Regarding the red heifer (parah adumah), the Mishnah says that the heifer is invalid if it has mated with a bull sent specifically to mate with it. However, if the bull does it on its own, it is valid. [Parah 2:4]

There are people studying ways to produce a genetically engineered red heifer.

But using the same logic as in the Mishnah, shouldn't we say that a genetically engineered heifer is invalid, because it should be found in nature to be valid?

  • 3
    You are confusing the invalidation of the heifer with breeding by its mother. Breeding the mother does not invalidate the heifer.
    – N.T.
    Mar 31 at 7:04
  • I understand the Mishnah to say that the red heifer must be entirely a product of nature, without any human intervention whatsoever. Mar 31 at 17:16
  • That is incorrect. Being bred is a form of work, and the heifer cannot have been made to do any work.
    – N.T.
    Mar 31 at 18:34


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