web analytics
November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Korban Pesach

We popularly refer to the eight-day period, from the fifteenth through the twenty second of Nissan, as the festival of Pesach. The Torah, however, calls this period Chag HaMatzot, during which time we eat matzot and abstain from eating chametz.

Pesach is an an entirely different festival celebrated on a different day. Pesach, according to the Torah, is celebrated on the fourteenth of Nissan, the day we call Erev Pesach, and lasts until midnight of that day. Pesach is the day when all of Israel was busy sacrificing the Paschal lamb. So crucial was the requirement to sacrifice the Paschal lamb on Pesach that the penalty for anyone failing to do so was karet, premature death at the hand of God.

The Paschal lamb was expensive to purchase and difficult to find. It had to be a male goat or sheep, not more than one year old. Several days before Pesach the Jews formed themselves into groups. Each group purchased a Paschal lamb. The number of people constituting a group was the same number it would take to consume the lamb, with each person eating a portion no larger than the size of an olive. The group then appointed one of its members to walk the lamb, on the fourteenth of Nissan, to the Temple courtyard in Jerusalem. On the way, the member would meet up with a multitude of other group members, all walking their lambs to Jerusalem. According to one eyewitness, the hills of Jerusalem were covered that day with a moving white woolen blanket.

Because the Temple courtyard was too small to accommodate all the group members and their Paschal lambs at the same time, the sacrificial service was conducted in three shifts.

The Paschal lamb could not be slaughtered until after midday and not before all chametz was cleared away. All Paschal lambs had to be sacrificed before nightfall. The slaughtering of the lambs, but not the rest of the sacrificial service, could be performed by the group members themselves, even if they were not not kohanim, priests. The kohanim, holding silver and gold vessels, klei sharet, stood in neat rows, stretching all the way from the animals to the Altar. These vessels, which were used to capture the animals’ blood, were handed from kohen to kohen, conveyer belt style, until they reached the Altar, on which they were then poured. The sacrificial parts of the animal were then burnt on the Altar.

During the sacrificial service, trumpets were sounded and Hallel was recited. Those parts of the animal that were not burnt on the Altar – that is, most of the animal – were then carried back home to the group, now seated around the Seder table. The Torah sets forth explicit instructions as to when and how the Paschal lamb must be eaten: “Eat the [sacrificial] meat during the [Seder] night, roasted over fire. Eat it with matzah and bitter herbs… Do not leave any of it over until morning.”

In addition, the Paschal lamb could only be eaten after the group members had first satisfied their hunger with the meat of the regular festival offering, the korban chagigah. The Paschal lamb could not, according to most opinions, be eaten after midnight.

According to the Ramban, sacrificing the Paschal lamb was an act of defiance against the Egyptians, who deified sheep. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch views the Paschal lamb sacrifice as an antidote to the scene of the Brit Bein Habetarim when the bull, the goat and the ram, symbolizing Jewish sovereignty, wealth and resistance respectively, were torn asunder, presaging three generations of slavery in Egypt. After the liberation, human dignity, family, and social life were restored to the liberated slaves through the Paschal lamb.

The Paschal lamb of each Jew, as an individual in his own right, was accepted by God, and was enjoyed in the setting of family and friends.

Since the destruction of the Temple, korbanot exist only in the prayer book. This does not apply to the korban Pesach. It provides the structure for and is the center piece of the Seder night. Chametz must be cleared out by midday, the time the korban Pesach would have been brought. We are required to place a bone on the Seder plate and to eat the afikoman in lieu of the korban Pesach. Like the korban Pesach, the afikoman has to be eaten after the meal, before midnight. Finally, the marror sandwich, eaten between two matzot, replaces the korban Pesach which was eaten with matzah and marror. Seder night then, is the meeting point of Chag HaPesach and Chag HaMatzot.

About the Author: Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Korban Pesach

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
France Jew in a French synagogue talks about rising anti-Semitism.
Israel to Ease Absorption, Employment for Immigrants from France
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Avi Weiss

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

Weiss-112114-Sufganiot

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

Though braggarts come across as conceited, their boasting often reflects a low sense of self-regard

Nimchinsky-112114-Learning

Not every child can live up to our hopes or expectations, but every child is loved by Hashem.

Leaders must always pay attention to the importance of timing.

While our leaders have been shepherds, the vast majority of the Children of Israel were farmers.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

Ever Vigilant
‘When Unworthy, One’s Number Of Years Is Reduced’
(Yevamos 50a)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Ramban interprets Korban as self-sacrifice, each Jew should attempt to recreate Akeidas Yitzchak.

Dr. Schwartz had no other alternatives up his sleeve. He suggested my mother go home and think about what she wanted to do.

Why does Lavan’s speaking before his father show that he was wicked? Disrespectful, yes. Rude, certainly. But a rasha?

We find that in certain circumstances before the Torah was actually given, people were permitted to make calculations as to what would better serve Hashem, even if it were against a mitzvah or aveirah.

More Articles from Raphael Grunfeld
Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

What if, at the moment of the late brother’s death, the surviving brother cannot effect yibum because the widow is a niddah?

The Torah lists twenty-one close relatives a man may not marry.

In the same way as a married woman is precluded from marrying another man without a get, so too is this widow prohibited from marrying another man without chalitzah.

Should we sit in the sukkah on a day that may be the eighth day when we are not commanded to sit in the sukkah at all?

We are told that after returning home from Ne’ilah and breaking our fast, the first activity we should engage in is building a sukkah.

In addition to Yom Kippur, there is at least one other instance when a person may fast on Shabbat – the case of a ta’anit chalom, in which a person wishes to fast to prevent an ominous dream from becoming reality.

We must eat, sleep, work, and care for our dependants. How much time is left over after all that?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/korban-pesach/2013/07/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: