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Human Sacrifice, Kapparot and the Temple

Reader comment on item: What Syrian Chemical Weapons Reveal about Obama
in response to reader comment: To Love The Eternal Father is to OBEY HIm - That is Being Observant

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jul 16, 2015 at 10:56

Hi, Tovey

You know I do not accept your last paragraph, referring to a "rapture" that I don't expect for over 1000 years; but your first two paragraphs are well-stated.

Your third paragraph reflects your typical Christian point of view, and bears re-posting here:

The return of the 'captivity' is nearly complete, with both the 'wheat' and 'tares.' The final acts of the rebellion are being tallied and judgment prepped for execution. Being obedient (observant) is now critical, but caution; the final blood sacrifice has already been offered and believing for salvation is an absolutely necessary part of being observant, especially for the children of Israel.

Religious Jews, over the years, have rightly objected to references to a "final blood sacrifice" of a human being -- which, by the way, I consider Jesus to be, entirely. Those Jews note that Moses never prescribed human sacrifices; and that God spoke with revulsion about the idolatrous Moloch-worship of the neighboring peoples, who sacrificed their firstborn children.

The Apostle Paul spoke about Jesus' sacrifice of himself as fulfilling any need for animal sacrifices, something which a person who isn't religiously inclined, including a Jew, can intuitively grasp. This was not a ritualistic requirement, however, as many Christians I know seem to thin; but quite the opposite. Their "logic" that Jesus was not "merely" human, but something above this, more sinless and innocent than the infants offered up to Molech, does nothing to win over Jewish minds.

I couldn't find any opinion survey on the matter of animal sacrifice, but I think the Jewish people, as a whole, would be more averse than other nations to the whole idea. The usual Orthodox opinion on this matter, is that such sacrifices must be performed only at the Temple, which no longer exists; and neither they nor most of their secular neighbors are really interested in restoring the bloody practice.

Some Hassidic Hareidi Jews practice a form of "ritual sacrifice" called "kapparos". This is very much a minority practice among Jews, which involves waving a chicken towards heaven before (usually giving it to the poor and) slaughtering it. People have cited this as a form of "animal sacrifice"; and they are not entirely wrong, because there is a religious motivation behind it. Having helped a friend process chickens, however, I will note that the treatment of the animals in the normal slaughtering process, which is often accompanies by rough handling and breaking the chicken's legs, is discouraged by the chief Ashkenazi rabbi. It is worth noting at this juncture, that Mosaic animal slaughter is similar to ordinary meat processing; the important exception being that the animal is presented to God as a reminder of human sin, rather than unceremoniously dispatched.

There are some Jews, and probably even more non-Jews, who want the Temple rebuilt and its rituals restored. Some want this out of religious zeal, some out of a desire to "hurry up" the fulfillment of prophecies, and others, including myself, who believe it would be good for the Jewish people and for the world in general, to see human beings actually getting serious about obeying God in this way.

All the above aside, matters which come to mind when many people think about "observance", the reader does well to notice, as I am sure you yourself have, that I was not actually advocating ritual observance of Torah, nor observing the many strictures of Talmud and Rabbinical tradition. I was noting how curious it is that God, in selecting which Jews should by far constitute the people who restored the State of Israel to its ancient status, apparently passed over the pious and chose the irreligious.

Thank you for contributing your opinion on this matter; I think it is good that you did so.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (30) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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