The present-day Sanhedrin Court along with a group of extremist rabbis announced their plans on Wednesday to resume ancient Temple practices of animal sacrifices on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, despite religious bans by Moslems and Jews.
The court purchased herds of sheep for ritual sacrifice, which they have planned for the eve of Passover, depending on the situation at the controversial religious site.
“Regrettably, there are many extremist Israeli groups who want to carry out their plans,” said Jerusalem's senior Islamic cleric, Mohammed Hussein. “Let them say what they want, Al Aksa is a Moslem mosque.”
The 71 members of the Sanhedrin have all the required elements necessary for Temple sacrifice, including the ritual altar, and said they want to begin sacrificing animals again, despite the absence of the Temple. Professor Hillel Weiss, a member of the Sanhedrin, said it is an important step to show that it’s not only talk.
Rabbi Dov Stein, secretary of the new Sanhedrin Court, believes Temple sacrifices won’t happen any time soon.
“We want to do the sacrifice, but we have political problems,” Stein said. “We hope there will come a time when the government will agree. We will push for that to happen.”
Not all religious Jews are in favor of the sacrifices however.
“Animal sacrifice, as a mode of religious worship, stopped for Jews, Christians and Moslems,” said Rabbi Daniel Hartman of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. “Moving back in that direction is not progress.”