It is a Mitzva to Attempt to Offer Sacrifices at This Time
by Mr. Shlomo Moshe Scheinman
with the response of the head of The Temple Institute, Rabbi Israel Ariel [Shlita]
And with the response of the head of the Ben Yishai Institute, Rabbi Dovid Bar-Chaim [Shlita]
And with the response of Rabbi Moshe Yechiel Tzuriel [Shlita], author of Otzrote Haraaya and many additional books
There is a precedent in the history of our nation for the offering of Sacrifices upon an altar on the Temple Mount at a time that the Temple is not built.
In chapter 3 of the book of Ezra we learn:
And the seventh month arrived and the children of Israel were in the cities and the nation gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem. And Yeshua the son of Yotzadak arose, and his brothers the cohanim (priests, who are the descendants of Aaron) and Zerubbavel the son of She'alti'el and his brothers, built the altar of the Lord of Israel to offer upon it burnt offerings as it is written in the Torah of Moses the man of the Lord. And they set the altar on its bases, during [a time] with dread upon them from the nations of the lands ; and they offered burnt offerings upon it to Hashem, burnt offerings for the morning and for the evening. And they made the holiday of Succot as it is written and offered the daily burnt offerings by number according to the regulation of each day in its day. And afterwards the daily [tamid ] offering and at the times of the new moon offerings and at the times of the sacred appointed seasons of Hashem and for all who would offer a free will offering to Hashem. From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to Hashem and the foundation of the Heichal of Hashem [the holiest building within the Temple Mount] was not yet laid. And they gave money to the stonecutters and the craftsmen and food and drink and oil to those of Tsidon and those of Tsor to bring cedar trees from the Levanon to the sea of Yafo in accordance with the official permission of Coresh, the king of Paras [Persia] upon them.
The book , Torat Habayit, volume 1 chapter 6 section 7, brings in the name of the Kaftor VaPherach that in the sixth millennium [more than 1100 years after the destruction of the Second Temple] we also tried to offer sacrifices, even though at that time the control of the Temple Mount was in the hands of the Gentiles and there was no Temple there.
To quote the Kaftor VaPherech sixth chapter [page 15] :My teacher, my rabbi Boruch Z.L., said to me that Rabbeinu Chananel [according to Rabbi Bar-Chaim it should be Yechiel and not Chananel] from Paris Z.L. sought to come to Jerusalem and he was in year 17 of the sixth millennium and he sought to offer sacrifices in this time. And I, because I was burdened, did not ask him, what shall we do about our Tuma, [ our state of ritual impurity] , and where is a cohain [a descendant of Aaron] with the proper proof of his lineage and fitness. I in the midst of my traveling recalled the Halacha that one should not be concerned about the Tuma [our state of ritual impurity] as said in Temura, Yesh B'korbanot..... That sacrifices of the community push away Tuma and Shabbat. And so too, in tractate Pesachim in the chapter Keitzad Tzolin; if the congregation became Ta'may [spiritually impure] etc., they should do it in a state of impurity; and in tractate Yoma, first chapter, it was taught : The Tuma [the spiritual impurity] that emanates from the dead, Rav Nachman said it is permissible among the community; Rav Sheshet said it is pushed away by the community. And so too, in the laws of Biat Mikdash (chapter 4 , halacha 10 ) in the Rambam's writings and here is a quote " All the sacrifices of the community , it is fixed for them a time, therefore they push away Shabbat and Tuma"(this is to be understood in reference to Tuma that emanates from the dead, alone).
Upon this, the book, Torat Habayit, adds "And since he did not mention at all , that you need a Tzeetz [ a metallic plate worn by the Cohain Hagadol that upon it, were the words, Holy to Hashem] to appease , in regards to the pushing away of the Tuma [spiritual impurity] as recounted by Rambam [there in halacha 9], this implies that he held that even when there is no Tzeetz to appease ,it does not hold back the sacrificial service; and we shall merit in our days to offer our obligatory sacrifices in our Temple, in the place of the divine presence of our Lord in Mount Moriah where there, Yitzchak [Isaac] our forefather, was bound to be offered as an unblemished offering and to atone over all our sins".
The author of the Chafetz Chaim and Mishna Brura established as halacha [in Likutei Halachot, Zevach Toda] and his words are brought by Torat Habayit , the following point :
And we Sacrifice, even though there is no Temple, etc.; so rules the Rambam and so ruled all the Rishonim. And in Torat Hakodshim chapter 13 Hashochet Vihamaaleh [Zevachim page 66b] he wrote:
One that offers up a sacrifice in this time, outside of the proper place is guilty; for when the city of Jerusalem was chosen that there should be there the Temple and the altar , all the bamot [altars outside the sanctified area] were made forbidden and never again, will they be permissible, even though all has been destroyed, and we offer at this time sacrifices, even though there is no Temple; and we eat kodshim kalim [holy foods of a lighter degree] and the second tithe, within the whole city even though there is no wall; because the initial holiness of which the city and the Temple were sanctified by, sanctified these places for its time and for the future. And all this, is when the altar is built upon its place, however when there is no altar, it is obvious that one should not offer there any sacrifice and even the second tithe, one does not eat within the whole city when there is no altar.... And he added in Zevach Toda and even though we concluded inside, that we offer sacrifices in this time even though there is no Temple, nevertheless one has to consider carefully concerning the other requirements [ for sacrifices] such as the place of the altar, and the Tuma that emanates from the dead, and the Tzeetz, and whether we should rely on the presumption that our cohanim are fit cohanim and also regarding the Techelet [threads that were dyed blue]. And if Hashem helps us , we will explain every detail by its place. [Here ends the quote]
Upon this, adds the book, Torat Habayit:And from the implications of his words, you see that our Rabbi was not in doubt as to the main principle and the mitzva and the obligation that we are obligated to offer sacrifices, therefore it is a mitzva to study in depth and to act in the matter of offering sacrifices at this time until we actually get this done, and we should not keep ourselves idle from this great mitzva. And regarding what our Rabbi raised concerning the question of Tuma [spiritual impurity] and other points, already many good people, have judged the matter; and they have concluded and offered solutions to the vast majority of the details of the mitzvas and the only thing lacking for us is the will and the opening of blind eyes to take out the prisoner from the jail, as if possible to describe it thusly, the divine presence in exile.
Read the rest HERE