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Those Temple Days: Pesach In Temple Times

Each family appointed a representative or two to take the lamb earmarked for the sacrifice up to the Temple. Once all the lambs were gathered and the crowd had assembled, the doors to the Temple courtyard were closed. The Levites would then begin to blow the trumpets, and their long blasts would accompany the ongoing sacrifices that never seemed to cease.

The awe-struck pilgrims would see lines upon lines of priests, “lines of silver.. and lines of gold,” reflecting the sheen of the sacrificial vessels the priests held. The priests, for their part, would add their songs of praise to their sacrificial duties to the accompaniment of the enthralled pilgrims.

Uniting the People
With the advent of the masses of pilgrims, vast numbers of special ovens were prepared for the roasting of the lamb, according to the requirements of the mitzvah. However, due to untimely rains, it would often be necessary to build these ovens all over again, in time for the preparation of the paschal meal. In any event, once the lamb was roasted, everyone would sit together in their family units around the Seder table, and talk about the Exodus. All over Jerusalem one could also hear the songs and chants of the festive Hallel psalms filling the air.


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