The Temple Institute: A Day in the Life of the Holy Temple: Determining the Exact Time for the Daily Sacrifice to Begin

Determining the Exact Time for the Daily Sacrifice to Begin

The overseer now declares to the priests: "Let one go up to a high place in the Temple, to see whether the time has arrived to offer the morning sacrifice!" For Scripture specifies (Lev. 19:6) "In the day that you offer it... " - and the sages' tradition interprets this to mean that the butchering of the offerings may not be done at night. Therefore it was important to ascertain that the time of night was officially over, and that the day had begun according to the definition of Biblical law; namely, at dawn (since the commandment of offering the daily sacrifice becomes practical as soon as day begins, the diligent and zealous priests of the Temple did not want to be hasty and prepare the sacrifice too soon, while it is yet night; but neither did they want to tarry even momentarily once the proper time had arrived).

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