Red Heifer Update: Two Candidates, Adar 5781/March 2021

The following is from the Temple Institute YouTube Channel.

Raising a perfect red heifer, fit and kosher to be used for the Torah required ashes of the red heifer necessary for achieving the highest level of ritual purity is a challenge! Even a few non-red hairs disqualifies a red heifer candidate. But the Temple Institute is determined to produce the first red heifer ashes in over 2000 years. This update of the status of our current red heifer candidates was timed to coincide with Shabbat Parashat Para – the next to last Shabbat of the month of Adar on which we read Numbers 19, which details the laws of the red heifer.

Currently, there are 2 red heifer candidates that are approaching age. Upon inspection, the heifers are 99.9% red with a few non red hairs. Inspectors are patiently waiting to see if the hairs will change color to allow for 100% pure red heifer(s).

Click on the link below from the Temple Institute on YouTube.

Let’s look at the qualifications of the red heifer per the Bible in Numbers 19:1-2.

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.

The ashes from the sacrifice of the red heifer are necessary for purification prior to the building of the Temple.

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.

Learn more about the red heifer at


For recent history regarding the search for the red heifer, click on the link below.

7 Responses to “Red Heifer Update: Two Candidates, Adar 5781/March 2021”

  1. Juanita Perkins Says:

    How do we get up dates or news letters?

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  3. Donna Ritchie Says:

    So very interesting

  4. Anonymous Says:

    where does the torah say that ashes from the sacrifice of the red heifer is necessary for purification prior to building the temple

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