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Blood for ThoughtThe Reinvention of Sacrifice in Early Rabbinic Literature$
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Mira Balberg

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520295926

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520295926.001.0001

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Three Hundred Passovers

Three Hundred Passovers

(p.142) 4 Three Hundred Passovers
Blood for Thought

Mira Balberg

University of California Press

The fourth chapter brings together the themes discussed in the previous chapters by looking closely at the Passover sacrifice as a test-case. Two sets of disputes underlie the rabbinic discussions and controversies regarding the Passover sacrifice: first, is the Passover an individual or congregational sacrifice, and second, does the essence of the Passover sacrifice lie in the blood or in the meat. These two disputes are closely intertwined in rabbinic discussions, and point toward more fundamental questions regarding the significance and function of the Passover sacrifice. The first part of the chapter shows that rabbinic texts present a strong tendency to collectivize the Passover sacrifice, and to consider it — formally or informally — as a congregational offering, despite the fact that it is funded and consumed by individuals. The second part of the chapter traces a persistent position within rabbinic texts that underplays the consumption component of the Passover offering and places all the emphasis on the manipulation of the offering’s blood.

Keywords:   Passover sacrifice, Second Passover, Blood in Judaism and Christianity, Public sacrifice, Sacrificial feasts, Passover in biblical interpretation

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