Learn from Congregation B’nai Chaim: Find new beginnings in separations

Hefsiba "Jen" Cohen
Hefsiba “Jen” Cohen, Special to Valley News In the Torah portion “Chukat,” which means “decree,” in Numbers 19:1-22:1, it describes the decreed ritual of the sacrificial red heifer. This ritual is a very curious mandate regarding the ashes of a special cow, along with ashes of cedar, hyssop and red wool, which became a cleansing medium when added to water for all who had become ritually impure from nearing a corpse. If the natural separation between life, represented by the living, and death, represented by the dead, was violated, then the ceremony of cleansing with this ash-water was required to bring normality of movement and association. If someone wasn’t cleansed, they also could not serve in the tabernacle or perform other religious observances and could ultimately
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