Two Jewish activists who attempted to sacrifice a lamb on the Temple Mount have been sentenced to 50 hours of community service.
In March 2010, the eve of the Passover holiday, activists Noam Federman and Yehuda Glick attempted to bring an animal onto the Temple Mount in order to perform the Biblically mandated Passover sacrifice. They were stopped by police.
The two were charged with unauthorized transportation of livestock.
They argued in court that the charge in question was intended to be used to fight theft of farm animals. They accused the state of political persecution, and of misuse of the law to prevent freedom of worship.
Judge Dana Cohen-Lekach agreed that Federman and Glick had not committed a crime, but said that unauthorized transport of livestock was indeed problematic. She suggested a compromise in which the two would give of their time to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel.
Federman and the attorney representing Glick replied that the men's initial action of attempting a Passover sacrifice had been a contribution of their time to the State of Israel, and that they would be happy to contribute their time again.
“With G-d’s help, next year the nation will ascend the Temple Mount, and I will bring a Passover sacrifice with me,” Federman said. “I expect the Israel Police not to do as they did in previous years and prevent us from fulfilling the mitzvah [positive command].”
Attorney Yitzchak Bam, who represented Glick, said police should invest their time in fighting crime, not in chasing after people who seek to perform religious ceremonies. “Just as the Women of the Wall were given freedom of worship, my client, too, should have freedom of worship,” he argued.
The charges against Federman and Glick did not discourage them from attempting to sacrifice a lamb this year as well.