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Sacrificing red cows: Is the Jewish prophecy to replace Al Aqsa coming to life?

Right-wing Israeli groups have announced plans to sacrifice a red heifer, citing adherence to an ancient Jewish prophecy. The ritual, intended to fulfill religious obligations, is expected to take place in close proximity to the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

The announcement has sparked concerns among Palestinians and the broader Muslim community. Al Aqsa Mosque, located on the Temple Mount, is one of Islam’s holiest sites. Any activity near the mosque, particularly of a religious nature, tends to inflame tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.

While the significance of the red heifer in Jewish tradition is well-established, the decision to conduct the sacrifice near Al Aqsa raises concerns about potential repercussions.

What is the prophecy?

The prophecy concerning the red heifer originates from Jewish tradition, specifically from the book of Numbers in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). According to the prophecy, a red heifer, or a red cow, must be sacrificed and its ashes used in purification rituals.

The heifer must be unblemished, without any defects, and entirely red in color. This ritual is believed to be a prerequisite for certain religious ceremonies and is associated with purity and cleansing.

In Jewish eschatology, the birth of a red heifer fulfilling these specific criteria is believed to be a sign heralding the coming of the Messiah and the rebuilding of the Third Temple in Jerusalem.

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