Jewish Priests

Jewish Priests Train To Serve In Rebuilt Temple

Preparations toward the building in Jerusalem of the 3rd Jewish temple, together with the re-institution of the related ancient Jewish sacrifices, seem to have begun in earnest. In a recent edition of U.S News and World Report, Yuval Avivi details the practices and processes that were expected to be launched as from 10th April 2014, in an article titled ‘Israeli Institute Prepares Priests for Jerusalem’s Third Temple’. The plan to rebuild the Jewish temple has significant implications with regards to end-time Bible prophecy, and as such is being viewed with interest primarily by Christians, Jews and Bible scholars, especially students of eschatology.

The timing of the gathering has been matched to the date on which the people of Israel were commanded to take a lamb and sacrifice it, before the Exodus from Egypt. Temple rites will entail slaughtering lambs, sprinkling their blood on the altar by priests dressed in kosher priestly garments and roasting the lambs with their heads, legs and innards, in the exact manner that God first prescribed to the Jewish people or ‘children of Israel’ at the first Passover.

Yuval explains that in the first stage, hundreds of Jews will gather at the Maimonides rabbinical institution plaza in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood in Jerusalem and start learning the Jewish laws of Passover. Rabbis and experts, including Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, the head of the Temple Institute in the Old City of Jerusalem, the leading body preparing for the establishment of the third temple, will teach the audience the laws of the Passover sacrifice. Alongside Ariel, the ritual slaughterer (shohet) Rabbi Yehudah Giatt will teach the audience about the unique elements of the slaughter of the Passover sacrifice. After the lessons, the real thing will start: the simulation of the Passover sacrifice.

The practice drill and re-enactment of the Passover sacrifice has been assigned to the students of the school for priests, Nezer Ha-kodesh, which started operating this year to train the hundreds of priests that would be needed to work at the third temple. According to the director of the school, Rabbi Yehoshua Friedman, to carry out the mandatory sacrifices a minimum of 13 priests in the temple, to as high as several hundred, is necessary for a fully operating temple.

The many laws relating to the temple operations include how to use incense, how to light the holy menorah, how to sanctify hands and feet, and of course, how to sacrifice. The study course is undergoing continued development as the student priests continue to raise requests to learn one topic or another, especially since some laws are said to have faded over time. At the Temple Institute, researchers are working hard to relearn the laws as well as study the architecture, location and necessary tools, including the actual re-enactment of the required rituals. As Rabbi Friedman stated: “One of the unique elements of the course is the actual practice. In my course, they learned how to sacrifice birds, so we brought stuffed doves, so that the priests would learn how to hold them, how to execute the specific moves. We work on standing in front of the altar to demonstrate the action, so that it’ll become natural to them.”

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