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(Num. Ch. 19. V. 1-22). We are commanded to take a heifer which had a completely red coat and which
had never been worked. It is to be slaughtered and burnt. The ashes, which are then mixed with water,
are to be used to purify those who, by being in contact with a dead body are ritually impure. And yet,
all those engaged in the preparation of these ashes are rendered impure.
The whole concept of ritual purity relating to Jewish Law which has nothing whatsoever to
do with your body being dirty, is strange. However, because they are commandments of the Torah
they must be observed. The great sage Yochanan ben Zakai said “a corpse does not (to our own finite
understanding) cause impurity, nor do the waters (of the Red Heifer, to our own finite understanding)
purify, but it is a decree of the Supreme King of Kings” (and so must be obeyed). (Midrash Tanchuna,
Chuka 8). The laws of ritual impurity applied to all Israel and especially to the eating of the Passover
offering, which had to be...
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This document was uploaded on 03/24/2014.
- Spring '14
- The Bible