Friday, February 29, 2008

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Basic Info

by Akiva at Mystical Paths

Many have questions about Judaism, and the basic practices certainly can seem different viewed from the outside, especially if one is looking at the commonly called Ultra-Orthodox. I received this basic info question...

Not to be mocking or disrespectful in any way but I always wanted to ask a person who is Jewish this... Do you guys still do animal sacrifices for your sins? Just wondering.

I try to be respectful in this and I want an honest answer, but I've gotten rude replies when asking others. Could you answer this question for me please? Thank you.

Here's my reply...

The answer is no. Those sacrifices you refer to were performed only in 1 location, in the Temple of G-d (in Hebrew called the Beis HaMikdash). This temple was located on the mountaintop in Jerusalem.

This holy temple was destroyed 1,938 years ago. Since sacrifices were permitted only there, none have occurred since. A little more info here, a decent Wikipedia overview.

Since that time, prayer has taken the place of sacrifices.

It's worth noting the place of those sacrifices is currently the most disputed spot in the world. You may hear it referred to in the news as Har HaBayit, or the Temple Mount, or Al Aqsa, as 700 years after the destruction of the Jewish temple the Muslims built a place of worship on the same spot (the Dome of the Rock).

According to Jewish religious tradition, the location of the Temple was the same place that Abraham came to (but did not) sacrifice Isaac, and that Jacob stopped on the way out of Israel, had a dream of angels going up and down, and the rocks merged under his head.

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