Monday, April 4, 2011

The Mitzvot of Pesach - Preparing and eating the korban pesach


As recorded in the Sefer haChinuch, the fifth biblical mitzvah is the instruction to prepare the korban pesach, and the sixth is to eat the korban. By performing these mitzvot, Jews commemorate the departure from Egypt, re-creating the original departure. Groups gather and select a lamb or goat, and bring it as their offering. Part of the meat is burned on the altar; the rest is eaten by the members of the group.

In the 19th century, Rav Tzvi Hirsch Kalischer published arguments for bringing the korban pesach in our own age. Rav Kalischer dealt with numerous technical objections – identifying the location of the altar, requiring a prophet, attaining ritual purity, identifying kohanim, creating proper clothing for the kohanim and more. Nonetheless, Rav Kalischer was opposed by Rav Akiva Eiger and Rav Yaakov Ettlinger (author of the Aruch LaNer), among others, and he was never able to implement his ideas.

Have a great day,

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