Thursday, April 1, 2021

Israel: Passover Sacrifice 'Dry-Run' Takes Place Near Temple Mount


On Tuesday evening, while Israelis headed to the polls for the fourth time in two years, a reenactment of the Korban Pesach (the Passover Temple service) was held near the Shaar HaAshpot (the dung gate) near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The date, the tenth day of the first month, was significant in many ways.

Assaf Fried, the spokesman for the Temple Organizations, related to Israel365 news that when Temple activists began holding the Korban Pesach reenactments over a decade ago, it was perceived as an extremist event intended to incite Muslim violence. As such, the civil authorities refused to grant permits to hold the ceremony in Jerusalem and the police actively sought out any attempt to bring a sheep to the Old City of Jerusalem. This gradually changed as public opinion changed. Last year, the event was canceled due to pandemic restrictions and it was feared that the Passover reenactment would return to its former status.

Given this history of official disapproval, Fried was shocked when a senior police officer approached him a few weeks ago, inquiring about the plans for the Passover ceremony.

“He was enthusiastic that it should take place,” Fried said. “He pressed me to make sure it happened. I was shocked because I remember when we operated as an underground movement. Even more impressive was that he referred to it as the ‘Korban Pesach’.”

“The police and the Jerusalem municipality now view this as another totally acceptable public happening, an event they would like to see take place. But the amazing thing is they actually refer to in terms of the Temple service,” Fried said. “The reenactments were intended for the Kohanim to practice but it has had a profound effect on the less religious segments of Israel. The officials see that it is run properly, does not lead to incitement, and they are getting used to it, Even the mainstream media has begun to accept the event as something other than extremist. They are all beginning to accept that the Temple Service is not a crazy idea, that it is an acceptable aspect of modern Israel.”

“It seems clear that one day, sooner than we imagine, there will be the same event but a few hundred meters to the north, on the Temple Mount, and no one will think it is a crazy extremist event,” Fried noted. “In truth, it shouldn’t be since anyone who reads the Bible knows about this and it took place for thousands of years.”

The ceremony was accompanied by blasts from silver horns specially prepared for the Third Temple. Musicians played songs based on the Hallel service, a prayer service composed of verses from Psalms, that was sung in the Temple while the Passover sacrifice was being prepared.

Permission from the government was not granted to enable the slaughtering of a lamb but meat from a freshly slaughtered lamb was brought to enable the ritual roasting. 

The sheep was prepared roasted whole on a long pomegranate branch in the manner described in the Torah and served to the Jews gathered to witness the reenactment.

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