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
An unusual meeting took place Sunday night at the
home of one of the leading figures in the haredi world, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky,
who invited Rabbi Yehuda Glick to his Bnei Brak home to hear more about Glick’s
With two goat kids in tow, Glick – who established the
Chafetz Haim Holy Temple Heritage Foundation two years ago – showed the senior
Lithuanian rabbi that one of the kids had a standard tag clipped to its ear,
while the other didn’t. Such clips are an Agriculture Ministry requisite, but
Glick recently reached understandings with the ministry that a certain amount of
kids would not be marked in such a manner until after Pessah, so that if the
ancient sacrifice is miraculously reinstated by this year’s holiday, two weeks
away, Jews might be able to fulfill that commandment.
Animals with a
physical imperfection, even a minor one such as an ear clip, are disqualified as
However, till the time for the sacrifices comes,
Glick will not be conducting the ancient ritual.
In the interim, he is
collecting NIS 12 donations from people that will be used to buy animals that
can be sacrificed, if the opportunity rises. The commandment regarding Pessah
sacrifices states that a sheep or goat aged up to one year may be used, so
cattle raisers working with Glick can clip their livestocks’ ears once they
reach that age.
“This is the first mitzvah in the Torah for everyone –
men, women, children – that must be obeyed every year at the threat of karet
[excommunication],” Glick said of the importance of the sacrifice on
“It is the foundation of the basic covenant between Jews and
God, the very foundation of Torah. That’s why the Ten Commandments begin with ‘I
am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt out of the
house of slavery,’” he continued. “We are not slaves of Pharaoh, but of
“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,” he said.
reality is that police prohibit accessing the Temple Mount with an animal, so
any notion of a sacrifice in the near future is unfeasible.
petition to the High Court of Justice last year that he might be allowed there
with an animal was rejected.
The modest donations being raised by Glick’s
organization for buying an animal are due to the fact that in the biblical
obligation of sacrificing a goat or sheep, each individual was obliged to eat
only 30 grams of meat. Given the size of the young animals used, “one animal
should suffice for 150 people or so,” Glick estimated.
He noted the wide
support of leading rabbis for his initiative, including from Chabad-member and
Kiryat Motzkin Chief Rabbi David Meir Druckman, Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu,
Rabbi Benaya Shmueli, the Admor of Erloy Hassidic court, Rabbi Shmuel Shapira
and of course Kanievsky. This is not the first time Glick’s organization, which
primarily teaches and lectures in schools and seminars about the Temple, has
undertaken this endeavor ahead of Pessah, but this year there seems to be extra
interest, as evident in the invitation from Kanievsky, who endorsed the idea,
while warning that one should not think that the animals are being dedicated as
sacrifices, an act that would only happen when the time for sacrifices
To Glick, the act of collecting money and raising awareness
could help bring a change in the reality in which sacrifices are not yet
“We are calling on people to express that here we are, we are
ready,” he said. “Anyone who wants to participate can do so by signing
Asked what his organization will do with the money accumulated if
redemption does not come in time for this Pessah and sacrifices are not offered,
Glick said that half of the funds would go to charity, and half to yeshivas and
kollels dedicated to studying about the Third Temple.