“Palestinians” Fear Baby Cows Bought to Israel

“Palestinians” Fear Baby Cows Bought to Israel

© David Burton 2023

The Red Heifer

     At the beginning of August 2023, a report appeared in the “Palestinian” media concerning some five heifers – baby cows – that were brought to Israel from the United States This, and other “Palestinian” reports indicated that the Palestinian-Arabs were unhappy with the importation of these bovines. Why were the “Palestinians” afraid of one or more baby cows?

     The reason that the “Palestinians” were apparently afraid of a baby cow was that they believed that Israel was planning to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque and replace it with the Jewish Third Temple. The most recent source of the “Palestinian” angst was a report of the Israeli government supposedly funding a project to raise a red heifer, whose ashes, according to Torah law, could purify Jews so they could build a third Temple on the Temple Mount and once again bring sacrifices to their holy Temple.
     The Arabs were up in arms over a supposed Israeli government plan to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to rebuild the Third Temple in its place. This followed a report on Israel's Channel 12 that several ministries were funding efforts to raise a red heifer, which is considered a prerequisite for the coming of the Messiah.
     “Palestinian” officials and commentators in the Arab media, from Al Jazeera to Jordanian news sites and Gazan TV, wholly accepted the report, which centered on the supposed danger of the right-wing-religious coalition turning Israel into a halachic (run by Torah law) state.
     Al Jazeera cited Dr. Saleh Lutfi, “a researcher in Jewish, Zionist, and political affairs,” as saying that in light of the current circumstances, the Netanyahu government had claimed that the time was ripe to “realize the myth of building the ‘Third Temple.’” [There is no evidence of such a claim being made by Netanyahu or the Israeli government.]
     Lutfi also claimed that the idea of rebuilding the Temple “has become rooted even among large segments of the Israeli secular and liberal movement, as well as among the circles of the so-called Jewish Zionist left.”
     As further incitement, Palestinian Shehab News reported that the deputy director of the Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem, Najeh Bakirat, “confirmed that the occupation government adopted the project to build the Temple in the place of Al-Aqsa, to make Jerusalem a Jewish capital . . . through several steps and nonstop violations against the mosque.”
     On the Hamas TV station, Al-Aqsa, Dr. Shihab went even further, stating that “the Israeli government has a plan to cause a religious war in the region” and that bringing red heifers to Jerusalem shows that “the fascist Israeli government encourages the settlers to continue harming Al-Aqsa mosque.”
     In fact, five red heifers were brought to Israel a year earlier in September 2022 after being raised by a Christian Evangelist in Texas. In July 2023, one of them was brought to Shiloh, where the Tabernacle stood for over 300 years prior to the first Temple’s construction. Along with two others, this heifer will be at the heart of a planned Heritage Center to attract tourism to the site.
     According to Jewish tradition, a purely red heifer is the only animal whose ashes can be used to purify Jews so they can serve in the Temple and bring sacrifices. There is a host of requirements that the animal must meet, and none has been found in 2,000 years.
     The red heifer project is under the auspices of the Temple Mount Institute, which has constructed many of the implements that would be needed for the Third Temple according to the Bible’s instructions, including its solid-gold Menorah and the priestly garments. The national-religious organization believes that everything that can be done ahead of time, should be done. It should be emphasized that this organization has never urged that existing structures on the Temple Mount should be destroyed.[1]

     As of September 2022, a plot of land on the Mount of Olives had been purchased and was ready for a valid sacrifice – that of a “ritually pure” red heifer.
     A Texas businessman, Byron Stinson, was the man instrumental in locating and helping get five red heifers from the United States to Israel . Boneh Israel (Building Israel), the organization Stinson was involved with, had purchased land on the Mount of Olives that meets the requirements for the sacrifice outside of the holy Temple.
     The five red heifers landed in Israel in September of 2022 to much fanfare, celebration, end-times speculation and a healthy dose of cynicism as well. The cows had all been determined by certain rabbis to be ritually pure for sacrifice. They had to remain unblemished and red in order to be sacrificed when they became older than 2 years.
     The ashes of a red heifer are needed in order to purify the priests who would serve in the temple, according to Numbers 19. Because the entire animal is burned and the ashes stored and used sparingly – sprinkled into water from the Gihon spring – only nine such sacrifices had been reported to have been performed throughout history.
     September 2023 would be the earliest time that one of them – the tenth in history – could be sacrificed.
     As a Christian, Stinson believed that it was his obligation to support the Jewish sacrifice even if that was not what he believed himself, because the “purpose of the red heifer is to let the veil be lifted.”
     “We can support them in having this ceremony of the red heifer, the temple being built and a daily sacrifice, weekly sacrifice,” he said. “We have to have a better understanding of what God is putting into place.”
     Stinson said he is motivated by one main purpose: to foster unity between Christians and Jews.
     He worked with rabbis from the Temple Mount Institute in raising the heifers. A majority of Israelis – secular and religious alike – hadn’t heard the news that the red heifers were in the country because it was barely reported by the mainstream media. Many Israelis consider the Temple Mount Institute to be on the fringes of mainstream Orthodox Jewry and do not align with its practices.
     Some Christians were galvanized by the news of the red heifers as it put a spotlight on end-times teachings. While Jewish sacrifices ended with the destruction of the Second Temple and Christians believe sacrifices are unnecessary because Jesus took the place of animal sacrifice when he died on the cross, the Bible does point to a temple and sacrifices reinstituted in the last days.
     The existence of ritually pure red heifers would be significant for many Jews who believe that one needs to be sacrificed in order to restore Levitical priesthood, build the third Temple and perform sacrifices in Jerusalem. For them, it would mean that redemption was drawing near.[2]

     Back in August of 2015, I wrote an article titled, The End of Days and the Red Heifer.[3] A condensed version of what I wrote at that time follows.

     The End of Days Scenarios

     The “End of Days” concept - also known as End Time(s), Armageddon, the Apocalypse and Judgement Day - is based upon biblical prophecies and is common to the three great monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In each religion, a messiah or redeemer will appear to herald or oversee the event. In Judaism, this redeemer is called Moshiach. In Christianity, this redeemer is called the Messiah and in Islam, this redeemer is called the Mahdi.
     Common to both Judaism and Christianity is the concept of the messiah. Christians believe the coming of the Messiah is the second coming - that of Jesus. Jews believe that the coming of the messiah will be the first coming.
     The term "End of Days" is taken from the Old Testament, Numbers 24:14 and has been taken as a reference to the messianic era.
     In Numbers 24:14, Balaak, the king of Moab, calls upon the prophet Balaam to curse the Israelites before he goes to war against them during the Israelites' exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land. Instead of cursing the Israelites, Balaam blesses the Israelites three different times. Balaam then takes leave of Balaak saying, “And now, behold, I go unto my people; come, and I will announce to thee what this people {the Israelites} shall do to thy people {the Moabites} in the end of days.
     Many, if not most, End of Time adherents view the creation of Israel in 1948 and the conquest of Jerusalem in 1967 as signs that the End of Days is approaching. Central to that event is the Jewish Holy Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. For conservative Christians, “building that Temple is an essential condition for the Second Coming. And for many Muslims, any attempt to destroy the shrines of Al-Aqsa {and replace it with the Jewish Temple} is a sign that the Hour is at hand.” (Ref. 4, p. 14)

The Temple Mount and the Third Temple

     The Temple Mount has been a major focal point in the Jewish-Arab conflict since Israel captured it from Jordan on June 7, 1967 on the third day of Israel’s Six-day War. The Israeli government decided to leave the Temple Mount under nominal Jordanian and Muslim control. It has since become “the place where the drama of the End of Days will come to pass. For Jewish extremists, Israel’s failure to take full possession of the Mount is an affront; for Islamic extremists, Jewish rule is a desecration and an unending threat.” (Ref. 4, p. vii)
     The Temple Mount is the most holy site in Judaism. Jews throughout the world stand and face the Temple Mount when reciting the Silent Prayer, the “Amidah”. Jews long for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple on the Mount and restoration of the ancient Temple services called for in the Bible. But, as will be explained later, in Israel and throughout the diaspora, only a radical fringe calls for Jewish worship on the Mount today or in the near future. For Arabs, the idea of Jewish worship on the Mount reinforces the worst fears of Israeli/Jewish intentions for taking over the Temple Mount. This fear has been instilled in them by Islamic extremists and anti-Israel hard-liners for more than seven decades now.
     Why don't the Jews rebuild the Holy Temple? The following explanation is taken from Reference 5 and reflects the view of most observant Jews.
     One obvious answer to that question is that the Jews can't for political reasons. The Muslims have control over the Temple Mount, and for the Jews to destroy the Muslims' holy site to build their own would bring on Armageddon.
     However, there are other issues involved. Even if Jews were to receive the consent of every Muslim to raze or move their sacred structures from the Temple Mount, many orthodox Jews believe they still would not be permitted to rebuild the Holy Temple.
     One reason is that it is forbidden to enter the precise area where the Holy Temple used to be, because all Jews are ritually impure as a result of sometime having come into contact with the dead. Whoever enters the precise area where the Holy Temple used to be is violating a biblical prohibition punishable by death. In order for a Jew to be able to become ritually pure, he would need the ablutions of the ashes of a red cow administered by a Jewish priest.
     The next problem is that an altar in the Temple area must be built in a very precise location. It is forbidden to place the Altar anywhere else. When the Second Holy Temple was built, they had to find reliable witnesses who could testify to the exact spot. They found three such witnesses, but Jews today don't have any prophets or witnesses to tell them where to locate the altar. Thus, until a prophet - presumably Elijah - comes and tells them where to build the altar, they cannot do it.
     Even if the Jews were able to build the altar in the correct location, they would still need a priest whose genealogy could be determined absolutely and verified.
     A High Priest would have to be appointed and to appoint a High Priest, a Sanhedrin - a body of 71 ordained rabbis – would be required. The Jews cannot assemble a Sanhedrin, because the Sanhedrin must consist of rabbis ordained with the Mosaic Ordination, which was transmitted from Rabbi to Rabbi after the death of Moses. However, the Mosaic Ordination ceased in 358 CE.
     Believing Jews have a tradition that Elijah the Prophet will arrive and reveal himself before the advent of the Messiah. He will arrive and answer all questions and resolve all doubts. He will reveal which families are definitely Cohanim (priests). Since Elijah is a recipient of the Ordination of Moses, he would be able to restore the Sanhedrin.
     Still, there are Jews and non-Jews who believe that the Third Temple can and should be built upon the site of the first two Holy Temples. Some of these believers in rebuilding the Temple atop Mount Moriah are hard at work in an attempt to turn their belief into a reality. They have even announced that they have finished building an altar suitable for the Temple service. This same organization, the Temple Mount Institute, has been hard at work attempting to breed the perfect Red Heifer that is needed for the ritual purification that will allow believing Jews to walk upon the original location of the Holy of Holies.

The End of Days in the Christian Tradition

     Many Christians have a fascination with the “End of Days” or the “End Times” prophecies. In fact, there are “millions of quite rational men and women, belonging to established religious movements around the globe, {who} look forward to history’s conclusion, to be followed by the establishment of a perfected era.” (Ref. 4, p. 3) For fruition, the End Times prophecies require three preceding events: 1) the return of the Jews to Israel and the Jewish nation’s rebirth, 2) the repossession of Jerusalem by the returning Jews, and 3) the rebuilding of the Holy Temple by the Jews. Today, two of the three prophecies have already been fulfilled. These Christian devotees of the End of Days prophecies are likely more interested in the building of the Third Temple than are the Jews.
     According to the Book of Revelation, Armageddon is the site of the gathering of armies for a battle during the End of Days. Armageddon is also used in a generic sense to refer to any end of the world event.
     To some, the destruction of the Dome of the Rock is thought to be the trigger that will set off the war of Armageddon and will serve as the prelude to this Second Coming of Jesus.
     Some Fundamentalist Christians believe that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ cannot occur until the Third Temple is constructed in Jerusalem, which again requires the appearance of the perfect Red Heifer.

The End of Days in the Jewish Tradition

     The End of Days scenario exists in the Jewish faith and the Temple Mount (Har HaBayit), also known as Mount Moriah (Har HaMoriya), figures in this tradition.
     “Moshiach" is the Hebrew word for "messiah." In Talmudic literature, the title Moshiach is reserved for the Jewish leader who will redeem Israel in the End of Days.
     “One of the principles of Jewish faith is that one day there will arise a dynamic Jewish leader, a direct descendant of the Davidic dynasty, who will rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, and gather Jews from all over the world and bring them back to the Land of Israel.
     The Hebrew Talmud describes the period immediately prior to the advent of Moshiach as one of great travail and turmoil. A great war will take place, called the war of Gog and Magog. [6].
     Note that an important aspect of the End of Days is the prediction that the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt.
     The End of Days scenario revolves around the Jews building the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. But, for many religious Jews, there are problems. The location of the Holy of Holies is unknown and anyone who has had any contact with the dead is ritually impure and forbidden to enter this Holy of Holies. Being ritually cleansed in the ritual of the Red Heifer potentially solves this problem.
     Like extremists in the Muslim and Christian faiths, there are Jewish extremists who believe that they are God’s messengers and they know God’s program for mankind. They, therefore, believe it their obligation to enforce God’s will upon mankind – as they perceive God’s intentions. To some of these extremists, tearing down the Muslim edifices on the Temple Mount and replacing them with a Jewish third Great Temple is God’s will – never mind the consequences.

The End of Days in the Muslim Tradition

     “The End of Days is a fundamental element of faith for Islam. It is the belief in a common scenario that:
     "There will be a time of great tribulation on Earth followed by the appearance of a great Saviour and/or return of a Messiah, who will usher in the Kingdom of God on Earth and bring an end to suffering and evil." (Ref. 7)

     The Temple Mount is the third holiest site in Islam. In Arabic it is called Al haram al Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary.
     From the Moslem perspective, rebuilding the Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount creates the basis for a holy war. The el Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock would be desecrated or destroyed by having a Jewish Temple built on the same site. Islam is not noted for sharing territory or property with Infidels, particularly a site the Muslims consider to be their third holiest site, after Mecca and Medina.
     The Koran never actually states the Earth will be completely destroyed at the End Time. The Mahdi ("guided one") is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will rule for seven, nine, or nineteen years (according to differing interpretations) before the Day of Judgment and will rid the world of all evil. According to Islamic tradition, the Mahdi's tenure will coincide with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, who is to assist the Mahdi against the Antichrist. Differences exist in the concept of the Mahdi between Sunni Muslims and adherents of the Shia tradition. For Sunnis, the Mahdi is Muhammad's successor who is yet to come. For most Shia Muslims, the Mahdi was born but disappeared and will remain hidden from humanity until he reappears (similar to the second coming) to bring justice to the world, a doctrine known as the Occultation.
     According to the Twelver Shia, the Mahdi is believed to be the Twelfth Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi. The Mahdi’s main goal will be to establish an Islamic state and to apply Islamic laws that were revealed to the Prophet, Muhammad. The Twelver Shia’s believe that this Twelfth Imam will return from the Occultation as the Mahdi with "a company of his chosen ones," and his enemies will be led by Antichrist and the Sufyani, a tyrant who will spread corruption and mischief on the earth before the Mahdi. The two armies will fight "one final apocalyptic battle" where the Mahdi and his forces will prevail over evil. After the Mahdi has ruled earth for a number of years, Jesus will return.[8]

     Interestingly, ”At the end of time, say Muslim traditions, the Ka’ba – Islam’s central shrine in Mecca – will come to Jerusalem. The implication is that in Islam, speaking of the apocalypse at least hints at Jerusalem – and a struggle over Jerusalem alludes to the last battle.” (Ref. 4, p. 45) What, one may ask, would be the spark to ignite this last battle? For some, this last battle will start because of the dispute between the Muslims and the Jews about who “owns” the Temple Mount! An attack on the Mount could unite the entire Muslim world in a final global jihad. The danger of this happening exists “as long as people think they know what God has to do next and where He has to do it, and are terribly impatient for Him to begin.” (Ref. 4, p. 232) Unfortunately, we are living at a time when extremism is confused with religious authenticity.[4, p. 232]

The Red Heifer

     The Temple Mount Institute in Jerusalem’s Old City is an organization at the far edge of Israel’s religious right that is dedicated to establishing the Third Temple. Finding a Red Heifer is a precondition to building the Temple. Another precondition would be the removal of the Muslim Dome of the Rock and the al Aqsa Mosque from the Temple Mount.[4, p. 9]

     In Numbers 19:2 of the Old Testament, we read: "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". In the rest of Numbers 19, we are told that the cow must be red in color, without blemish, and it must not have been used to perform work. The heifer is then ritually slaughtered and burned outside of the camp. Cedar wood, hyssop, and wool or yarn dyed scarlet are added to the fire, and the remaining ashes are placed in a vessel containing pure water. A person who has become ritually contaminated by contact with a corpse can then be purified by having, water from the vessel sprinkled on him, using a bunch of hyssop.
     The purification ritual of the Red Heifer is referenced in the Book of Daniel (Daniel 12:10) where God tells Daniel that in the last days, "many shall be purified and made white."
     According to Jewish tradition, only nine Red Heifers were actually slaughtered in the period extending from Moses to the destruction of the Second Temple. Maimonides asserted that the 10th Red Heifer will arrive at the time of the messiah.[4, p. 8]

     For some, the breeding of the perfect Red Heifer represents the creation of a “four legged bomb” which would have the potential of setting the entire Mid-east region on fire. Muslim extremists view the existence of the Red Heifer as proof of Jewish intent to take over the Temple Mount and destroy the Muslim structures located on it.[4, p. 19]

Have We Arrived at the End of Days?

     Ever since Israel came into possession of old Jerusalem in 1967, an extremist group of Israelis have tried to accelerate the coming of the End Days by plotting the destruction of the Muslim shrines and busily constructing the various ritual objects for use in the rebuilt Temple. These Israeli extremists have forged a natural alliance with Christian religious zealots, who have their rationale for racing toward Armageddon. Along with the many “born again” Christian conservatives, these “Christian Zionists” provide uncritical support for Israel. At the same time, there are Islamic extremists who want to light the fuse of Armageddon by launching a wave of terrorist attacks across the world.
     Will the appearance of a perfect Red Heifer be the final signal to these religious radicals to take action to hasten the arrival of the End of Days?[3]

     Will the Arab troublemakers and Islamic religious fanatics continue to spread their lies and incite 'the Muslim masses to perpetrate more acts of terrorism? Will a few baby cows end up being the focal point of these continuing acts of death and destruction?

  1. Scared of a baby cow? Palestinians say Israel is planning to build the Third Temple, destroy Al Aqsa Mosque,
    Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News, 3 August 2023.
  2. Red heifer sacrifice could take place in one year in Jerusalem, Nicole Jansezian, allisrael.com, 27 September 2022.
  3. The End of Days and the Red Heifer, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 230, 3 August 2015.
  4. The End of Days, Gershom Gorenberg, Oxford University Press, 2002.
  5. Why Don't We Rebuild The Holy Temple?, beingjewish.com, Accessed 26 July 2015.
  6. What Is the Jewish Belief About Moshiach?, Nissan Dovid Dubov,Chabad.org, Accessed 23 July 2015.
  7. End of Days, One-Islam.org, Accessed 25 July 2015.
  8. ISIS & Iran – in a Race to Islam’s Armageddon?, Steve Chambers, Family Security Matters, 20 March 2015.


  31 August 2023 {ARTICLE – 590; ISLAM_51 }    
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