The Temple Institute: Temple Talk: Nisan 8, 5771/April 12, 2011

"And you shall tell your child on that day"
(Exodus 13:8)

One of the requirements of the korban Pesach, (Pascal offering), is that the blood of the slaughtered lamb be gathered into a silver receptacle called a mizrak, and poured onto the side of the great stone altar by a kohen, (priest). On the eve of Passover, pilgrims would arrive at the inner courtyard of the Holy Temple, where a member of the party would perform the offering. A line of kohanim would form at the place of the offering leading to the altar. Once the blood was completely drained into the mizrak, the first kohen would then hand off the mizrak to the next kohen, and thusly the blood would be quickly and smoothly transported to the place of the altar.

The mizrak had a long handle to facilitate the easy transfer from one kohen to the next. Likewise, the bottom of the mizrak was not flat, but conical, coming to a point. This prevented the handlers from ever setting down the mizrak, even for a second. If the blood was allowed to sit, even for just a moment, it would quickly coagulate, making it impossible to dash against the altar, and rendering the offering invalid.

A similar transmission is the Hagaddah of the Seder night, which is also handed, not from kohen to kohen, but from father and mother to son and daughter, from generation to generation. The tradition of the Hagaddah is based on the verse, "And you shall tell your child on that day, (vehigadeta lebanecha), saying, 'Because of this, what HaShem did for me when I went out of Egypt.'" (Exodus 13:8) This transmission from generation to generation is every bit as essential as the transfer of the blood from the lamb to the altar. Every one of us today who will be attending a Seder on Monday evening bears witness to the fact that throughout the generations of their family, not one of their ancestors ever failed to make the transfer. The blood of the Passover lamb, as it were, was never allowed to grow cold.

No doubt there are many among us today who will not be reciting the Hagaddah or attending a Seder on Monday night, because, somewhere along the path of their family history, an ancestor, for whatever reason, failed to pass on the story of the Exodus to their children, and the transmission was lost. And then there are others who rediscover and restart the Hagaddah transmission of the Seder night, in effect retroactively confirming the commitment of the generations that preceded them. In either case, it is this direct line, from the generation that left Egypt to our generation today that keeps alive and enables our ultimate redemption, may it be in our days!

Although the black night of exile has long ago broken the priestly links that once transferred the korban Pesach blood from one hand to the next, this vital transmission can also be rediscovered and restarted today. By doing so we will also be retroactively rewriting the exile, transforming it from an unending passage into darkness into a momentary dusk before a new dawn. More importantly, we will be transforming ourselves. We will no longer be a people still chained to the last vestiges of our exile. With the renewed Passover offering and the Divine Presence back in our Holy Temple, we will be free men and women, wholly, totally free in our holy city of Jerusalem!

Tune in to this week's TEMPLE TALK as Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven ponder the power of Israel's faith in the ultimate face-off against idolatry. The Pascal offering, (korban Pesach), and leaving Egypt for good is all about smashing idols and doing precisely what is politically incorrect, and this is precisely what Rabbi Chaim Richman, Yitzchak Reuven and special guest, professional iconoclast, Tzvi Richman set out to achieve in this week's TEMPLE TALK. The most essential and important and cathartic and healing and purifying thing Israel could do right now for the betterment of herself and all the nations would be to take a lamb to the Temple Mount, build an altar, and make the korban Pesach precisely as we are commanded to do. No fear. Just faith!

Wrap-Up: THE 2ND ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL TEMPLE MOUNT AWARENESS DAY LIVE ONLINE HAPPENING has come and gone, but the sweet memories remain. Also the need to recap and to thank everyone who made it possible. Please click here.

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