Before the destruction of the Second Temple, the priests of old would sacrifice a lamb on the occasion of Passover. More than two millennia later, Israeli activists seeking access to the present-day Temple Mount – where some hope to erect a Third Temple – are re-enacting the ritual for the first time by slaughtering a sheep.
The event on Thursday took place in Jerusalem’s Jewish quarter, with hundreds of people watching the ritual, which involved slaughtering the sheep on a public square, sprinkling its blood on a mock altar and then eating the cooked remains. Yehuda Glick, a Likud member of the Knesset and Temple Mount activist, was in attendance. Other features of the ceremony included the singing of psalms and the blowing of silver trumpets.
Tensions over the Temple Mount – the current site of the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque – have flared as some right-wing Jewish activists have sought to institute open Jewish prayer on the site, which would depart from the current status quo. Glick, who has been the victim of multiple assassination attempts, has figured at the center of the controversy.