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Parah 3: Three Life Forces

The cow herself, though reminiscent of the Golden Calf’s mother, and thus indirectly responsible for her offspring, is pure; much as the soul is pure at entry into the human body.



The color red represents the soul after having joined the body and becoming besieged by all the attractions of the physical life here on earth.

Sin is possible on three levels, parallel to the three life forces that are extant in man. Man possesses the life force of the plants, he responds to everything physical. He possesses the life-force of animals in that he is sensitive to all that goes on around him be it painful or pleasurable. Thirdly, he possesses intellect, being able to sin with it by preferring to pattern his life on heretical concepts.

The requirement that the Parah Adumah must not have worn a yoke in order for it to be capable of becoming an instrument of atonement, suggests that it represents the type of person who has rejected any and all limitations from a higher source concerning the manner in which he can conduct his life down here.

The fact that only a minute amount of the blood of the Parah Adumah is actually presented on the alter, indicates that the physical pleasures man is permitted to indulge in must be with limits, so that he will be free to fulfill the will of God.

;Removal of the Parah from all three encampments, both from the most sacred as well as from the relatively least holy, indicates that man must remain free, or free himself from the demands made upon him by the three life forces that we mentioned earlier. (Akeidat Yitzchak: Gate 79)

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