar

“The design of the entire experiment took many months, and the implementation itself was carried out far from the eye of the public and the media. Only after analyzing the results did it become possible to publish it. In the course of the experiment, all of the specifications mentioned in the sources were reconstructed, beginning with the excavation of a ‘winepress; a rectangular pit, in which the pyre was built of dried wood of the pine, oak, and fig trees.”

To be clear, a red heifer was not sacrificed.

“For the purpose of the experiment, a mature sick heifer was selected of the Baladi breed which was prevalent in ancient Israel.”

“A continuous and intense fire is required since the red heifer must be completely consumed, bones and all.”

Professor Amar indicated the following based on his research. A half-ton heifer would require 5.2 tons of wood, or five kilograms wood for every kilogram of flesh.

In the article, there are specific details regarding the size and type of wood utilized. The shape and construction of the pyre was noted. The placement of the heifer and orientation of the heifer were detailed. Notes were taken during the nine hour burning process. Temperature of the fire was taken (940 degrees Celsius). Amount of wood consumed was considered. The amount of ash produced was documented.

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Rabbi Azariah Ariel of the Temple Institute is in charge of the search for a red heifer.

“We still do not have a certifiable red heifer. We are currently checking out two calves of the Angus breed that are five months old. For them to be considered heifers, as the Bible describes, they must be two years and one day old. There can be no blemish, no holes in the ear. If two hairs are not red, the heifer is unfit. There are Halachic issues with them right now since a few hairs may not be the correct shade of red, though this may be rectified as they get older.” 

https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/135387/exclusive-burning-red-heifer-takes-place-preparation-third-temple/

See the link below for recent red heifer articles and history dating back to 2014.

https://paulthepoke.com/?s=red+heifer

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As many Christians are acutely aware, animal sacrifices for sin are no longer required. However, these things are still prophesied…

Hebrews 9:22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

As the red heifer was and will be again sacrificed outside the city limits of Jerusalem, so was Jesus Christ. As the sacrifice of the red heifer is for the purification and consecration of the people of Israel, so was and is Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 13:12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.

Christ’s sacrifice is not only for the people of Israel, but for all the people of the world. He is the sacrifice for all sin for all time.

1 John 1:7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

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