Modern Jews revive ancient Shavuot ritual as practiced at Jerusalem Temple

i24NEWS

3 min read
Jews reenacting the Shavuot holiday as practiced at the ancient Temple in Jerusalem.
i24NEWSJews reenacting the Shavuot holiday as practiced at the ancient Temple in Jerusalem.

'We're practicing the different parts of the priestly work. The work of the Kohanim in the Temple'

In a scene that looked like a biblical illustration brought to life, earlier this month a group of people performed a special procession for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.

They used sheep, a special bread and a sacrificial altar similar to the one described in the Torah -- the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.

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Shavuot is one of the three pilgrimage holidays where, according to tradition, Jews were able to go to the Temple.  

"We're practicing the different parts of the priestly work. The work of the Kohanim in the Temple," said Mordechai Persoff, program manager, Mikdash Educational Center.

He described to i24NEWS what was happening during the biblical reenactment, including the pilgrimage of the first fruits to the Temple in Jerusalem, know as Bikkurim. 

The event gathered different organizations which share the same goal -- rebuilding a third Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount.

It is a sensitive issue given the current geopolitical atmosphere at the holy site when every small change in the status quo may lead to violence and crisis.

The leader of this initiative, Rabbi Baruch Kahane, is the son of far right-wing politician Meir Kahane, who was assassinated in 1990 by an Egyptian-born US citizen.

"It can be miraculous. It will take a lot of convincing of course to try and convince the people," Kahane told i24NEWS.

In previous years, this event and other reenactments took place in Jerusalem, close to the Temple Mount. But due to several obstacles such as density and police disapproval, the ceremony moved to Mitzpe Yeriho, a religious settlement in the Judean Desert.

A huge altar was built there that resembles the Temple altar used for sacrifices. 

Despite the many challenges, participants of this unique ceremony hope to continue their tradition.

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