Rabbi calls for sacrifice on Temple Mount
The annual attempts to resume the Passover sacrifice received a first significant rabbinical backing recently. Safed's Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, a prominent religious Zionism leader, has called on the public to perform the sacrifice mitzvah on the eve of the Jewish holiday, in about two weeks.
Speaking during a Halacha lesson in Jerusalem last week, the rabbi warned that Jews evading the mitzvah were risking "Kareth" - a supernatural punishment for transgressing Jewish Law.
According to Rabbi Eliyahu, there is a halachic, legal and public possibility to offer a Passover sacrifice these days. During the lesson, he quoted senior rabbinical authorities, adding that Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalisher – one of the founders of modern and religious Zionism – had asked the Turkish sultan to allot an area on the Temple Mount for the erection of an altar for a Passover sacrifice.
The Safed rabbi went on to say that the Passover sacrifice could be slaughtered in front of the Dome of the Rock plaza, although the Temple no longer exists and the people of Israel are defined as "tameh met" (in a status of impurity which comes from contact with a dead body).
In order to overcome the greatest obstacle, beyond the political problem, an altar must be erected, the rabbi said. He also called for the preparation of "priesthood clothes", which are the only ones in which Kohanim (priests) can perform their work at the Temple.
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