Assuming that a non-Jew chose to create a genetically engineered parah adumah (red heifer) and further assuming it met all the halachic requirements --no two black hairs, hadn't been used for work etc. -- would such an animal be deemed usable to create the ashes of a parah adumah?

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    How about one created from using Sefer Yetzirah?
    – sam
    Commented Apr 5, 2013 at 17:09
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    Why does it matter if it was created by a non-Jew?
    – Daniel
    Commented Apr 5, 2013 at 17:40
  • @Daniel per the answers to this question I thought it might be mitzvah ha'bah b'aveirah judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/23406/…
    – user2110
    Commented Apr 5, 2013 at 18:06
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    @sam - Natural birth, but what about natural conception? The OP refers to GE, but the fertile, engineered embryo would be implanted as in a standatd IVF procedure.
    – Epicentre
    Commented Apr 7, 2013 at 4:09
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    On a genetically engineered person, why not? Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 15:31

3 Answers 3


In short :The talmud in Bechorot stats that "kol hyotze M'htahor - tahor" means - if it came out of a cow, it is a cow, even if it is not look like one, how much more so if it's look like a cow.

Long explenation: The Gemara on Bechorot 5:B stats: תנן התם רחל שילדה מין עז ועז שילדה מין רחל פטור מן הבכורה ואם יש בו מקצת סימנין חייב מנא הני מילי אמר רב יהודה דאמר קרא (במדבר יח, יז) אך בכור שור שיהא הוא שור ובכורו שור בכור כשב שיהא הוא כשב ובכורו כשב בכור עז שיהא הוא עז ובכורו עז יכול אפי' יש בו מקצת סימנין ת"ל אך חלק

How much more so if it is a proper looking cow, that came out of cow's womb.

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    It could be pure, but not a cow (like a mule coming from a donkey, Tamei, but not a donkey) Commented Jan 15, 2014 at 18:05
  • @Shmuel Brin please re-read the above Sugia. The Sugia goes on, but the main qustion is if this is a "Mum" or not, not if it diffrent race or not.look al rasi D"H גלי רחמנא and you will see he calls this mum "נדמה" means it only looks like diffrent race, but it isn't
    – Alaychem
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 8:02
  • Does that logic apply if the embryo is implanted in the cow? In that case, maybe we have ot look at the sources of genetic material
    – Yitzchak
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 16:41

The book 'Thinking aloud' records that Rav Soloveitchik was asked if a cloned human would have the halachic status of a human. He answered no. We can diffrentiate between humans and animals though, if we assume cloning has the same halacha as being made with the seffer yeyzira. There is a famous tshuva from the Chacham Tzvi, mentioned in the Mishnah Berurah, where he says a person made from the seffer yetzira is not a human, but rather an animal in the form of a human, therefore he cannot be counted for a minyan. We can infer from his words that this creature is at least an animal though.


At a genetic level a heifer cloned is still a heifer. A heifer with genes modified to produce red pigmentation is a red heifer. However, the process by which it came to be may invalidate the sacred rarity that the red heifer is. Red heifers are hard to find in nature, and being able to produce them in masse might not bestow them with the halakchic requirements.

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