The Animal whose ashes were used in ritual purification of persons and objects defiled by a corpse (Num. 19) While the English term heifer means young cow that has not had a calf, the Bible (Num. 19:2) speaks simply of a cow (Heb. Parah). The Bible prescribes that the red cow be without blemish (Heb. temimah), that it have no defect (Heb. mum), and that it should never been yoked (Num. 19:22).
The Ashes of the red heifer were combined with spring water (Heb. Mayim chayyim) in a vessel (Num. 19:17) to produce a mixture called “the water of lustration” (Heb. meniddah). The mixture was applied by dipping into it and sprinkling (Num.19:18) on the 3rd and 7th days after the defilement (Num. 19:19). This defilement was acquired by touching a corpse, a grave, or a human bone, or by being under the same roof with any of these.
- Red HeiferThe Animal whose ashes were used in ritual purification of persons and objects defiled by a corpse (Num. 19) While the English term heifer means young cow that has not had a calf, the Bible (Num. 19:2) speaks simply of a cow (Heb. Parah). The Bible prescribes that the red cow be without blemish (Heb. […]
- MikvehA collection of water A pool or bath of clear water, immersion in which renders ritually clean a person who become ritually unclean through contact with the dead (Num. 19) or any other defiling object or through an unclean flux from the body (Lev. 15) and especially a menstruant. It is similarly used for vessels […]
- Water of PurifyingWater mixed with the ashes of the red hefer See also Purity in Second Temple Times, and Ablution
- Purity in Second Temple TimesThis array of vessels from Jerusalem provides evidence of the stone-craving industry that flourished in the city at the end of the Second Temple Period (form the first century B.C.E. until the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E.). Highly skilled artisans carved this collection, which includes small household mugs (foreground), a wine jar (left […]
- Ablution (Immersion)From the Encyclopedia Judaica 2:81-82 Ritual immersion, or ablution, carries great symbolic significance in Judaism, representing a transformation from a state of impurity to a state of purity. This act has the power to restore an individual’s ability to perform certain functions and participate in specific rites. While it may seem like a purely hygienic […]