Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The mitzvah of korban pesach


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 mizbeiach; 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 mizbeiach, requiring a navi, attaining ritual purification, 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,


  1. Are you sure about R' Aqiva Eiger's position?

    The Chasam Sofer (YD #236) was asked by RAE (his father-in-law) to see if they could obtain permission from the Ottomans to perform the qorban Pesach. Presumably because the CS had strong connections with the Austo-Hungarian rulers, who were allies. Anyway, it appears they had no halachic problems with it -- even though RAE had earlier voiced concerns to the CS about tum'ah, requiring bigdei kehunah and thus the avneit (withut being sure of the identity of tekheiles or argaman), and the location. Still, it seem from shu"t CS that RAE eventually accepted that these problems were surmountable.

    R' Yaaqov Emden (She'eilas Yaavetz #89) was against.

  2. I was taking R' Akiva Eiger's stance from the views reported in his name in Chelek 5 of Ir haKodesh v'haMikdash. Beyond the concerns you mention, he was also concerned about valid kohanim, the definition of the units of measurement, and kedushas hamakom. I see what you mean in YD 236, and I don't know how to reconcile the two.

  3. I took the CS to mean that RAE had questions, but he felt that if the issue became lemaaseh, he was convinced the problems could be resolved. Sure enough that all the problems could be overcome that he thought it was worth the political capital of asking the local gov't to ask the Ottomans.

    IOW, that you're taking as qushyos, I'm reading from the CS as RAE's she'eilos. And then there is nothing to reconcile.