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The End of Days? Apocalypse Cow Born in Israel

The Jewish Temple Institute claims to have bred a red heifer “apocalypse cow”, but their next actions may spell conflict with Muslims.

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By Ryan Lau | @agorisms

Recently, the Temple Institute in Jerusalem announced the birth of a rare red heifer cow. According to the institute, if the calf qualifies, it would be the first “red heifer in 2000 years”.

An Apocalypse Cow?

Christianity and Judaism both state that the birth of a pure, unmarked red heifer calf spells the beginning of the end of the world. With a potential apocalypse cow born, the institute now must undergo vigorous screening of it. If the calf has any marks or blemishes, then it is not pure, and thus, cannot be the sacrificial animal that the religions’ sacred texts promise.

The Temple Institute is a non-profit Jewish religious group based out of Israel. Their main goal is to create the biblical Third Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. According to sacred texts, after the tenth red heifer in history is sacrificed, the people can begin building the temple.

The Red Heifer’s Religious Heat

However, the Islamic Dome of the Rock currently lies on Mount Moriah. In order to construct the Third Temple, they would first need to destroy the original structure. So, in order for this to occur, the Jewish community would first need to come to a consensus that the organization had truly found the right heifer. This, though, may turn out to be more difficult than it sounds, because they also would be bulldozing a major Muslim religious monument. And Islam, though similar to the other two monotheistic religions in many ways, does not recognize the red heifer as a symbol of judgment day.

Since 2015, the Temple Institute has been breeding cows in attempts at bringing about a red heifer. Though they have not resorted to genetic engineering, it is, of course, true that breeding knowledge is vastly more advanced today than in biblical times. Thus, it is not explicitly clear whether or not the cow would count, if it did not come about its conception through natural methods.

On the other hand, though, some may argue that the manipulation of animal lineage may necessitate judgment day, or at the very least, not disqualify it. In order for the construction of the temple to begin, the current owners of the Dome would need to agree to demolish it. Yet, it is highly unlikely that the Ministry of Awqaf Islamic Affairs and Holy Places would do so.

High-stakes Conflict

Unfortunately, this refusal would likely stir up much more controversy. In recent years, Israeli leaders have threatened to take back the territory for Judaism. Only last year, the Jewish Temple movement stated officially that “We must liberate the Temple Mount from the murderous Islam”.

With a belief of the world’s end in play, these tensions would only skyrocket. Though they have threatened to tear down the Dome in the past, an important event such as the red heifer may be enough to prompt swift action. Muslims, though, having just lost a major religious monument, would surely retaliate if this was the case.

Without a doubt, the apocalypse cow has the chance to stir up some major religious controversy. If left unchecked, it could worsen the already horrific relations between Israel and Palestine, or even start a larger religious war. And unlike past religious wars such as the Crusades, Israel has nukes now. Other nearby nations are also hoping to attain them, so such a war could cause irrevocable consequences.

On Facebook, the institute officially declared the birth of the calf, but have yet to provide further information. Whether or not this calf can be the apocalypse cow may make or break hopes of peace between bitter religious rivals in Israel and the rest of the world.


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  1. The Red Heifer is important in one particular ritual regarding the purity of the Temple. There’s nothing apocalyptic about it. It’s just that *if* the Temple is rebuilt (which is a fairly apocalyptic idea these days due to who’s currently on the site, but not traditionally in Judaism), this cow could be sacrificed to fulfill a particular obscure ritual requirement that wasn’t even generally fulfilled when the Temple was still standing because all-red cows are apparently really rare. Anyway. Judaism in no way says that a solid red cow will bring about the end of the world. That’s just not true.

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