Kiddushin 31a teaches us the famous story of Dama ben Nesina, ie a gentile who refused to sell the Chachamim a precious stone for the ephod since doing so would wake up his father.

The gemara continues by saying that as a reward for this amazing example of Kibbud Av V'Eim, the following year one of Dama's cows gave birth to a Parah Adumah and Dama only asked the Chachamim to pay him for the original amount of money lost for not previously selling the stone.


The mishna in Maseches Parah 3:5 lists the 9 Parah Adumahs that have existed:

  • 1) משֶׁה

  • 2) מֵעֶזְרָא

  • 3) שִׁמְעוֹן הַצַּדִּיק (did 2)

  • 5) וְיוֹחָנָן כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל (did 2)

  • 7) אֶלְיְהוֹעֵינַי בֶּן הַקּוֹף

  • 8) וַחֲנַמְאֵל הַמִּצְרִי

  • 9) וְיִשְׁמָעֵאל בֶּן פִּיאָבִי

Was Dama's Parah Aduma successfully processed, and if so do we know which of these Parot Adumot was his?

  • Acc. to my other question, don't we need a backup Heifer? Just in case the jar breaks or something? I mean, can we keep a herd/stock of red heifers for the right hour? So it's plausible that it was bought without the need to be burnt and used. – Al Berko Jul 16 '19 at 13:14
  • 1
    @AlBerko One heifer's ashes go a long way and presumably don't expire, unlike a live heifer. It shouldn't be necessary or even helpful to have a live backup unless the current stock of ashes is within some threshold of being depleted. At that point, the thing to do would be to acquire a red heifer and process it immediately, adding its ashes to the stock. Keeping it around alive only brings risk that it will get disqualified. – Isaac Moses Jul 16 '19 at 13:27
  • @IsaacMoses So you're saying it's unlikely that they bought it without the intention to use it immediately? – Al Berko Jul 16 '19 at 15:30
  • 4
    Not a complete answer, but the Gemara there tells how Dama was once sitting "among the nobles of Rome" when his mother publicly humiliated him (and he, in keeping with his devotion to kibbud av v'eim, didn't react negatively). So that would seem to place him during the Roman rule over Eretz Yisroel, in which case only the last 3 from the list in Parah fall during that period. – Meir Jul 16 '19 at 15:32
  • 1
    The last one seems to fit he.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – Al Berko Jul 16 '19 at 15:33

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .