Why does the Jewish religion no longer perform animal sacrifices (e.g., Passover slaughtering of lambs)?
Well obviously – there is no more Temple – would be the answer that might first come to mind. But, they had sacrifices before the Temple was built.
Is there even a Levitical Priesthood anymore? If so, who is the High Priest? If not, why not?
Why couldn’t another location in Jerusalem be selected for the Temple or just erect a stone altar somewhere for the sacrifices?
If the Messiah hasn’t yet come, why would God abandon the Jews to being unable to fulfill the Mosaic Law? Why would He allow the Jews to be unable to properly celebrate the great Feasts?
In the OT, God says that once they are established in “the land,” that he would appoint a place to offer sacrifice and that no other place would be permitted.
According to Wikipedia, the office of High Priest ended with the destruction of the Temple:
Is there even a Levitical Priesthood anymore? <<
Yes, there is. They are called Cohenim (singular, Cohen).
A Cohen has certain functions and privileges still in traditional Judaism, including the first call to the Torah, giving the solemn blessing, and others.
Remember the “Live long and prosper” gesture of Dr. Spock on Star Treck? Leonard Nimoy is a non-practicing Cohen, and that is how both hands are held in giving the Aaronic blessing.
If so, who is the High Priest? If not, why not?<<
There is a procedure for reinstating the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) at the appropriate time, but I don’t know what it is.
You can read all about this on the appropriate places on line.
Yes they had a variety of places and places before the Temple was established in Jerusalem .The Prophets then pronounced that Jerusalem was the only place for legitimate worship -none other was excepted That means the temples and worship of Israel (the North)was unacceptable and was considered one of the reasons that the kingdom of Israel was invaded and it’s inhabitants removed from the land.
Saying that, scholars all agree that even though not stated priests, in general were Levites even without the the central Temple. stone altars were suitable for a time when the Israelites were a loose confederacy- after they became a kingdom and monarchy they needed a center that all Israelites could look to- The Temple was the most logical unifying factor- the problem is it didn’t really work. Judah and Israel separated forever after Solomon mainly because the North resented how they had been used by Solomon as corvee.
Levitical priesthood still exists - and their identity is used especially in dealing with marriages. A Levite still can only marry a Levite.But no sacrifice is allowed, as I originally stated. No legitimate sacrifice , if there is no Temple.
As Far as the High Priest the descendants of the Kohen still exist . The name Cohen ,Cahn,Coen, and other variations can reflect a High Priest lineage. Recently the tradition are kohanim are descended from a common ancestor was verified by genetic testing.
There can be no other Temple in any other place but Jerusalem and only where the original Temple was. The only remnant of it being the “Wailing Wall” in Jerusalem.
Let me clarify that Solomon’sTemple was destroyed by the Babylonians, then their was the 2nd Temple that was built on it , not as splendid as Solomon’s but which Herod made more splendid by extensive renovations.
I don’t think that the Jews would feel that they were abandoned by God because of the destruction of the Temple. they had their Rabbis and more important they had the Torah… Torah is more important to the Jews now then any animal sacrifice.
Here’s a list of Temple cities before Solomon built the main and only legitimate Temple.
Gibeah of Saul