Just days before the start of the Jewish festival of Pesach (Passover), fascinating footage has been published online showing what is likely the most accurate reenactment of the Passover Sacrifice (Korban Pesach) in 2,000 years.
The Korban Pesach is one of the central Mitzvot (Torah Commandments) of Pesach, and in fact the source of the festival's name, but has not been practiced since the destruction of the Second Temple. The lamb offering was sacrificed on the eve of Pesach and then eaten together with Matzah (unleavened bread) at the end of the traditional Seder meal that night.
The "practice" Korban Pesach was carried out last Wednesday in Jerusalem by the Temple Institute's Cohanim Training Academy, a division of the organization that teaches and prepares Cohanim (priests) for the Holy Temple service. The Temple Institute - which describes itself as "a center of research and preparation for the Holy Temple" - has dedicated itself to reviving ancient Jewish practices associated with the two Holy Temples in Jerusalem, the latter of which was destroyed in 70 CE.
Watch fascinating reenactment of the Korban Pesach:
Unlike other Torah-mandated sacrifices, the Korban Pesach does not need to be performed in the Temple itself; however, it does need to be sacrificed on the Temple Mount - an impossibility given existing rules forbidding Jews from worshipping there due to Muslim threats of violence. As a result, the Institute emphasized, the event "was merely a practice to teach the Cohanim and raise awareness of the issue."
Last December, the Institute's Academy held another landmark event in Jerusalem, with the lighting of a Menorah using pure olive oil made to the precise specifications as the oil used to light the Menorah in the ancient Jewish Temples - again, for the first time in some two millennia.
In this latest video, viewers can see Cohanim in their white uniforms preparing the offering according to precise Biblical commandments using the sacred vessels that were recreated by the Temple Institute, after decades of research. Some 60 sacred vessels have already been recreated by the Institute.
Rabbi Chaim Richman, International Director of the Temple Institute and narrator of the video lamented the fact that Jews are currently prevented from offering the Passover Sacrifice due to political pressure and Islamist threats.
"It is unconscionable and untenable that the Jewish people are prevented from conducting their Biblically-mandated Passover offering on the Temple Mount as required by Jewish law," he said in a statement. "The Korban Pesach is the very essence of not only the holiday but also of our Jewish identity."
"We hope this video connects Jews worldwide to the true meaning of Passover," he added.
"We call on all of Israel to study and discuss the Korban Pesach and make it the central theme of their Seder. The concept of the Passover offering is synonymous with Israel's bold stand against all forms of idolatry.
"Only by understanding the true nature of the Passover experience can we hope to fulfill our Divine calling to be a light to the nations and celebrate Passover properly in the rebuilt Jerusalem."