We recently reported that a majority of Israelis want to see a return to Jewish sovereignty and prayer at the Temple Mount. And that there are several groups actively preparing for the day the Third Temple will be built.
So when American Christians sent over to Israel five red heifers, you might think that Israelis took notice and got excited about this prophetic development.
And some did. After all, these weren’t just any red cows. They had been specially-chosen by the Christian organization Boneh Israel, and inspected by rabbis from the Temple Institute to ensure they met the requirements of Numbers 19:2, which reads:
“Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without defect or blemish and that has never been under a yoke.”
The ashes of a red heifer are necessary for purification prior to conducting sacrificial ceremonies.
In other words, the presence of five unblemished red heifers, which are not exactly easy to find, means Temple services could now theoretically resume… if there was a Temple.
Temple Institute has exciting news to share about a major advance in efforts to raise a red heifer whose ashes can be used for purification-a huge step toward the building of the Holy Temple! Live FB feed at 5 PM Israel (USA, 10 AM Eastern – 7 AM Pacific) https://t.co/fpcF9xG7yU pic.twitter.com/jC1HbVquea
— Temple Institute (@TempleInstitute) September 15, 2022
Pretty heady stuff. Only most average Israelis are entirely unaware of it.
While several hundred religious Israelis and Christian visitors attended a ceremony marking the cows’ arrival, the event wasn’t widely reported in the Israeli media.
It was covered, however briefly, by Israel’s largest online news portal, Ynet.
A representative for Boneh Israel told Ynet that a ritually-acceptable red heifer hadn’t been seen in Israel for over 2,000 years, “and now we have five!”
The cows were moved to a farm in Beit Shean, where they will be cultivated in hopes of growing a herd for future Temple use. If successful, it is believed the farm will also become an attraction for Christian visitors.
While the secular media didn’t take much notice outside of the potential tourism benefits, the ultra-Orthodox Jewish media did.
According to the religious news website Kipa, the rabbis were moved and some even wept at the sight of five unblemished red heifers being delivered to Israel, and by Christians no less.
Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon, one of those tasked with inspecting the red heifers, stated:
“It is very exciting that we have red cows ready both for the building of the Temple, with God’s help, and in the meantime to study. The building of the Temple is approaching, we need to know, to prepare, and that is one of the things that must be ready.”
The article garnered hundreds of responses, many of which hailed the news as yet another sign of the soon-coming Messiah, while others wondered at the significance, and perhaps complications, of the red heifers being donated by Christians.
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