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Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvos
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Positive Mitzvah 113

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Positive Mitzvah 113: The Red Cow
Numbers 19:1-9 "Have them bring you a red cow...It shall be kept for the congregation of the Children of Israel"

This animal is one you won't spot even in the largest zoo.

A completely red cow is very rare. The Torah commands us to use it for a unique Mitzvah - the purification of a Jew from the impurity of contact with a dead body.

This cow must have no blemishes and have never been used for other purposes.

It is burnt and its ashes are mixed with the Niddah water (see Positive Mitzvah 108). This water is sprinkled on the person purifying himself.

This Positive Mitzvah calls for an act of unselfishness. Would you lend someone in need, your bus-fare and walk home?

Would you help a friend catch up on his homework during recess and miss the ball game?

The next time you have to make such a decision, think of the Mitzvah of the Parah Adumah.

The person who burns the cow helps purify someone else, but, at the same time, he himself becomes impure.

Since creation, only nine red cows have been used for purification.

Moses prepared the first one. The tenth will be prepared by Mashiach.

A sharp mind will find a truth for itself.

A humble spirit will find a truth higher than itself.

Truth is not the property of intellectuals, but of those who know how to escape their own selves.

From: Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman -

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