"It's not a question of 'maybe' or 'if'," says Ramat Gan's Chief Rabbi Yaakov Ariel. "Bringing the Paschal sacrifice is a Torah obligation incumbent upon the People of Israel these very days."
Speaking with Yoel Yaakobi of the weekly B'Sheva newspaper, Rabbi Ariel said that though there are some grave Halakhic [Jewish legal] problems associated with bringing the Paschal sacrifice, "we have found the solutions, and the obligation is as strong as ever. This is [one of the only two positive Biblical commandments] that those who forsake it are liable to receive the ultimate karet [cutting off] punishment. From the moment that a Jew stands on the Temple Mount and the site of the Holy Temple is under our control, the Jewish People are immediately obligated to bring this sacrifice."
Sixteen of the 613 Biblical commandments relate to the Paschal sacrifice, which must be brought on the 14th day of the month of Nissan - Passover eve - and eaten on the night of the 15th. Today, this sacrifice is remembered only in the form of the Afikoman, the piece of matzah snatched and hidden by children during the Pesach seder meal, by the small roasted shank-bone on the Seder plate, and by prayers and study.
Rabbi Ariel said, "After the destruction of the First Temple, when the Jews began returning from Babylonia to the Holy Land, they brought the Paschal sacrifice during the course of 22 years even though there was no Holy Temple. They also were considered ritually impure - because there was no Red Heifer by which to become pure - yet they still brought it... There is currently no genuine impediment to bringing the Paschal sacrifice."
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