Sefer Vayikra – ‘Torat Kohanim’

Sefer Vayikra – ‘Torat Kohanim’

Parshat Vayikra: Will there be animal sacrifices at the time of the Third Temple?

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Dr. Joseph Frager‏, 16/03/18 11:39
Dr. Joseph Frager‏

Dr. Joseph Frager‏

צילום: מירי צחי

The Ramban (Nachmanides) calls Sefer Vayikra (the Book of Leviticus – ed.) “Torat Kohanim.” The book primarily deals with korbanot (sacrifices or offerings) and maintaining the sanctity of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Parshat Vayikra (the Torah section “Vayikra”) deals with korbanot.

“Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: When a man among you brings an offering to Hashem (G-d): from animals – from the cattle or the flock shall you bring your offering” (Leviticus 1:2). The Rambam records about 100 of the 613 mitzvot (commandments) pertaining exclusively to korbanot. Many others relate to the Temple and the Temple services.

Korbanot are mistakenly translated “sacrifices” (I may use this translation on occasion as well to drive home a point) when in essence they are “offerings” to G-d which bring man closer, more attached and better connected with the Almighty (the root of the word is “karev,” to bring closer). In the Rambam’s (Maimonides) Moreh Nevuchim (Guide to the Perplexed) 3:32, he claims that korbanot were originally instituted because human nature is such that people cannot instantaneously abandon the existing religious practices which the Jews were subjected to in Egypt.

The Rambam maintains that the Egyptian idolaters used animal sacrifices in their worship. The Jews were re-directed to use this method of worship towards G-d, Almighty. The Ramban takes issue with the Rambam. The Ramban argues that animal offerings predated idolatry. This was seen in the cases of both Hevel son of Adam (Genesis 4:4) and Noah (Genesis 8:20).

The Ramban maintains that the sinner is using the animal to replace him, and this should cause him to reflect upon his own mortality and result in repentance. Because of the Rambam’s statements in Moreh Nevuchim, a minority view holds that there will not be animal offerings at the time of the Third Temple. According to this view, our prayer services of today will replace animal offerings.

I repeat that this is only a minority view. The Rav (Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik ztz”l) in his work “The Halakhic Mind” notes that the Jewish People have in general ignored in a halakhic (pertaining to Jewish law) sense most of the Rambam’s rationalizations in his “Guide to the Perplexed.” In point of fact, the Rambam himself writing in his halakhic opus “Mishneh Torah,” mentions korbanot in the Third Temple. The Rambam states in the Laws of Kings (11:1): “In the future the Messianic King will arise and renew the Davidic Dynasty, returning it to its initial sovereignty.”

“He will build the Temple and gather the dispersed of Israel. [Then], in his days [the observance of] all the statutes will return to their previous state. We will offer korbanot, observe the Sabbatical and Jubilee years mentioned in the Torah.” The Rambam is saying unequivocally we will bring korbanot in the Third Temple. The Rambam does not specify what type of “korbanot” will be brought. At face value it seems rather clear that the Rambam is talking about all of the korbanot brought “in their previous state” and “according to all the particulars mentioned in the Torah.” This would of course include all of the animal offerings.

Fast forward to the first Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook, who some claim believed that animal offerings will not be re- instituted when the Third Temple is rebuilt. It is based on his commentary on the siddur (prayer book) on the sentence at the end of Shemoneh Esrei, V’arvah lahashem minchat Yehuda veyerushalayim kimei olam uch’shanim kadmoniyot” – “Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant to Hashem as in the days of old and as in the ancient years.” (Malachi 3:4)

Rav Kook wrote: “In the future, the abundance of knowledge will spread to and penetrate even animals…and the ‘sacrifices’ which will then be from grain, will be as pleasing to G-d as in days of old (when there were animal offerings)” [Olat Reiyah, Vol.1 (Jerusalem 1983) 292].

This would limit the Third Temple to only vegetarian korbanot. However, this does not seem to be the end of the story because Rav Kook writes in Iggrot HaReiyah, Vol.4 [Jerusalem 1984] 23-5, letter 994: “And regarding ‘sacrifices,’ it is more correct to believe that everything will return to its place, and G-d willing, be fulfilled when the Redemption comes, and Prophecy and the Divine Spirit return to Israel.” This suggests strongly that Rav Kook did believe that animal offerings will indeed be part of the Third Temple and that people will have a better understanding and appreciation for animal offerings. His statement on Malachi 3:4 refers to a far-off time past “techiat hameitim” (the resurrection), when animals will have some level of human intelligence, in an idyllic world, where only vegetarian offerings will be brought.

The fact that Conservative Judaism considers “sacrifices” an anathema should make one pause about the whole topic. Conservative Judaism deletes the idea of “sacrifices” in their prayers at every opportunity. The whole section of korbanot is deleted from their siddurim (prayer books). In addition, the “Retzei” prayer that was said by the kohanim (priests) at the time of the Temples and which we say in Shemoneh Esrei the mention of “offerings,” is deleted from their prayer books.

“Be pleased, Hashem our G-d, with Thy people Israel and with their prayer; restore the worship to Thy most holy sanctuary; accept Israel’s offerings and prayer with gracious love. May the worship of Thy people Israel be ever pleasing to Thee.” Because of this, it is very important to highlight the fact that animal offerings will indeed be re-instituted when the Third Temple is rebuilt. May the Retzei prayer be granted in its entirety speedily in our day. Shabbat Shalom


His leadership and television interviews have gone trough out the world. Luden Centeno of Converso Marano Jewish background from Spain resides permanently in Jerusalem. His analysis of Middle Eastern events as they relate to Israel is regularly broadcast through internet radio and television through out the world, especially the USA. Luden has given close to 500 television interviews in Israel Jerusalem and broadcasts live from Jerusalem Israel on the radio. On our last 6 radio programs we have had over 500,00 listeners listening in. Our main goal is to educate the world about Israel and its right to protect herself from any form of terrorism that comes out of Ramallah and the occupied territories that belong to Israel. Israel faces many challenges and dangers since a very long time. There is an unprecedented propaganda campaign initiated by the Arab League to demonize, discredit and delegitimize the Jewish people and their state, within their own land! The efforts of the Arab League were recently seen in the UN Resolution 2334 text as follows, adopted by the UN Security Council at its 7853rd meeting, on 23 December 2016. Reaffirming its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 446 (1979), 452 (1979), 465 (1980), 476 (1980), 478 (1980), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003), and 1850 (2008), guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming, inter alia, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice, condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions. In order to achieve their goals, the Arabs have for more than 30 years resorted to a deliberate misinformation campaign. This propaganda campaign by the Arab League – both in their own countries and for the last three decades exported to Europe and North America has caused Israel what would seem irreparable damage and indeed, it was the main culprit in the reawakening of dormant European anti-Semitism. Israel continues to suffer many attacks from terrorists and should not bow down under the pressure imposed by the USA, the EU. the Quartet, nor the UN. The former Obama administration was working behind the scenes to get UN Resolution 2334 to pass. even while allowing Iran to continue to develop their nuclear facilities by using John Kerry and others to fulfill their hidden agenda. On December 23rd 2016 the US abstained from exercising its veto to UN resolution 2334 which allowed it to pass. Then John Kerry immediately blasted Israel over the presence of Israeli settlements within Israel's own land. The Obama Administration's hidden agenda came to light. The former Obama administration was trying to force Israel to give up more land for false peace as we have seen in the past. Judea and Samaria and possibly the Jordan Valley were on the negotiating table. For perspective, if the so-called Palestinians obtained Judea and Samaria and possibly the Jordan Valley, Givat HaRoe’eh in the Samaria community of Eli, Ramat Gilad and Giv’at Assaf (also in Samaria), and Mitzpeh Lachish, near Nehogot outside Hebron. they could easily rain down rockets towards any city within Israel, leaving without defensible borders. We say no to land for false peace as we have seen in the past. By former President Barrack Hussein Obama who had a hidden agenda against Israel who will face many difficult challenges ahead (see Tehillim / See Psalms 83) As we have seen what happened with Gush Katif where almost 9,000 Jews were forced out of their own Jewish land due to US pressure, now Bet El Almuna and Migron and Judea and Samaria face the same threat. More than 17,000 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel since Israel uprooted 9,000 Jewish families. Over 11,000 were fired from Gaza towards the southern Israeli city of Sderot by Islamist extremist whose end-game is the total destruction of my people Israel. Hamas terrorists are supported by Iran and now Hamas has joined hands with Fatah. The Iranian Lebanese proxy Hezbollah who also operate in Syria are committed to the total destruction of Israel and has over 100,00 rockets aimed at Israel .Now Al Qaeda and ISIS who are operating in Syria Egypt and the Sinai Desert they will do anything in their power to destroy my people Israel and all Jews. Judea and Samaria (the heartland of Israel also known as the West Bank) face many challenges in the days to come as Abu Mazen will try to pressure the entire world and former US President Barrack Hussein Obama the UN the EU and the Quartet into giving more land for false peace. We saw what happened after the Oslo Accords were signed, dramatically increasing Islamic terror against Israel. Abu Mazen the fake Palestinian Authority leader approached the United Nations many times and has petitioned to be declared as a recognized nation within Israel's known borders. The time has come to tell the entire world the real truth about the enemies of Israel. We speak on the Quran using a Power Point video presentation. We have been aired on CNN, German TV, Finland TV, CCTV, China Al Jazera, Al Arabiya Turk TV and many radio stations on the current issues of Israel. Luden Centeno has a heart for his people Israel and will continue to inform the entire world the real truth as many News Media outlets throughout the world hold anti-Semitic views and won’t tell you the real truth. Centeno, a former police officer who studied Political Science at Temple University USA was born in the USA and currently lives in Jerusalem Israel, knowing karate and boxing having played semi-pro baseball. He has two children, a girl and a son, both born in Jerusalem. Centeno discovered in 2004 that there were possible Converso Marrano Jews from Spain whose ancestors were forced to convert to Catholicism during the time of the Inquisition in 1492. The family names Centeno and Perez are registered in El Libro Verde De Aragon in Spain. The Roman Catholic Inquisitors maintained all the names of all Jewish families who were forced to convert to Catholicism during that horrible time period in Spain. Since 2004 Centeno has been flying intercontinentally to the USA speaking to the nations on the current issues of the the state of Israel (see Psalms 83′ as the nations gather against Israel.) He has spoken on Al Arabiya TV, Dubai TV, Holland TV, German TV and also on American Family Radio which links up with 700 radio stations. His goal is to educate the entire world that Israel has the right to self-determination and the right to defend itself from terrorism. The Moslem Arabs in that area started calling themselves “Palestinians” merely only 40 years ago. “Palestinian” refers to people who live in Palestine: Arabs (“Arabic speaking peoples”), Bedouins, Druze, Christians, and Jews lived in then the British Mandate of Palestine. No people or nation called Palestine ever ruled as a sovereign national entity on this land. There is no Palestinian language or culture in past history. Palestine, as a country does not presently exist. No Arab nation has their historical roots on the land and no one had laid claim to this territory other than the Jews. The Jewish rule of this land extended over a period of over 2000 years. Israel became a nation in the land in 1312 BC. God gave them the land in a covenant (Deuteronomy 29:1-30:20) and they lived there. See the following Quote from the Quran, "Death to the enemies of Allah! Those that make war against Allah and His apostle and spread disorder in the land shall be slain or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or be banished from the land. They shall be held up to shame in this world and sternly punished in the hereafter: except those that repent before you reduce them. For you must know that Allah is..." This is what radical Islam says about us Jews’ “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Muslim) Psalms Chapter 83 תְּהִלִּים א שִׁיר מִזְמוֹר לְאָסָף. 1 A Song, a Psalm of Asaph. ב אֱלֹהִים אַל-דֳּמִי-לָךְ; אַל-תֶּחֱרַשׁ וְאַל-תִּשְׁקֹט אֵל. 2 O God, keep not Thou silence; hold not Thy peace, and be not still, O God. ג כִּי-הִנֵּה אוֹיְבֶיךָ, יֶהֱמָיוּן; וּמְשַׂנְאֶיךָ, נָשְׂאוּ רֹאשׁ. 3 For, lo, Thine enemies are in an uproar; and they that hate Thee have lifted up the head. ד עַל-עַמְּךָ, יַעֲרִימוּ סוֹד; וְיִתְיָעֲצוּ, עַל-צְפוּנֶיךָ. 4 They hold crafty converse against Thy people, and take counsel against Thy treasured ones. ה אָמְרוּ–לְכוּ, וְנַכְחִידֵם מִגּוֹי; וְלֹא-יִזָּכֵר שֵׁם-יִשְׂרָאֵל עוֹד. 5 They have said: ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.’ ו כִּי נוֹעֲצוּ לֵב יַחְדָּו; עָלֶיךָ, בְּרִית יִכְרֹתוּ. 6 For they have consulted together with one consent; against Thee do they make a covenant; God’s word says in Zechariah 8:23 "Thus saith the LORD of Hosts: In Those days it shall come to pass, That ten men shall take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, shall even take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying: We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."

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