Getting Ready For Korban Pesach This Year

Getting Ready For Korban Pesach This Year

 

by Ariel Natan Pasko

 

What’s the real reason that we might not offer Korban Pesach (the Passover Offering) on the Temple Mount this year? I’ll tell you, one word, FEAR!

No, not fear of the gentiles. We had enough of that, from the last 2,000 years of abuse at their hands. No, I’m referring to fear of the Israeli police and government.

Really, there’s no good reason not to bring the Korban Pesach. Most of the halachic (Jewish Law) issues have been solved in the last couple hundred years, at least since the time of the Chatam Sofer, and particularly in our generation. Halacha is not the barrier. Go check it out.

Fear of the Israeli Authorities, is the only thing that holds back the Korban Pesach from being brought D’Orayta (as commanded in the Torah), on the Temple Mount.

So, the Passover offering that is supposed to symbolize complete faith in the G-d of Israel, and His redemptive process, has degenerated into eating more Matzah at the end of the Seder (the Afikoman). That, after we’ve already had our fill of Matzah earlier; instead of taking the symbol of the oppressor, chaining it in public for four days, then slaughtering it, roasting it in a way that the evil ones can see their “power” being destroyed, and then eating it, Real Korban Pesach! Just like before we left Egypt.

I really lust to bring the Korban Pesach to the Bet HaMikdash, and worship the G-d of Israel, the way He intended me to do, as described in His Holy Torah. Every year, I hope that this year, will be THE YEAR!

In fact, every committed Jew should desire the rebuilding of the Bet HaMikdash (the Third Holy Temple, the House of God) on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. But even before that, the Korban Pesach can be brought. As I said earlier, there are no halachic problems, to prevent it from being carried out properly today.

Interestingly, there is a similarity between Korban Pesach and Israel’s redemptive process unfolding before our eyes, in our time. Unlike other Offerings, if the majority of the nation is Tamei (Ritually Impure), as it is today, the Korban Pesach can be brought in an impure state.

So too, Israel’s Redemption comes whether the Jewish People are religiously observant or not. See Talmud Sanhedrin 97b, where Rabbi Yehoshua insists that “even if Am Yisrael does not do Teshuva (repentance), they will be redeemed.”

So, God has His own plan… And, we Jews, just have to have simple faith and trust in Him, and do what needs to be done.

Whether Jews of little faith understand it or not, every stabbing, every shooting, every act of terror and war by Arabs and Muslims against Jews, is a part of a long religious war taking place. That’s how they understand it. Well, let me tell you, there are Jews who understand this too. We shouldn’t let fear of the world or fear of the Israeli government, stop us from carrying out a Commandment of the Living God.

A couple years ago, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the Palestinian Authority Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, threatened that if Jews “…hold Pesach (Passover) religious ceremonies on the Temple Mount…and continue attacks against the Muslim and Palestinian holy sites…it will turn the entire region into a ticking time bomb and cause a religious war, who’s results cannot be fathomed.”

“…A religious war, who’s results cannot be fathomed,” Hussein quipped. Well, we know what the results will be, just like every other war against the State of Israel, victory for the Jewish people again. See Talmud Megillah 17b, “The beginning of redemption comes through wars.”

“HaShem Ish Milchama…’’ The God of Israel is a Warrior, the Lord is his name (Exodus 15:3).

What prompted this outburst of the mufti? The mere attempt to reenact Korban Pesach – not even the real thing – by the Temple Institute and other Temple Mount organizations, near, but not on, the Temple mount in Jerusalem.

This year, on April 15th, the Sanhedrin will again oversee a full-dress reenactment of the Passover offering, for the eighth year. The ceremony will be held at the Davidson Center adjacent to the Temple Mount, as it was last year. By the way, the Arabs did nothing last year, or the year before.

But why a reenactment? FEAR!

The Yalkut Shimoni – a midrash – on the Book of First Samuel (106) teaches us an awesome lesson about the Churban/destruction and exile by the Romans, Rabbi Simeon Bar Menasya said, “Israel was only exiled after it rejected the following three things, Malchut Shamayim/the Kingdom of Heaven, Malchut Beit David/Kingship from the House of David, and the Beit HaMikdash/the Holy Temple.

We learn from this, that the cause of the exile of the Jewish people, was because we took too lightly, Torah observance (God’s rule), we should have demanded a rightful Davidic descendant be appointed as king, once the Maccabees drove out the Syrian Greeks, and Jews didn’t care enough about the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

A variant text in the Yalkut Shimoni explains from a different angle, why the Roman exile would be so long, as opposed to the limited seventy years of Babylonian exile, after the destruction of the First Temple. Rabbi Simeon Bar Menasya predicted, “In the future the following three things will be despised by Israel, the Kingdom of Heaven, David’s kingdom [the Messiah], and the building of the [Third] Temple.”

By the attitudes and behavior of most Jews today; the secularization and assimilation; apathy about the Messianic concept and the Temple Service; or FEAR of greatness in serving God, Rabbi Simeon’s prediction seems to have come true.

But there is a third variant text, that gives the solution, how to end the exile. Rabbi Simeon Bar Menasya said, “Israel will not see a sign of the redemption until they repent and demand the following three things, the Kingdom of Heaven, David’s kingdom [the Messiah], and the building of the [Third] Temple.”

To remedy the situation, end exile and bring the compete redemption, Jews must be taught to understand the value of these three things, then begin to demand them, and work to achieve them. The Sanhedrin’s reenactment of the Korban Pesach is a good first step. But, haven’t we been there, done that, already?

Maybe we should be bringing the real Passover Offering on the Temple Mount this year, instead of just re-enacting it nearby?

Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master’s Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.

(c) 2019/5779 Pasko

 

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One Comment

  1. Sacrifices and cruelty to animals should never be encouraged. G-d does not want this. The following can be found at https://www.jewishveg.org/schwartz/faq_sacrifices.html:

    1. If God wanted us to have vegetarian diets and not harm animals, why were the Biblical sacrificial services established?

    During the time of Moses, it was the general practice among all nations to worship by means of sacrifice. There were many associated idolatrous practices. The great Jewish philosopher Maimonides stated that God did not command the Israelites to give up and discontinue all these manners of service because “to obey such a commandment would have been contrary to the nature of man, who generally cleaves to that to which he is used,” For this reason, God allowed Jews to make sacrifices, but “He transferred to His service that which had served as a worship of created beings and of things imaginary and unreal.” All elements of idolatry were removed. Maimonides concluded:

    By this divine plan it was effected that the traces of idolatry were blotted out, and the truly great principle of our Faith, the Existence and Unity of God, was firmly established; this result was thus obtained without deterring or confusing the minds of the people by the abolition of the service to which they were accustomed and which alone was familiar to them.

    The Jewish philosopher Abarbanel reinforced Maimonides’argument. He cited a Midrash that indicated that the Jews had become accustomed to sacrifices in Egypt. To wean them from these idolatrous practices, God tolerated the sacrifices but commanded that they be offered in one central sanctuary:

    Thereupon the Holy One, blessed be He, said “Let them at all times offer their sacrifices before Me in the Tabernacle, and they will be weaned from idolatry, and thus be saved.” (Rabbi J. H. Hertz, The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, p. 562)

    Rabbi J. H. Hertz, the late chief rabbi of England, stated that if Moses had not instituted sacrifices, which were admitted by all to have been the universal expression of religious homage, his mission would have failed and Judaism would have disappeared. With the destruction of the Temple, the rabbis state that prayer and good deeds took the place of sacrifice.

    Rashi indicated that God did not want the Israelites to bring sacrifices; it was their choice. He bases this on the haphtorah (portion from the Prophets) read on the Sabbath when the book of Leviticus which discusses sacrifices is read:

    I have not burdened thee with a meal-offering, Nor wearied thee with frankincense. (Isaiah 43:23)

    Biblical commentator David Kimhi (1160-1235) also stated that the sacrifices were voluntary. He ascertained this from the words of Jeremiah:

    For I spoke not unto your fathers, nor commanded them on the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt-offerings or sacrifices; but this thing I commanded them, saying, “Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people; and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. (Jeremiah 7:22-23)

    David Kimchi, notes that nowhere in the Ten Commandments is there any reference to sacrifice, and even when sacrifices are first mentioned (Lev. 1:2) the expression used is “when any man of you bringeth an offering,” the first Hebrew we ki being literally “if”, implying that it was a voluntary act.

    Many Jewish scholars such as Rabbi Kook believe that animal sacrifices will not be reinstated in messianic times, even with the reestablishment of the Temple. They believe that at that time human conduct will have advanced to such high standards that there will no longer be need for animal sacrifices to atone for sins. Only nonanimal sacrifices (grains, for example) to express gratitude to God would remain. There is a Midrash (rabbinic teaching based on Jewish values and tradition) that states: “In the Messianic era, all offerings will cease except the thanksgiving offering, which will continue forever. This seems consistent with the belief of Rabbi Kook and others, based on the prophecy of Isaiah (11:6-9), that people and animals will be vegetarian in that time, and “none shall hurt nor destroy in all My Holy mountain.”

    Sacrifices, especially animal sacrifices, were not the primary concern of God. As a matter of fact, they could be an abomination to Him if not carried out together with deeds of loving kindness and justice. Consider these words of the prophets, the spokesmen of God:

    What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. (Hos. 6:6)

    To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me?” sayeth the Lord. “I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs or of he-goats…bring no more vain oblations…. Your new moon and your appointed feasts my soul hateth;…and when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear; your hands are full of blood. (Isa. 1:11-16)

    I hate, I despise your feasts, and I will take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Yea, though you offer me burnt-offerings and your meal offerings, I will not accept them neither will I regard the peace-offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy song; and let Me not hear the melody of thy psalteries. But let justice well up as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. (Amos 5:21-4)

    Deeds of compassion and kindness toward all creation are of greater significance to God than sacrifices: “To do charity and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice” (Prov. 21: 3).

    Perhaps a different type of sacrifice is required of us today. When Rabbi Shesheth kept a fast for Yom Kippur, he used to conclude with these words:

    Sovereign of the Universe, Thou knowest full well that in the time of the Temple when a man sinned he used to bring a sacrifice, and though all that was offered of it was fat and blood, atonement was made for him. Now I have kept a fast and my fat and blood have diminished. May it be Thy will to account my fat and blood which have been diminished as if I have offered they before thee on the altar, and do Thou favor me. (Berachot 17a)

    2. When the Temple in Jerusalem is rebuilt, won’t the sacrificial services be restored and won’t people have to eat meat?

    As indicated previously, Rav Kook and others believe that in the Messianic epoch, human conduct will have improved to such a degree that animal sacrifices will not be necessary to atone for sins. There will only be non-animal sacrifices to express thanks to God.

    As also indicated, based on the prophecy of Isaiah (11:6-9), Rav Kook and others believe that the Messianic period will be vegetarian.

    While most Jewish scholars assume that all Jews ate meat during the time that the Temple stood, it is significant that some (Tosafot, Yoma 3a, and Rabbenu Nissim, Sukkah 42b) assert that even during the Temple period it was not an absolute requirement to eat meat! Rabbenu Nissim characterizes the “requirement” to eat the meat of festival offerings as mitsvah min ha-muvhar, that is the optimum way of fulfilling the mitzvah of rejoicing on the festival, but not an absolute requirement. Moshe Halevi Steinberg, in the responsa previously mentioned points out that vegetarianism for health reasons did not conflict with halacha even in Temple times. He indicates that one could be a vegetarian the whole year, and by eating a kazayit (olive-size portion which, due to its size, would not damage his health) of meat, he would fulfill the mitzva of eating the meat of sacrifices. Even a kohen (priest) could be vegetarian except when his turn came to eat of the sacrifices during his period of duty (about 2 weeks), when he, too, could eat just a kazayit. He actually could eat even less according to the Hatani Sofer, since many kohanim could join together to eat the required amount, so that the vegetarian kohen could eat even less than a kazayit.

    R. Steinberg notes that among the things listed as disqualifying a kohen from service in the Temple, vegetarianism is not included, since he could arrange the problem of the eating of the sacrifices in one of the ways listed above. However, R. Steinberg adds, a kohen who became a vegetarian because his soul recoiled against eating meat would not have been allowed to serve in the sanctuary since if he forced himself to swallow a kazayit of meat, it would not fulfill the halachic definition of “eating”.

    3. Doesn’t the Torah mandates that we eat korban Pesach (the Passover sacrifice) and other korbanos (sacrifices)?

    Without the Temple, these requirements are not applicable today. And, as indicated, Rav Kook felt, based on the prophecy of Isaiah, that there will only be sacrifices involving vegetarian foods during the Messianic Period.

    4. In Jewish literature, it is stated that with the advent of the Messiah a banquet will be given by God to the righteous which the flesh of the giant fish, leviathan, will be served. Isn’t this inconsistent with the idea that the Messianic period will be vegetarian?

    These legends concerning the leviathan are interpreted as allegories by most commentators. According to Maimonides, the banquet is an allusion to the spiritual enjoyment of the intellect. Abarbanel and others consider the expressions about the leviathan to be allusions to the destruction of the powers that are hostile to the Jews.

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