Rabbi Yehudah Glick has 300 sheep and goats on-hand and 20 trained slaughterers ready to lead the Jewish world in a renewal of the Pessach (Passover) sacrifice on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  Now all they need is for the Messiah to come.

While Jews, for many centuries now, have celebrated Passover with the Seder meal, which commemorates the deliverance of the Children of Israel from Egyptian bondage and contains many allusions to the Paschal sacrifice, Rabbi Glick and many others believe it’s time to be prepared to reinstate the Torah-mandated temple sacrifice.

A recent Jerusalem Post article quotes Glick as saying:

“This is the first mitzvah [commandment] in the Torah for everyone – men, women, children – that must be obeyed every year at the threat of karet [excommunication].”

“It is the foundation of the basic covenant between Jews and God, the very foundation of Torah…”

“For the past 2,000 years or so, we haven’t offered Pessah sacrifices, but Jews should live around the concept of waiting to reinstate bringing sacrifices on that holiday. The original plan for that day was not the Seder we currently conduct, but a sacrifice.”

The three major obstacles (among many others) cited to actually performing the sacrifices are:

  1. The idea that the Messiah is supposed to arrive to officially reinstate the temple practice (see Mal. 3:3)
  2. The Israeli government’s ban on sacrifice at the Temple Mount
  3. The fact that this act would spark large-scale protests (and perhaps violent retribution) from the Muslim world

While apparently respecting popular belief that the Messiah would need to come, Rabbi Glick maintains that the Jews still need to be prepared to offer the required sacrifice when he does arrive. According to The Jewish Daily Forward, Glick explained:

“A person who is not prepared for the offerings is like somebody who invites all his friends to a wedding and waits until they arrive to make preparations…The concept of waiting for [the resumption of sacrifices] to happen is totally alien to Judaism; we have to be ready and express to God how badly we want it.”

The article continues on to demonstrate that Glick is also apparently willing to circumvent the Messianic tradition:

The arrival of the Messiah isn’t Glick’s only hope for facilitating the sacrifice. He cites a minority rabbinic opinion, contending that the Passover sacrifice should take place with or without the Temple as long as Jews have access to Temple Mount. He is requesting permission to hold the sacrifice there, a request that, until now, the Israeli authorities have denied — apparently fearing an inflammation of Jewish-Muslim tensions.

Glick has reportedly attempted twice to overturn the ban on Temple Mount sacrifices with the Israeli high court, but has been unsuccessful. According to the article, the recently formed Sanhedrin in Israel are also pushing for the same rights.

Also angry about the state’s refusal to allow sacrifices on the Temple Mount is the Sanhedrin, a council of Orthodox rabbis who consider their group a revival of the ancient Sanhedrin of Jewish sages. “Israel claims that there is freedom for every religion — but except for the Jewish religion,” Sanhedrin secretary Dov Stein told the Forward. The Sanhedrin, which now operates the Committee Concerning the Passover Sacrifice, in 2007 issued a religious ruling saying that people are obliged to make the Passover offering whether or not the Messiah has arrived…

The article further explains, regarding Rabbi Glick:

Glick launched his program two years ago, amid a surge of interest in preparation for a Third Temple. The previous year the Temple Institute, a Jerusalem not-for-profit, started preparing garments for priests to wear in a rebuilt Temple, tailoring them according to biblical specifications, and went on to create an altar.

For more on this, see news stories here and here. See here for another Jewish scholar/activist’s thoughts on sacrifice and worship at the Temple Mount.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Glick is able to accomplish tonight. If I see any news, I’ll be sure to post it here. My thanks to Hamblin of Jerusalem for alerting me to this story.

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