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The Temple Institute’s Red Heifer Is A “Bête Noire”


“The Temple Institute is dedicated to all aspects of the Divine commandment for Israel to build a house for G-d's presence, the Holy Temple, on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. The range of the Institute's involvement with this concept includes education, research, activism, and actual preparation. Our goal is firstly, to restore Temple consciousness and reactivate these "forgotten" commandments. We hope that by doing our part, we can participate in the process that will lead to the Holy Temple becoming a reality once more.”

The Temple Institute’s statement of principles

In pursuit of that objective, the Temple Institute’s international director believes that a pure red heifer could be used as part of a ritual to bring about the Biblical prophecy of a new Jewish temple on the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The director appears to be obsessed with a combination of a 2,000-year-old Judaic tradition and the latest in American cattle-breeding technology. His holy grail is to genetically engineer the perfect red heifer which if successful, he believes would pave the way for the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in turn facilitate its replacement by a Jewish temple. In his promotional video, he describes efforts to raise a herd of red cows as an “unprecedented historical project . . . For 2,000 years, we’ve been mourning the destruction of the holy temple, but the future is in our hands . . . The challenge is to raise a perfect red heifer according to the exact Biblical requirements here in the land of Israel. It’s time to stop waiting and start doing.” A crowdfunding appeal has also been launched in order to help fulfil this biblical temple building prophesy. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9nE894ORAs)

The idea therefore is to implant red-cow embryos in the wombs of surrogate mother cows who will be meticulously monitored and cared for during nine months of gestation prior to giving birth. In the eventuality of one of the calfs being a totally red heifer, it would be declared the first authentic red heifer since the days of the Second Temple. Then after becoming two years old, the heifer would be slaughtered, burned, and its ashes mixed with water so that finally, after 2,000 years, Jewish believers could be purified from the ritual impurities associated with coming into contact with the dead, and will then be free to ascend to all parts of the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. Obtaining a truly kosher red heifer is of vital importance because the lack of red heifer ashes is one of the most serious halakhic — the collective body of Jewish religious laws — obstacles to building the third Temple on Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. Jewish law asserts every Jew is currently ritually impure from having been near a dead body or gravesite. Such impurity can only be overcome by water mixed with the ashes of a truly red heifer.

Consequently Jews subscribing to this belief have for decades been searching for the miraculous red cow, known in Hebrew as the para aduma. It was not until some years ago, that Temple Institute researchers discovered a farm in Texas with a breed of red cows called Red Angus with reputedly very high-quality meat. A delegation from the Institute flew to Texas and purchased some frozen Red Angus embryos that met the criteria set by Jewish law. A farm was subsequently found in the south of Israel that specialised in raising cows to host the surrogacy process. The surrogate mothers and their offspring at this farm are now subject to closed-circuit surveillance while receiving extra special treatment and protection to ensure that all halakhic criteria are met.

Though initially regarded as an extremist group on the fringe of lunacy, the Institute had since gained increasing support not only from Jewish settlers and American Christian Zionists, but also from Israeli politicians — with government ministers parroting its call for a third temple — and education ministry funding annually helping to expose tens of thousands of pupils to its dangerously provocative agenda. The project’s eventual success is entirely dependent on breeding a totally red heifer without any white or black hairs because according to the Book of Numbers, God instructed Moses to “speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke.” The animal was to be ritually sacrificed and its ashes mixed with cedar wood and hyssop so that the high priest could then bathe in the mixture for the “purification of sin.”

Jewish scholars subsequently extended this cleansing ritual to the priestly caste that served in both the legendary temple built by King Solomon and in the Second Temple where a pure red heifer was last seen. Jewish religious teaching maintains that from the time of Moses until the destruction of the Second Temple, only nine perfect red heifers were discovered. According to the Jewish philosopher Maimonides, the tenth will herald the coming of the messiah.

Apart from the Temple Institute there are other fringe organisations such as the religious group known as the “Women for the Temple” whose members are hard at work preparing themselves for the temple’s numerous requirements when it becomes a reality. They spend their time poring over Sacred Texts that provide instructions for the preparation of sacrificial offerings. They learn how to bake the sourdough bread required for the rites; how to cultivate the so-called crimson worm with which the priests’ vestments are dyed; and possibly most important of all, they are studying how to make the parochet — the great curtain in ancient times that separated the Temple’s main hall from the Holy of Holies which supposedly contained the Ark of the Covenant — nowadays the parochet covers the Torah ark in synagogues. (http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/69265/women-make-third-temple-jerusalem-real-photos/)

Groups such as the “Women of the “Temple” are supportive of The Temple Institute’s efforts and tagline — “It’s time to build” — for the organisation’s controversial mission to rally Jews for the reconstruction of a “Third Temple” by using internet tools including Facebook to spread its message among the masses. Jewish claims to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount basically stem from biblical narratives which according to the rabbinic sages — whose debates produced the Talmud — this was the site from which the world expanded into its present form and from where the Abrahamic God gathered the dust used to create Adam, the first man. Therefore on the basis of the Genesis creation narrative, all of these amazing events occurred during a relatively short period of time somewhere between 5,700 and 10,000 years ago.

The problem with using Biblical myths to justify or legitimise religious or political claims of the present, is that such myths are easily debunked by irrefutable scientific evidence. Scientific consensus, for example, with backing from a 2006 statement by sixty-eight national and international academies, asserted that evidence-based fact derived from observations and experiments in multiple scientific disciplines show that the universe existed almost 14 billion years ago in an extremely hot and dense state. It was about that time, according to the Big Bang theory, that the universe then began to cool and expand towards its present dispersed state with the earth being formed 4.5 billion years ago and life first appearing no less than 2.5 billion years ago. That self-induced expansion was still ongoing to this day without any influence or input from some God or Supreme Being. (http://www.livescience.com/52568-life-began-4-billion-years-ago.html)

As for the idea of Adam being created on Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, it is now an established fact that the evolution of human beings — Homo sapiens — first began in Africa (either East or South) where archaeological evidence of our ancestral Y chromosome and mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) has been discovered. It must therefore be very disconcerting for white supremacists and others of their ilk to learn that geneticists have identified groups of chromosomes called haplogroups — “genetic fingerprints” which define populations — that trace their ancestral origins to the “subhuman” races of Africa. The ethnocentric concepts of a God Chosen People, a Master Race, or the feasibility of producing perfect “Racial Purity” as was the case in the Nazi Lebensborn breeding programme are therefore unadulterated racist nonsense.

(http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/evolution/female-ancestor.htm)

Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount is the current site of three monumental Islamic structures consisting of the al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, and the Dome of the Chain which have stood there since 705, 691, and 691 respectively. This Islamic presence on Temple Mount for more than 1,300 years, however, does not appear to be a problem for the ultra-Orthodox/Zionist objective of building a Third Temple even if it means dismantling the Islamic structures and moving them to an alternative site. The feasibility of achieving such an objective is being facilitated by the gradual process of Judaisation which involves the illegal occupation and appropriation of Palestinian territories in general, and East Jerusalem in Particular. (http://www.commondreams.org/views/2007/11/26/judaization-east-jerusalem)

So while virtually all Islamic nations — particularly the Arab oil sheikhdoms — have offered meaningless mealy-mouthed expressions of feigned concern for the plight of Palestinians, they have on the whole been indifferent to Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. Whether such indifference by an estimated 2.08 billion world Muslim population would persist — if Israel were to annex Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount and build a Jewish temple — remains to be seen and raises the prospect of Israel resorting to the use of nuclear weapons in the event of a serious Islamic response. (http://www.religiouspopulation.com/World/)

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