WHERE THE CRIMSON BUFFALO ROAM
In Seifer Bamidbar (Numbers), Parshas Chukas (statutes), psukim (verses) 19:1 through 19:22, where we are told to take a red heifer, without blemish, which must be slaughtered, its blood sprinkled hither and thither by a priest, "ve saraf et ha para le einav, et ora, ve et basara, ve et dama, al pirsha yisrof" (verse 5: and then the heifer shall be burnt in his sight - her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall be burnt), "ve lakach ha kohen etz erez ve ezov u sheni tolaat, ve hishlich el toch serefat ha para" (verse 6: and the priest shall take cedar, and hyssop, and crimson, and cast it into the middle of the burning of the heifer).
Anyhow, kitsuro shel davar, the ashes of the heifer and all the precious substances which were also thrown into the fire are then mixed with living water (mayim chayim: water from a pool, spring, or river), and the resultant soup has great purificatory powers, and can be used to cleanse and re-sanctify.
So far, so good. Liquids in the Torah are often conduits for purity in one direction, impurity in the other direction. Shoyn.
Burnt cow soup is only slightly more meshune....
But now it gets a little strange......., bear with me. In order to rebuild the Beis HaMikdash (the Temple in Jerusalem), some of this red heifer-ade is going to be needed.
And the people who seriously want to build the third temple are trying to breed a cow which is scarlet in colour (why not just plain lentil-soup hued? Well, they are fixating on perfection, and on the impossible, totally overlooking the likelihood that Semitic languages might use certain exaggerated terms and hyperbole, heaven forefend and chasvechollilleh!!! Adumah does NOT describe the colour of Yakov's pottage, but of Eisav's fiery beard. So there, you kofer!).
In this odd pursuit, they are being assisted by Christian Fundies who want to speed the apocalypse, bring on the rapture, and cause the damnation and eternal burning of everybody except the 'select' (very narrowly defined as themselves and their congressleite).
Meaning of course you, me, our kinfolk, and every one who isn't a Bahble thumpin' moron, from here to Pluto - including the observant Jews with whom these baptocretins are engaged in sacred cattle-breeding.
You might think this is just a little bit loopy, and surely the author of this blog is smoking crack, so I'm providing clickable links below.
Particularly note the chapter entitled: The Tenth Red Heifer.
More of the same, description of the program.
From the kindly folks over at Rapture Ready, who really want you to burn, as can be read here:
Go ahead, browse, have a ball.
This one has American flag wallpaper! Hallelujah!
This one tells you everything you want to know, without going too far into deep-space.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Interestingly enough, and almost certainly purely coincidental, in early Chinese beliefs a red cow, of an even hue and free of blemishes, was considered the perfect sacrifice.
What is odd is that even at that time (two to three millennia ago) the Chinese were not really into cattle; that was always more a concern of the barbarians from the wastes. But if you go back far enough, both the Hsia dynasty and the Zhou had barbarian connections, and their rituals were in part influenced by the non-Sinitic cultures of the nomads on the border (note for instance the recurrence of the graph for sheep as a building block of other graphs dealing with matters philosophical, ritual, ethical).
The idea of the red cow as suitable for purificatory sacrifices is probably a survival of that influence.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
I'll be keeping my eyes open for further developments, as purely on an anthropological level this obsession is fascinating.
Still, I sincerely hope that in breeding for colour, the fundamentalists don't overlook texture and taste.
The flavour is all in the marbling.