When people or things contact ritual impurity from a human corpse, they may be purified by sprinkling of a mixture of water and the ashes of a red heifer.
The red heifer was slaughtered in a designated place on the Mount of Olives, which faces the portals of the Temple. Rabbi Shimon maintains that even after the red heifer was slaughtered on its pyre, it may be redeemed if a nicer heifer is found.
Similarly, if the thief slaughtered a stolen blemished offering outside the Temple, he is liable to the fourfold or fivefold payment – since that animal could be redeemed and eaten.
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