The Temple Institute and Boneh Israel made a huge step towards reinstating the Temple service on Thursday when five red heifers landed at Ben Gurion International Airport.
“This is the ritual law that Hashem has commanded: Instruct B’nei Yisrael to bring you a red cow without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which no yoke has been laid. Numbers 19:2 Numbers 19:2 (The Israel BibleTM)
The red heifer was the main component in the Biblically mandated process of ritual purification for impurity that results from proximity or contact with a dead body. Because the elements needed for this ceremony have been lacking since the destruction of the Second Temple, all Jews today are considered ritually impure, thereby preventing the return of the Temple service. The Temple Institute launched its Red Heifer program about a decade ago, led by Rabbi Azariah Ariel. But even in Temple times, an animal that fulfilled the Biblical requirements was exceedingly rare. Failing to produce a suitable candidate from ranchers in Israel, The Temple Institute began investigating alternative sources for a red heifer.
Boneh Israel, an organization that connects Christian lovers of Israel to the Holy Land, stepped in to help. Led by Byron Stinson, a native Texan, Boneh Israel understood ranchers.
(Left to right) Netanel Isaac CEO of the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage, Rabbi Tzachi Momo , (unknown), Byron Stinson, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, Rabbi Azariah Ariel, (unknown), Chanan Kupietzky, (Unkown)
“I didn’t set out to do this, but right now, I am probably the best red heifer hunter in Texas,” Byron quipped. “The Bible says to bring a red cow to purify Israel, and I may not understand it, but I am just doing what the Bible said.”
“The prophecies came true, and the Jews are back in Israel,” Byron said. “Now they need to build a Temple. But it’s like buying a really nice car. If you don’t have the key, you aren’t going anywhere. The red heifer is the key to making the Temple work like it’s supposed to.”
Boneh Israel took out full-page ads in ranching magazines, explaining the situation to ranchers. They requested that any red calves be set aside.
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