Priests and Levites


#1

Our bible study group is discussing the book of Malachi. The question was asked whether or not the Jewish faith still practices animal sacrifices especially during Passover. Also, what is the Jewish explanation for the destruction of the temple?


#2

I have a thread called “Questions about the Jews” with a Orthodox Jew who answers questions very well.


#3

Hi all!

Watkins955 (nice to make your cyberacquaintance!), see

I don’t care for the mistranslation “sacrifice” for the Hebrew word korban, which actually is a cognate of a root meaning “to approach” or “to draw near/close to”) Because there is no Temple (and for other reasons as well), the order of offerings (as well as other Torah precepts which are dependent on the Temple & a fully functioning Aaronic priesthood, such as accepting tithes, administering the bitter waters to a suspected adultress, 7th and Jubilee years, etc. etc.) are also temporarily suspended :crying: .

The order of offerings on a regular basis ceased in CE 70, when the Romans destroyed the Second Temple. It was briefly reinstituted during the Bar Kokhba revolt against Rome (in CE 132-135, see us-israel.org/jsource/biography/Kokhba.html ). There are vague hints that it may have been reinstituted for an even shorter period during the brief reign of the Roman Emperor Julian (“the Apostate”) in CE 361-363 (see jewishencyclopedia.com/v…J&search=Julian). It probably was reinstituted for a short time after CE 614, when the Sassanid Persians captured Jerusalem from the Byzantines & turned the city over to us. But this interlude came to an end when the Byzantines retook the city a few years later. Since then, nada. :crying:

As our very great medieval sage Maimonedes (see us-israel.org/jsource/bi…Maimonides.html) puts it:

“In the future, the King Messiah will stand up and restore the Davidic monarchy…build the Temple, gather the dispersed of Israel, and restore all the laws as they were in former times: offerings, sabbatical and jubilee years as they are commanded in the Torah.

Regarding the destruction of the Temples, our Sages cite various scriptural references & teach that God destroyed the First Temple on account of three sins on our part (idolatry, sexual immorality & robbery). Our Sages teach that God destroyed the Second Temple on account of only one sin, gratuitous hatred. (Thus, our Sages teach that gratuitous hatred is as bad as idolatry, sexual immorality & robbery put together.) There is a very sharp statement in the Jerusalem Talmud that in every generation in which the Temple is not rebuilt it is as if in that generation it was destroyed. Our excising the demon of gratuitous hatred would, therefore, go a long way towards hastening our redemption. In Isaiah 60:22, God says, “I the Lord will hasten it in its time.” Our Sages note a seeming contradiction here: If redemption will come, “in its time”, how can it say that God will, “hasten it”? Our Sages teach that if we merit it, God will hasten our redemption, if we do not merit it, it will come in its time.

These 3 short articles aish.com/tishabav/tishab…_Bar_Kamtza.asp, ohr.edu/yhiy/article.php/1101 & aish.com/tishabav/tishab…emple_Burns.asp explain about gratuitous hatred.

By the way, as a point of reference, we mourn the Temples’ destructions (and some other things) on the Ninth of the Hebrew month of Av (falls in the late summer; see jewfaq.org/holidayd.htm), when we have a 'round-the-clock fast (as well as abstain from intimate relations, bathing & wearing jewelry, cosmetics & leather). On the 9th of Av, we read the Book of Lamentations during evening prayers and Deuteronomy 4:25-40 and Jeremiah 8:13-9:23 during morning prayers.

(cont.)


#4

(cont.)

You asked about the Passover offering. Alas, that too is temporarily suspended :crying: . During the ceremonial meal that we have on the first night of Passover (on the first two nights outside the Holy Land), we place a roasted shank bone on the table in memory of the Passover lamb.

You entitled this thread “Priests and Levites.”

To the best of my knowledge, I am a Levite. Nowadays, that doesn’t mean so much. I get to get called up second (after the cohain; see below) when the Torah is read in synagogue & I help the cohain wash his hands before he gives the priestly blessing during morning prayers, but that’s about it.

The Hebrew word for priest is cohain. Thus, Jews with the names Cohen, Cohn, Cahn, Kahn, Kahan, Kahane or Katz (an acronym for cohain tzedek) are of priestly stock. The priesthood is passed from father to son, going all the way back to Aaron and his sons Elazar and Ithamar. A priest may noy marry a divorcee or a convert (these restrictions apply even today); if he does, his male descendants by her are not priests. (Hebrew has a different word for a non-Jewish, i.e. Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, priest: komer, pronounced with a long o). Similarly, Jews surnamed Levy, Levi, Levitt, etc. are of Levitical stock. Anyone who is of priestly stock (those Cohens, Katzes, etc.) or Levitical are priests-in-waiting/Levites-in-waiting. In Temple times, the priests & Levites were organized into rotations, arranged by family groups, so that everyone had equal time officiating in the Temples & an equal share of the various tithes. Up until the destruction of the 2nd Temple (and for a while afterwards), strict geneological lists were kept of priests & Levites. All those have long since been lost.

Nowadays, many people with one of the priestly/Levitical surnames may not be actual priests (i.e. direct descendants of Aaron & his sons Elazar & Ithamar, in an unbroken male line) or Levites & many people without the priestly/Levitical surnames are probably priests/Levites. When the Messiah comes & active prophecy is reestablished, there will presumably be some way of figuring out who’s who for certain (it has to be certain; even “pretty close” is not good enough).

Howzat?

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#5

I thank you for this information. I will share it with my bible group. I apologize for the use of sacrifice. God be with you.

quote=stillsmallvoice

You asked about the Passover offering. Alas, that too is temporarily suspended :crying: . During the ceremonial meal that we have on the first night of Passover (on the first two nights outside the Holy Land), we place a roasted shank bone on the table in memory of the Passover lamb.

You entitled this thread “Priests and Levites.”

To the best of my knowledge, I am a Levite. Nowadays, that doesn’t mean so much. I get to get called up second (after the cohain; see below) when the Torah is read in synagogue & I help the cohain wash his hands before he gives the priestly blessing during morning prayers, but that’s about it.

The Hebrew word for priest is cohain. Thus, Jews with the names Cohen, Cohn, Cahn, Kahn, Kahan, Kahane or Katz (an acronym for cohain tzedek) are of priestly stock. The priesthood is passed from father to son, going all the way back to Aaron and his sons Elazar and Ithamar. A priest may noy marry a divorcee or a convert (these restrictions apply even today); if he does, his male descendants by her are not priests. (Hebrew has a different word for a non-Jewish, i.e. Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, priest: komer, pronounced with a long o). Similarly, Jews surnamed Levy, Levi, Levitt, etc. are of Levitical stock. Anyone who is of priestly stock (those Cohens, Katzes, etc.) or Levitical are priests-in-waiting/Levites-in-waiting. In Temple times, the priests & Levites were organized into rotations, arranged by family groups, so that everyone had equal time officiating in the Temples & an equal share of the various tithes. Up until the destruction of the 2nd Temple (and for a while afterwards), strict geneological lists were kept of priests & Levites. All those have long since been lost.

Nowadays, many people with one of the priestly/Levitical surnames may not be actual priests (i.e. direct descendants of Aaron & his sons Elazar & Ithamar, in an unbroken male line) or Levites & many people without the priestly/Levitical surnames are probably priests/Levites. When the Messiah comes & active prophecy is reestablished, there will presumably be some way of figuring out who’s who for certain (it has to be certain; even “pretty close” is not good enough).

Howzat?

Be well!

ssv :wave:

[/quote]


#6

Hi watkins955!

You posted:

I thank you for this information. I will share it with my bible group. I apologize for the use of sacrifice.

You’re welcome! Please come back with any more questions & I will do my best to help.

God be with you.

Thank you; likewise!

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#7

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