MKs, leading rabbis and other public figures to attend event, as public interest in reviving ancient practice grows.
This year’s reenactment may prove to be an even more festive event than ever, as many new participants are planning to arrive from all parts of the country.
The past Paschal Reenactments were held in a school courtyard which became more cramped each year due to the growing popularity of the important event. For this reason the organizers decided to move the event this year to the more spacious location of Mitzpeh Beit Orot, between Mount Scopus and the Mount of Olives, near Emek Tzurim, which faces Judaism’s holiest and most relevant site for the occasion, the Temple Mount.
The reenactment will take place next Monday, just four days before the prescribed time of the Paschal Offering. Event organizers say they want to offer a taste of an exciting, authentic Jewish experience, “with its smells, sounds, and colors that have been lost to us these 2000 years, and to thus arouse a longing to renew this Temple ritual in our day.”
Numerous rabbis and public figures will be attending. Among them is the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Rabbi Aryeh Shtern, who at last year’s reenactment expressed his great amazement at the public’s desire to reinstate the Paschal Sacrifice, which in his words was, “much greater than he expected.” Also attending will be several Members of Knesset and the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Dov Kalmanovitch.
The ancient ritual is being revived this year with the help of the cutting-edge HeadStart Campaign Website under the name Passover Reenactment, which is proving to finance the event through the public’s support. In its first week alone, the campaign became listed as one of the website’s most popular causes, and it is enjoying a wave of pledged support that has covered about two thirds of the project’s goal.
This year the event will begin with a rabbinical round table debate about “how much we should strive in our day to renew the Temple service with its sacrifices, if at all.” Following will be Torah classes given by rabbis and rashei yeshivot, including Rabbis Menachem Borstein, Uri Shreki, Menachem Makover, Benayahu Bruner, and Rabbi Yitzhak Yavetz , graduate of the Ponivitch Yeshiva.
During all hours of the panel discussions and Torah lessons there will be children’s activities such as craft tables, sheep petting, and an inflatable playground available.
Finally, there will be a procession with the sheep simulating the Passover pilgrimage to the Temple Mount as in the time of the Holy Temple, culminating in an exact reenactment of the Paschal Sacrifice, including the slaughtering of a lamb and the ritual offering of its blood and fats on a model altar by actual Cohanim dressed in authentic priestly garments.
Performer Mordechai Yitzhar and his band will be on hand to sing the Hallel accompanied by silver trumpets, just as was the practice in the days of the Temple.