The Association of Temple Organizations, refused permission to perform its
annual Passover sacrifice reenactment by the Jerusalem Veterinary Services, has
submitted a legal petition to the Jerusalem District Court requesting that it
instruct the Veterinary Services to issue the permit.
says it has slaughtered a lamb each year since 2008 as an educational exercise
to demonstrate what took place in Temple times.
The groups have requested
permission each year but were denied this time around following an unsuccessful
exchange of letters with the Jerusalem Veterinary Services and the Agriculture
The case will be heard on Wednesday morning, with the Temple
renewal groups hoping to be granted a permit in order to carry out its Passover
sacrifice reenactment on Thursday afternoon at the Armon Hanatziv promenade
overlooking the Old City and the Temple Mount.
The Passover sacrifice was
an ancient ritual performed by Jewish families for the Passover holiday during
the times of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, in commemoration of the
biblical account of the Exodus from Egypt in which the Israelites were commanded
to slaughter a lamb and put its blood on their doorposts.
of Temple Organizations, which includes several right-wing organizations
promoting Jewish rights to the Temple Mount, asserted that although a lamb is
actually slaughtered, it is not a formal sacrifice, since that can be done only
on the Temple Mount itself.
Yehuda Glick, spokesman for the association,
said the purpose of the reenactment and much of the groups’ activities was to
“demystify” the Temple and show it and the rituals surrounding it as a real and
Among the organizations of the association are the
Movement for Preparation for the Temple, The Temple Mount Heritage Foundation,
the Temple Mount Faithful, The Organization for Human Rights on the Temple Mount
and the Temple Institute, among others.
Many of these groups are also
active in promoting Jewish prayer and visitation rights on the Temple
Jewish and non-Muslim visitors to the Temple Mount are strictly
controlled, and the police prohibit all non-Muslim prayer and worship at the
site because of possible tensions and disturbances this may cause.
2007 the association requested from the relevant authorities to carry out a
ritual sacrifice on the Temple Mount itself but were refused
The association pointed out it in its petition to the
Jerusalem District Court that thousands of sheep are slaughtered for the Islamic
festival of Id al-Adha outside of approved slaughterhouses.
it noted that 15 permits for ritual sacrifice were granted by the Ministry for
Agriculture in 2010 for 522 head of sheep, all of which were
The association was first refused a permit by the Jerusalem
Veterinary Services, which said that permission was first required from the
Veterinary Service of the Agriculture Ministry. The ministry in turn said it
required a permit from the Jerusalem Veterinary Services.
initial refusal, the association received a letter from the Agriculture Ministry
explaining that a permit was refused because the slaughter was also performed as
a public event, which entailed cruelty to animals, and so a permit was needed
from the commissioner for the Law Against Animal Cruelty.
court and the High Court of Justice have previously upheld the right to perform
ritual slaughter and sacrificial ceremonies.