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Why aren't we offering sacrifices anymore?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Mitzvot » Holy Temple Mitzvot | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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The Torah, which initiated the sacrifice practice in Judaism, also restricted its practice to be permitted only when meeting specific criteria. Today we don’t meet that criterion:

1. It is forbidden to bring sacrifices outside of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.1

2. It is forbidden to enter the Temple Mount while in a state of impurity.2 Since one becomes impure through contact (or association) with a corpse, and there is no Red Heifer available to remove that impurity, we are all today in a state of impurity.3

When the Messiah comes, he will rebuild the Holy Temple and purify us all. At that time the sacrifices will resume.

See also "Without sacrifices, how do we atone for our sins?"

Footnotes

  • 1. Deuteronomy 12:11, 12:26, 16:5.
  • 2. Numbers 5:2.
  • 3. See Numbers chapter 19

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RELATED CATEGORIES

History » The Holy Temples » Holy Temple Mitzvot

Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Jerusalem
Established by King David to be the eternal capital of Israel. Both Temples were built there, and the third Temple will be situated there when the Messiah comes.
Red Heifer
A cow that was completely red. This cow was burned together with several ingredients, and its ash, mixed with water, was sprayed upon certain impure people in order to purify them.
Temple
1. Usually a reference to the Holy Temple which was/will be situated in Jerusalem. 1st Temple was built in 825 BCE and was destroyed in 423 BCE. The 2nd Temple was built in 350 BCE and was destroyed in 70 CE. The 3rd Temple will be built by the Messiah. 2. A synagogue.