Creators of religious laws must surely have been giggling hysterically into their beards when they devised sets of laws and rituals that go way beyond all human comprehension.
Take the case of the red heifer. Only a joker (or maybe several) would have devised a sorcerous recipe for the establishment of a third holy Temple in Israel that involves reducing a red heifer to ashes – ashes that then need to be mixed with cedarwood, a “holy” herb called hyssop, wool or yarn dyed scarlet and spring water.
The Temple Institute attempts to shine light on what it calls “the deepest mystery of the Torah”.
Perhaps it would be difficult for some to believe that a cow could be so important. But in truth, the fate of the entire world depends on the red heifer. For G-d has ordained that its ashes alone are the single missing ingredient for the reinstatement of Biblical purity – and thereafter, the rebuilding of the Holy Temple.
The institute acknowledges that the whole concept is so bizarre that even one of the sharpest tools in the Old Testament couldn’t get his head around it.
King Solomon, who was the wisest of all human beings who ever lived, understood every aspect of G-d’s creation. Tradition relates that he even knew the languages of all the animals. Yet he was not able to fathom the secret of the red heifer …
In order for a red heifer to be suitable for slaughter and cremation, it must have certain attributes. First, it’s has to be virgin. Second, it must be entirely red, with no more than two non-red hairs on its body. Third, it must also never have been used for any form of labour.
It’s not surprising then to learn that only nine of the ginger beasts have met this strict criteria in the past 2,000 years.
It reported that, almost three years ago, the Temple Institute inaugurated its Raise a Red Heifer in Israel programme. Due to laws restricting the importation of live cattle into Israel, the institute imported frozen embryos of red Angus, implanting them in Israeli domestic cows.
As a result, one newborn heifer has been certified by a board of rabbis as fulfilling all the biblical requirements. But the rabbis cautioned that the heifer could, at any time, acquire a blemish, rendering it unsuitable. They will be inspecting the calf periodically to verify its condition.
As I understand it, apart from being the catalyst that will bring about the third Temple, the red heifer’s ashes will also facilitate the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Or, much more likely, the anti-Christ, warns sceptical evangelist Anita Fuentes in the hysterical video below.
The institute says:
The commandment of the red heifer is one of those ordinances that belong to the category of chok (plural, chukim).
Another word, perhaps, for cock-and-bull?
These are statutes that G-d decreed that cannot be understood by human reasoning. Rather, He requires that we perform them on account of our love and fear for Him. Although we can try to delve into the explanation of these laws, and attempt to find some allusion or sense of the ideas conveyed, we know that ultimately their true meaning is beyond our intellectual grasp.