Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Qodoshim: Degrees of Separation

Originally published 11/17/10, 9:44 am.
During the time of the Beth Hamiqdash the "sacrificial cult" was a given.

Despite any "alleged" protestations by N'viim, there was, as far as I recall, no call to recall Qorbanot. Hanukkah was, in fact,  a restoration of the Mizbei'ach.
Sacrifices had been terminated with the Hurban. Aside from the possibility that there may have been a brief restoration during the Bar Kochba Revolt.
What was the attitude of Hazal to the new circumstances? Apparently, they resumed this practice spiritually via "unshalmah farim s'fateinu". This has apparently manifested itself in several ways:

  1. Prayers [Amidah in particular]
  2. Recitation of Passages dealing with various sacrifices EG Olat Tamid
  3. Study of Seder Qodoshim and related material on Qorbanot.

Tangentially, I'm looking to quantify how much of Seder Moed involves "Qodoshim."

So after "Temple" Judaism was destroyed, Rabbinic Judaism sought to continue Qodoshim via alternate means. Even the Talmud Bavli preserved about 90% of Qodoshim while ignoring many practical Masechtot in Z'raim and Tohoroth, like Miqvaot, Yadayim, etc..
This is the first degree of separation: preserving the sacrifices through just Text and Study.

What's fascinating is that Liberal Judaism thinks that "unshalmah" can be fulfilled without any mention of Qorbanot at all. This is apparently based upon "Prophetic" Judaism. Some of these Liberals even appeal to the authority of Bavli over Rishonim in other matters. Yet it is an anti-Traditional stance in that the Second Commonwealth rejected this read of Judaism, as did all of Rabbinic Judaism clear up until the 19th Century Reformation. Appealing to Prophetic Judaism to trump Rabbinic Judaism - given a 2500 year history to the Contrary seems a bit disingenuous - wouldn't you say?
So we have the second degree of separation, evolving away from ANY memory of Sacrificial Rites and using Prayer as a complete substitution - severing the link to its roots.

Will Sefer Vayiqra be sacrificed next? :-)


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