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Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakai


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“It is the same with this spirit – the impure spirit – which has made this person impure and whom we sprinkle with the water of the red cow until the spirit of defilement leaves him.”

When the man left, the students of Rabban Yochanan turned to him and asked, “This may be the answer which you have given the man but what is the true explanation which you can give us? How does the water of the red cow make a man pure from his impurity?”

And Rabban Yochanan answered, “Know you that is not the corpse that defiles and makes the man impure and neither is it the water of the red cow that makes him pure again. Rather it is the Holy One, Blessed Be He, who commanded us to do all this. He tells us, I have decreed this and you are not permitted to violate My decree.

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