destruction of the Beit Hamikdash (Temple in Jerusalem) and
the restrictions imposed by conquerors on Jewish access Jerusalem and
to the Temple Mount, resulted in the cessation of the Korban Pesach.
Yet the fact that there was no longer any
Temple did not mean that one could not offer sacrifices, including the
Korban Pesach. According to the Rambam, the sanctity of the Temple
Mount remains. Not only is it possible to sacrifice the Korban Pesach,
there remains an obligation to do so on the Temple Mount.
We have proof that the commandment of the
Korban Pesach was observed, even after the destruction of the Temple.
Rabban Gamliel who lived a hundred years after the destruction
commanded his servant to roast the Korban Pesach (Pesachim 87b). Also,
the Byzantine Caesar Yostaninos issued an edict forbidding the Jews
from sacrificing the Korban Pesach as late as the Sixth Century of the
Common Era, long after the destruction of The Temple. This shows the
Jews were still offering the Korban Pessach long after the destruction.
With the loss of Jewish independence, the
dispersal of the Jews throughout the world and, the severe persecutions
endured by Jews who remained in the land under Christian and Muslim
rulers (who sought to supersede Judaism physically as well as
spiritually), the Temple Mount was made off-limits to Jews.
In addition to political and physical
obstacles, observant Jews were also concerned by Jewish (Halachic)
legal dilemmas such as ritual impurity. The Rambam (Maimonides) had
already pronounced that if the majority of Jews were in a state of
impurity they could perform sacrifices in such a condition (Beit
There was also concern about establishing
the lineage of the priests and building an appropriate altar without
employing steel tools as per the biblical injunction. In the same way
that the Jews abandoned dreams about a Jewish government or a Jewish
army, and performing commandments dependent upon being in the Land of
Israel, the commandment of Korban Pesach was also set aside to be
resumed only upon a miraculous return to Zion and the rebuilding of the
The dream of restoring the Korban Pesach
remained unactualized despite the liberation of Jerusalem during the
Six Day War. For political considerations, the government of Israel
continued to entrust the Temple Mount to the Muslim authorities. This
encouraged the Jewish religious leadership to adopt a policy of caution
postponing the need to revive the Korban Pesach.