Nisan 12, 5772, 04/04/12
by Gil Ronen & Hezki Ezra
Rav Yisrael Ariel [of the Temple Institute] says there Jews must offer Pesach sacrifice even without Temple.
Rav Yisrael Ariel says Jews must carry out the laws commanding the Pesach sacrifice even though the Temple has not been rebuilt. The rabbi also took part in a "practice session" of the Pesach sacrifice conducted this week in Jerusalem.
"This reality in which the Temple Mount is in Arab hands must end," he said in an interview with Arutz Sheva Wednesday. "They must open the gates for us. There is no argument that there is a duty to make the Pesach sacrifice even if the Temple is not built."
Rav Ariel calls upon the Chief Rabbis to demand the opening of the gates of the Temple Mount on Friday, the day of the Pesach Seder. "They should make a formal request to the government of Israel, to open the gates of the Temple Mount so we can sacrifice."
"Everything is ready – there are clothes for the Priests, an altar and vessels – all they need to do is open. We have asked the Chief Rabbis several times but have received no answer until now," he said.
The avoidance of making the sacrifice is a grave matter, he said. "We are afraid of our own shadow. What will happen if the gates of the Mount are opened? They are afraid of what others will say, but they do not fear as regards keeping the Torah and Mitzvot."
A person who does not make the sacrifice is punished by "din karet," [lit. - 'cut off', meaning that a person is cut off from the Nation of Israel], he explained. "It is written: 'that person shall be cut off from his people.'"
The importance of the Pesach holiday can be understood from the fact that there is only one other commandment whose omission carries "din karet" and that is circumcision. Both commandments have to do with being part of the Jewish people.
In Temple times, every family in Israel came to Jerusalem for the Pesach sacrifice on the eve of the fourteenth of the month of Nisan. Each family offered a lamb or kid as a sacrifice to G-d and then roasted it and partook of the meat along with matzah and bitter herbs at a festive meal to remember the Exodus from slavery in Egypt.