Yes, lamb, not limb. No mistake there. And certainly no broken limb (which would cause an invalidation of the lamb).
Going out on a limb, I would think, is the proper phrase that would be employed to describe an Ashkenazi to eat kitniyot
, a development, by the way, has already drawn support
. The lamb I am referring to, however, is the Paschal Offering, the main element of the Passover festival, four times commanded in the Bible
. A campaign to offer the Passover sacrifice even without the rebuilt Temple
is gathering attention. As the Jerusalem Post has reported
An initiative to raise the awareness of the centrality of the Pessah sacrifice is gaining momentum, after central rabbis from major streams have endorsed the educational effort. An unusual meeting took place...at the home of one of the leading figures in the haredi world, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky...
More details are here
. Tzfat''s Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu has explained
that it is possible towork out the implementation of the biblical commandment of the Passover Sacrifice in cooperation with all religious, legal, and administrative authorities. Current proposals do not require any…Just as circumcision, the first commandment imposed on an individual Jew, our forefather Abraham brought us into the covenant as individuals, the commandment of Korban-Pesach, the first commandment imposed on the Jewish People as a collective - obligating men, women and even children - brings us into the covenant as a People.
[The Halacha allows sacrifices of a public character to be offered despite the status of ritual impurity – see this in Hebrew
and here, too
This is, to be sure, a radical approach. It realigns the conceptualization of Zionism from one predicated on “saving” or “as all the nations” to one that facilitates the fulfillment of the potential of the Jewish people as a Covenantal Nation, a term promoted by Prof. Harold Fisch
in relation to the revolution propagated by Gush Emunim and utilized in the strict political sense by Prof. Daniel Elazar
. This could be considered almost as a subversive paradigm both to the Hareidi objections to Zionism as a ‘revolt against God’ as well as to the secular presumptions that view redemptive restoration theology as a revolt against humanism and simplistic nationalism. That Mount Moriyah, site of the Temple Mount – Har HaBayit
– would become a focal point of emotion and patriotism is for both groups nigh anathema if not quite unsettling.
Back in 2008, Israel''s leading ultra-Orthodox rabbis were waging a new offensive
against Jews visiting Jerusalem''s Temple Mount, the first stage in renewing the Jewish people''s relationship with the element of sanctity and Temple-oriented outlook. Rabbis Shalom Elyashiv, Chaim Kanievsky and Ovadia Yosef sent a letter at that time to Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, who oversees the Western Wall complex, urging him to reiterate the religious decree signed 40 years ago by many rabbis in Israel forbidding Jews from entering the Temple Mount precincts followingthe visit of Rabbi Moshe Tendler
, the son-in-law of prominent Halachic decisor, U.S. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, to the site. This was a continuation of a 2005 effort
(in fact, many previous ones) which already then was disputed by Rabbi She''ar-Yashuv Cohen, a member of the Chief Rabbinate Council, who telegramed Chief Rabbis Amar and Metzger, and countered their move by writing he was "surprised and saddened" to learn of their signatures on the "renewed ban on ascent to the Temple Mount [even] in areas that are clearly not the site of the Temple." He noted that the Rabbinate Council dealing with this issue had not yet come to any conclusion. That appeal did not help as Rabbi Elyashiv felt it important enough to seek aid from President Shimon Peres
who he asked to prevent Jews from walking on the site. That Elyahsiv would go to Peres says a lot about the absurdity of some principled decisions taken by our public figures.
* * *
The investigation of the delineations of the Temple Mount and the various other complex issues has made significant strides over the past four decades since Har HaBayit was returned to Jewish sovereignty. Even English-language articles have been published. Ari Z. Zivotofsky’s piece, What’s the Truth About…Har HaBayit?
clarifies that…although we currently lack the means to remove tumat met [impurity through contact with the dead], this is not really a deterrent for ascending Har HaBayit. Those who refrain from ascending do so because of other halachic or political concerns or because of archeological uncertainties…Those who forbid entering the area do so because of the fear of violating the laws pertaining to its sanctity. Advocates insist on extreme caution and intense reverence, but see a value in establishing a connection between the Jewish people and the awesome holiness of Judaism’s most sanctified site.
Another two authors, Gedalia Meyer and Henoch Messner, published Entering the Temple Mount—in Halacha and Jewish History
and assert thatthose who choose to enter Har Habayis under the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable Guide…should keep in mind that entering Har Habayis is not another stop on the tourist trail in Israel…Entering Har Habayis is to pray in the holiest spot on the earth. It offers a unique opportunity to experience an awareness of Hashem that may not be attainable elsewhere...
and they continueit would seem reasonable to say that now more than ever there is a dire need to demonstrate Jewish sovereignty over the Temple Mount. During the Camp David negotiations, the Israeli government came within a hairsbreadth of relinquishing sovereignty to the Arabs. With pressure on Israel only mounting as the years go by to compromise more and more, we have to assume the Temple Mount will soon be on the table again to sweeten any deal. If Jews do not show their bond to the area by regularly entering it and holding it to be at least as essential to their religion as the Muslims do to theirs, why should any Israeli or foreign negotiators value it as sacred and non-negotiable? This political element, which may very well encompass the mitzvah of Kibush Haaretz, is all too frequently ignored in the never-ending debate about entering Har Habayis.
This is not an exclusive concern of the Orthodox stream. Rabbi Reuven Hammer authored the Conservative Movement’s Responsum “Entering the Temple Mount In Our Time”
and decided that many authorities were overly stringent, and that it is permissible to enter part of the Temple Mount in our time. This approach is based on the following:1) …even if halakhah is according to Maimonides, there are a number of reasons to permit entry into a part of the Temple Mount.
2) It is known that from the Tannaitic period and at least until the fifteenth century, there were Jews who entered and even prayed on the Temple Mount.
3) As was stated above, the prohibition of the entrance of a t''mey met pertains only to the area of the Heil, the Ezrat Nashim and the Ezrat Israel, and not to the entire Temple Mount. Thus if we can determine the originally sanctified area of the Temple on today''s Temple Mount, we can determine where one can enter.
…Most Rabbis and archaeologists agree on two main points: A) The area of the Temple Mount in our days is much larger than the one described by the Mishnah and Josephus. The southern part and the northern part (north of the elevated area of the Mosque of Omar) were added by King Herod, and are not part of the sanctified area. B) The rock situated under the Mosque of Omar (Dome of the Rock) is the "Foundation Stone" which stood under the Holy of Holies. Therefore it is permissible to enter the southern part of the Temple Mount, near the mosque of El Aksa, and the northern part, north of the elevated area of the Mosque of Omar…Therefore it is preferable not to enter the elevated area around the Mosque of Omar at all.
In the west, one should remain close to the Western Wall, in order to avoid the area of the Holy of Holies. In the east, one should stay close to the eastern side to avoid the Heil and the Ezrat Nashim.
Another brief Halachic summary was published in the JPost
. Rabbi Shlomo Aviner’s prohibitive stance is here
; that of Rabbi Avigdor Neventzahl is here
and the situation with the Chief Rabbinate is here
. On the other hand, a rich collection of scholarly articles favoring entry
is at The Temple Institute site including this simple guide for those who ascend
. There is even a scientific approach based on geophysics
(for my own previous opinions, see here
, among others.
* * *
But let us return to the eve of Pesach of this year. As part of the raising of the consciousness of the theme of the centrality of the Temple Mount and its significance for the ethos of the Jewish people, Radio Free Nachlaot conducted
a six hours-long live broadcast on April 5th to mark the 2nd Annual International Temple Mount Awareness Day
Program with special moderator, Rabbi Chaim Richman. This was only one element in a growing movement now that the obstacle of entering the Temple Mount, more psychological than any other obstruction, has been removed as evident in the thousands of Jews who ascend the Mount as a religious act. As Police Commander Avi Roif testified before the Knesset’s Interior Committee
(in Hebrew) on March 29, this past 2010 saw a rise of 7% in the amount of Jews visiting the temple Mount in comparison to 2009 (over all, there was a 36% increase in visitors of all types).
I might be going out on a limb but that lamb offering is not too far in the future, with or without the rebuilt Temple. This year, in addition to the matzah
, the maror
and the Seder
, give thought to the lamb.
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