April 19, 2018 ~ Sh TAZRIA-TAHOR. Maqam SABA.

Shabbat Huqat

A Red Heifer

ויקחו אליך פרה אדומה תמימה - On the farms of Herbert Celler near Lakewood, NJ, a Red Heifer was born in April 2013. This means that the purification ashes required to perform Temple services would finally be available for the first time in two millennia. Historically, only 9 other Red Cows supposedly met the strict criteria needed to qualify as "Temima" (translated as "perfect" or "flawless"). Many rabbis traveled to this farm to see the Red Cow and were truly amazed. Hopes faded, however, on July 1, 2015, when the cow surprisingly gave birth to a black calf. According to the Maimonides' Mishne Torah, the act of impregnation is considered a form of work, thereby disqualifying this cow from services. It was not meant to be. Although it is frustrating to lose this opportunity to fulfill this important Hoq (statute), it is reassuring to know that the Jewish people are constantly on the lookout to fulfill this difficult commandment. Beth Torah Bulletin, July 1, 2017.