Israel’s Veterinary Services will not authorize the planned public ritual sacrifice of a goat in honor of Passover this year, Veterinary Services representative Zohar Dvorkin said Thursday.
Jewish groups dedicated to the Temple Mount and Temple renewal are planning the sacrifice as a reminder of what Passover looked like in Temple times. The ritual slaughter is to take place in Jerusalem, in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood opposite the Temple Mount.
The organizations planning the sacrifice were unpleasantly surprised at the Veterinary Services’ response. The Veterinary Services has authorized previous sacrifices in honor of Passover, including one held in Jerusalem last year.
“After preventing us from fulfilling the mitzvah [commandment] of the Passover sacrifice in its proper place, in violation of the law and of a Supreme Court ruling, now the authorities are plotting to stop us from even learning about the way the mitzvah is to be performed,” they accused.
“This stands in contrast to the approach to events surrounding the Muslim sacrifice holiday [Eid ul-Adha], during which thousands of sheep and cattle are sacrificed freely in Jerusalem and across the country,” they added.
Organizers said that the sacrifice would take place as planned on the Thursday before Passover with or without government approval.
In the meantime, they plan to file a lawsuit asking that the Veterinary Services be forced to authorize the event, “a tradition that has been ongoing for several years.”