Love of the Land

For the week ending 14 March 2009 / 18 Adar I 5769

Har Hamishcha Where the Red Cow was Burned

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

As Jews throughout the world listen this Shabbat to the special Torah reading concerning the Red Cow (Parshat Para), it brings to mind the place where this animal was rendered to ashes which would be used for purification of those who became contaminated through contact with the dead.

This place is known as Har Hamishcha (Mount of Anointment) or Har Hazeitim (Mount of Olives). Both names refer to the olive trees that once grew on this mountain east of Yerushalayim, whose fruits supplied the high quality olive oil used for anointing a king or a kohen gadol.

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