Because I can…
Today throngs of Israelis made their way to the Kotel plaza and the Western Wall. Tomorrow morning at 9 am there will be the blessing of the Kohanim and I’ll be there. This mob scene in the old city happens three times a year – on Sukkot, on Shavuoth and on Passover (Sholshah Regalim). When the Temple existed, that’s when Jews from all over would make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and offer a Korban Pesach, a sacrifice of a lamb. Now the sacrifice is no longer necessary but people still make the pilgrimage. There’s no temple any more – not that that stops everyone.

This year a group of, let’s call them zealots, petitioned the Israeli High Court of Justice for permission to sacrifice a lamb on the Temple Mount:

In their efforts to sacrifice a live animal at the Temple Mount, the New Sanhedrin Council adopted an almost underground modus operandi. Rabbis Adin Steinsaltz, Israel Ariel, Yishai Baved and their associates secretly located a butcher, found a Cohen hailing from a lineage 1,000 years old and worked out a plan to quickly erect an alter on the Temple Mount… Their plans were thwarted yesterday when the court rejected their request, ruling that “the rights of the petitioners to practice their faith are outweighed by other considerations such as public order and safety.” … Despite the ruling, the followers decided to hold a colorful procession yesterday in Jerusalem, heading to the Western Wall along with two sheep… The Temple Mount Move ent followers present were joined by partners from the Temple Institute, which has for years prepared the traditional holy tools and utensils for the Third Temple, according to Torah specifications… The spectacular display did not, however, persuade authorities to allow the participants to perform the practice.

So yeah, Tel Aviv has a beach, ok, fair enough. But do they have processions with sacrificial lambs? I doubt it. Never a dull day in Jerusalem…

About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • “So yeah, Tel Aviv has a beach, ok, fair enough. But do they have processions with sacrificial lambs? I doubt it. Never a dull day in Jerusalem…”

    ck, ck, ck… there you go again. Always ‘scape-goating’ Tel Aviv!


  • Strange thing is that I think that corbon pesach is the only sacrifice that doesn’t need to be done on the temple mount… please correct me if I am wrong.

    That is a pretty poweful group of Rabbis trying to do something so outrageous.

    I personally can’t wait until we go back to sacrficies and have BBQ instead of having to sit through shul- much more fun at musaf 🙂

  • To CK and SN:

    1. Your comment “… Now the sacrifice is no longer necessary…” is a bit misleading. The sacrifice is “necessary”, we just can’t bring it because of the mosque on the site. When the Messiah arrives and the Temple is rebuilt, the sacrificial service will certainly resume!

    2. The Korban Pesach could not be brought outside of the Tabernacle or Temple Mount, even when other sacrifices could be (see Tractate Megillah 9b).

  • I am definitely in favour of building the 3rd Temple, G-d willing, soon in our days.
    However, I hope that we never have sacrifices again. We have grown spiritually since the days of sacrifices.
    On a lighter note, if these Rabbis wanted to know about how to do sacrifices, they could just head over to Mt. Gezirim, and watch the Samaritans to it.

  • Dave, the Gemara has complete details of how to offer Korbanot. At the most, the Samaritans might make it easier to understand certain aspects by illustration of certain specifics only.

    Glatt lamb chops were going for about 140 Shekel a kilo (around US$15 a pound) before Pesach at my local Jerusalem butcher. No way, Jose!

  • Shy Guy:

    “Do you know the way to (Gemara Rabbi) Yose?”

    Seriously, though… I heard that some have the custom of not eating lamb for the seder, because it would be too much like the Paschal Korban… Anyone here have more specifics?

  • The custom is not to eat anything broiled – not even fowl – so that no one should even think that we’re eating Kodshim. Similarly, if you’ve got a good Zro’ah bone to nibble on, we wait till the morning/afternoon meal, when a Korban Pesach could no longer be eaten.

    But you can boil and stew all you want any type of meat, lamb included, for the Seder meal. We typically have pot roast but who’s hungry?!

  • Phil, you don’t really think there will ever be a Messiah, do you?