Red Heifers get names

Red Heifers get names

The Temple movement held a conference in ancient Shiloh on Wednesday concerning the red heifer. While the conference focused on the complex theoretical aspects of the esoteric Torah commandment to burn red heifers, the five crimson creatures who were the focus of the debate were off to the side, calmly chewing their cud.

The rare yet adorable bovines were not entirely ignored. The organizers took a few moments to bestow names on the two-year-old cows: Tikva (hope), Geula (redemption), Techiya (life-giving), Nechama (comfort), and Segula (virtue).

The conference brought together about 120 attendees to discuss issues related to reinstating the Biblical commandment of the red heifer. Attendees were treated to a viewing of five fully-grown red heifers that were brought from Texas in September 2022 as calves. The conference was held to coincide with Parsha Para, when the Torah portion concerning the mitzvah of the red heifer is read on Shabbat. Typically held in the second half of the month of Adar, the Torah reading is intended to reinforce the laws of ritual purity in time for the Jews to bring the Passover offering to the Temple in Jerusalem.

The conference took place as the subject of the red heifers went viral on the internet for entirely different reasons. Abu Obeida, the military spokesman for the Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Hamas terrorist organization, made a televised appearance on the 100th day of the Israeli war on Gaza in which he claimed the attack was due to the efforts being made by the arrival in Israel of five red heifers. As the war progressed, foreign media focused on the red heifers. 

On March 5, CBS News posted an article and video by Chris Livesay. The video was full of blatant inaccuracies, which all had one thing in common: portraying Bible-Observant Jews as religious fanatics intent on murdering Palestinians and cleansing Israel of any Islamic presence.

It should be emphasized that performing the red heifer ceremony is unrelated to building the Temple. 

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