In first, sheep slaughtered in Jerusalem Old City in reenactment of Passover sacrifice
White-robed priests blow silver trumpets with hundreds on hand for reenactment of ritual performed inside the walls of ancient city
With priests blowing silver trumpets, a group of religious Jews slaughtered a sheep on Thursday in Jerusalem’s Old City to demonstrate the traditional paschal sacrifice, the first time such a reenactment has been held inside the city walls in 2,000 years.
The event was organized by Temple Mount activists and supervised by police and the state veterinarian service. Approximately 200 men, women and children attended the event, including MK Yehuda Glick.
The sheep was butchered in the main square of the Jewish Quarter, next to the Hurva Synagogue.
In accordance with the ancient rites, the blood was sprinkled on a model altar temporarily erected for the purpose. The sheep was then flayed, roasted and eaten by the participants.
Cohens, members of the priestly class, wearing specially made white garments, blew silver trumpets and sang psalms as the ritual was taking place. They also recited the biblical priestly blessing.
The group said it will conduct an actual sacrifice on Monday, the day before the Passover holiday, in order to fulfill a religious commandment requiring Jews to make an animal sacrifice for the festival.
However, it is unlikely that police will allow them to do so.
For over a decade the group has held a reenactment of the ritual slaughter of the Passover offering, a sheep or goat sacrifice, outside the Old City.
Each year the activists request permission to do it on or near the Temple Mount, where ritual sacrifices were carried out at the time of the temple. And each year they have been refused by police and the courts, which say it could cause unrest if it is held on or near the Temple Mount, the most hotly contested site in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.