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Part 2 - The Red Heifer, The Secret Revealed

If you haven't read Part One, I would strongly suggest it, since the ideas below are built on the knowledge of the previous article.


The ceremony of the red heifer seems to be very mysterious, but when you analyze it, you will find that Hashem is making some major atonement for a misdeed made before

So, let's look at it together.

What qualifies a red heifer as acceptable for the ceremony?

These are some of the requirements:
- The cow must have never worn a yoke or performed any type of a job. 
- Never cohabited, and must have no blemish, etc..

Maybe the following ideas were never mentioned anywhere, but for a second, please allow me to present some of the ideas that may shed some light on this, which in my humble opinion, may have a right to exist. 

When a korban is brought, a person places his hands, admits his guilt, and says that this animal will be brought as a sacrifice instead of him, that is why Korban has the same root as Karov - to come near or draw closer.

The same thing happens here. It looks like the red heifer is brought as a korban to atone for Chava. Why Chava you ask? Well let's see, Chava also didn't do any work while they lived in the Garden of Eden, she hasn't been close with Adam, and wasn't pregnant while in the Garden of Eden. When she ate from the Tree of Knowledge and made her husband eat it, she brought death into this world and distanced her future descendants from the Creator. So, the sprinkling of the Red Heifer atones for an impurity of contact with a dead body, and draws the person back to Hashem.

Why does Cohen become defiled and needs to go through a cleansing process, while the one being sprinkled on becomes pure? In Parashat Bereshit, when Adam and Chava ate from the Tree of Knowledge, Hashem asked whether Adam ate it or not. Adam said that the woman that You gave, she gave it to me, and made me eat it. The Gemara in Masechet Avodah Zarah 5B, says that Adam has shown his ingratitude, and has not taken the blame on himself. This was not a right thing to do, and an atonement now is required. And since Adam was created by Hashem himself, and he was very holy and close to Hashem, so the only people that could atone for Adam - are the Cohanim, the highest echelon of the society, and closest to Hashem, since they are allowed to enter into the deepest and holiest places in the Bet Hamikdash while doing their service.

So when the Cohen sprinkles someone in order to purify him, the Cohen at that moment becomes impure or as if he is taking the blame, or the impurity upon himself for the other man, thus atoning for the sin of ungratefulness of Adam HaRishon. Where Adam fell short, his sons - the cohanim are making up for it.

So the Red Heifer atones for Chava, while the cohen that sprinkles the water atones for Adam HaRishon. This whole process returns the nation of Israel and all of humanity to purity level before Adam and Chava sinned with the original sin when they were in the Garden of Eden.


So this, in my opinion, would be the secret of the Red Heifer.

And what happens after the nation becomes pure, you can read here.


Shmuel Katanov

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