Red Heifer

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.