It’s Good To Be The King (?)

In a radical news flash, some religious crazies gather in Eretz HaKodesh to discuss old stuff.

This one’s actually pretty far up there on the creepometer. It seems that 71 people gathered Sunday in J’lem to form a modern-day Sanhedrien–the Jewish religious tribunal–to discuss the re-creation of a Jewish monarchy in Israel. They are, maybe not shockingly, comprised largely of Kahane sympathizers.

The Jerusalem Post reports,

For the past several years a group called the Monarchists has conducted extensive research into the lineage of several families in an effort to discover who has the closest bloodline to the biblical King David – a requirement for any future Jewish king.

Rabbi Yosef Dayan from Psagot, known for his recent threats to place a death curse on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, is said to be a leading candidate to become the “king of Israel.”…

Some of the other ideas discussed at the Sanhedrin meeting included the construction of an altar on the Temple Mount to be used for the Passover Offering during the upcoming holiday. One of the ideas, members said, is to climb the Mount and build the altar within minutes and sacrifice the lamb before security forces can stop them. Another, said leading Sanhedrin member Baruch Ben-Yosef, is to pray for a tsunami-like disaster on the Mount.

“In one second, God wiped out 150,000 people,” he said. “Who knows? Maybe he’ll help us if we show him we are ready.”


I guess nitpicky details like, “needing to be ritually pure (tahor) before one makes an offering at the Temple and none of us are” aren’t their full concern. Nor is having properly dedicated ritual items (hekdesh) or anything else that would be connected to doing the Pesach korbon (sacrifice) right. As for the monarchy business, can’t we just call Dayan the “King of Pop” and have that be close enough?

Full story here.

34 thoughts on “It’s Good To Be The King (?)

  1. I am sure you guys are taking a quote out of context, and they have no real intention as of now to fufill any of these tasks, because they simply aren’t halachiclypossible

  2. I am not learned, but it sounds to me like a starting point for a debate on the nature/future of Judaism. Most of what is halacha now assumes the lack of the Beit haMikdash. Judaism would probably be (at least in its liberal forms but I would guess in some Orthodox circles as well) somewhat ambivalent about starting the sacrifices again.

  3. Even if they are actually thinking about it (which I doubt) along with them being tame, do you think any of them can truly trace their lineage back to Aharon? Not bloody likely. They going to start breeding red heifers, so they could become tahor? Not bloody likely. Sounds like a lot of talkity talk. But Rabbi’s like to do that a lot. Besides not any one of them is going to make it to the mount before some Arab picks them off with a rifle.

  4. Didn’t RaMBaM say that sacrifices were just G-d’s allowance of traditionalpractices, and that it was a mere courtesy from Him? Now that we haven’t had the practice for so long, shouldn’t we just stick to prayer, meditation, and study? Time is scarce, and using it for sacrifice instead of these more important mitzvot seems like a poor use of time. I am theologically liberal, but I think that the Law should only change slowly and with the proper intellectual support. If there is ever a place to change the Law, even if haMikdash is restored, it seems to be in eliminating sacrifice.
    That said, if we don’t give up sacrifice altogether, failing to meet any other requirement that is appurtenant to sacrifice seems unjustified.
    That said, what are people’s views on the blue thread in the tzitzit? Since some claim to have discovered the proper dye, isn’t this a good proxy question for the issue with red heifers?

  5. Libertarian Jew said: “That said, what are people’s views on the blue thread in the tzitzit? Since some claim to have discovered the proper dye,…”
    Some Rabbis think that its from the cuttlefish others from the murex tranculas (a type of snail). Both these animals are discribes as abominations in Vayyiqra 11:10-12. So the use for them in tzitzit would render the tzitzit unclean. I am of the belief that any dye that produces a dark blue is okay, as long as its not from an unclean animal. There are verses that state that the color t’khelet is likened to the Throne of Elohim, which is likened to sapphire and the blue sky of eretz Yisrael. A dye that reaches this discription would be exceptable in my estimation.

  6. matityahu, the satus of the animals kashrut has nothing to do with its use as a dye, since we don’t eat the tzitzit, thre is significan’t halachik and historical evidence backing up the murex trunculex as the source of techelet,

  7. Dont mean to interrupt the conversation, but I am really amazed to have just found your site. What a breath of fresh air. As I sometimes do (not to the benefit of my bloodpressure) I check out the misinformation and hatred about jews. When I saw Chomsky at the top I got really concerned, but after seeing the intelligent discussions going on here I just have to say Baruch HaShem. Thanks alot to you all…

  8. additionally there is serious halachik evidence to support the murix trunkulex
    this is taken from http://www.tekhelet.com/
    The evidence for identifying the Murex trunculus as the source of tekhelet is decisive, and goes beyond merely fitting the general descriptions of the Chilazon as found in the Talmud:
    The Jerusalem Talmud (as quoted by the Raavyah) translates tekhelet as porphiron (the Latin and Greek name for trunculus-like shells). Pliny and Aristotle describe these shells as the source of the ancient dyes.
    The Talmud indicates that true tekhelet is indistinguishable from the blue dye of vegetable origin – kala ilan (indigo). The dye ultimately derived from trunculus is molecularly equivalent to indigo.
    Extensive marine biological surveys have revealed that the only snails in the Mediterranean which produce stable dyes are those of the Murex family. The dye obtained from trunculus is very stable and steadfast, which accords with the Rabbinical description of tekhelet.
    Archeologists in Tyre and elsewhere uncovered mounds of Murex shells dating from the Biblical period which were broken in the exact spot necessary to obtain the dyestuff. Chemical analysis of blue stains on vats from 1200 BCE reveals patterns consistent with those of modern day trunculus.
    When listing the precious commodities used in building the Mishkan (tabernacle), the Torah consistently includes tekhelet along with gold, silver, and other familiar materials, recognized by all for their worth. Yechezkel speaks of the tekhelet from Tyre and the “Isles of Elisha”, and the Megillah tells us that in Persia, Mordechai wears royal clothes made of tekhelet. Surely, the Torah is referring to that same valuable dye commonly used by royalty throughout the rest of the ancient world.

  9. Am I off or doesn’t “tameh” status usually wear off either by sun-down or seven days? (making it a not so huge obsticle to the sacrificing). Of course I’m sure there are ten tons of halacha I’m unaware of. The samaritans actually sacrifce their pesah on ol’ Gerizim eh.

  10. Oh yeah, and the temple mount isn’t the temple mount or so I hear. Apparently the Wall is actually part of a roman fort and the real location of the Mikdash is a bit further south. Or at least there’s some Josephus which sugests that.

  11. I’m ecstatic that this group has taken the initiative to reform the sanhedrin (Danya, it wasn’t their first meeting, BTW)
    I also like their extremely conservative position that should be mekubal on most people that; each current member knows that that they are just place holders for when the ‘larger’ torah scholars decide to join, that they are meeting only once a month (and not working overtime to form an alternative government), that they are finally sitting down to discuss issues that have not been discussed seriously in two thousand years, that at this point nothing is binding since they declare that they aren’t making any halachic decisions.
    I think we should give them a bit more time before calling them whackos.
    which other articles/sources did you cross reference before confirming that it is comprised largely of Kahane sympathizers?

  12. doesn’t a sanhedrin have the authority to change the standards of what is nessesary for ritual purity? don’t they have the pwoer to abrogate any law they see fit? isn’t that part of the deal?
    I don’t know if we’re recognizing what an opportunity this is to radically update halachic judaism… potentially. Kahanists are nothing if not Aquarians.

  13. Praying for the destruction of 150,000? How about going back to the basics of Judaism, like that tiny detail about the value of life, before worrying about going back to the days of sacrifice?

  14. Look, it’s all very well to discuss Judaism, but I come to Jewschool for the juicy internecine political fights!
    So: The way Sharon is running roughshod over Israel’s democratic institutions, there is less and less difference between the Knesset and any other oligarchy… at least The Sanhedrin itself was a meritocracy, you had to have a record of scholarship and public service to get in. Unlike modern politics, where all you need to do is kiss ass…
    Regarding the halachic discussion:
    – The Sanhedrin (or any other human authority, including prophets) cannot change laws written in the Torah – including the definition of ritual impurity (tum’ah). At most, they can instruct us to refrain from fulfilling a positive commandment (which is how they abrogated levirite marriage and polygamy). But they cannot rescind any negative commandment stated as a prohibition.
    And yes, most of the offerings and Temple service require purification using the ashes of a red heifer – but there is already precedent for the Passover offering being brought even though the majority of Jews are ritually impure – the Paschal offering is different in several aspects from the other offerings of the Temple, and has an obvious “popular” character.
    There are other factors, too, like the requirement that the majority of Jews be in Israel…
    Should modern Jews welcome the return the Temple service, or cringe? My own thoughts are mixed, but here are some points to ponder:
    1) A careful look at the actual texts reveals that the Temple service was not at all about “appeasing an angry God” or any such primitive nonsense. There is a carefully worked out system of spiritual symbolism. Yes, animals are used as stand-ins for human life – it is supposed to be a strongly effecting experience. People who think that religion should just be the spiritual equivalent of Valium, smoothing life’s rough edges, have probably seen that Judaism’s demanding program is not for them long before they get to this theoretical question.
    Among modern scholars, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch’s commentary on the Torah (and his other writings) give a cogent overview of the symbolism.
    Which leads to:
    2) Many assimilated Jews I meet have gravitated to other faiths/spiritual paths precisely because they crave ritual and a structured spiritual path, and the watered down Judaism they were raised on offered neither.
    It’s sad that they reject/don’t know of their own faith’s rich range of practices – and ironic that many of those denigrating “primitive” aspects of Judaism embrace even more primitive practices from other cultures.
    3) Certainly we are experiencing a great identity crisis here in Israel, as the secular Zionist promise to create “a New Jew” has failed abysmally, and many Israelis are seeking out connections with their Jewish rooots. We could use some authentically Jewish symbolism on the national level.
    Now can we get back to nastily partisan political arguments?

  15. This is way more interesting then political fighting. This topic really has to do with how we feel about our Judism, all aspects of it. How do we as modern day jews deal with aspects of Judisim we may find uncomfortable? I have been dealing with the animal sacrifice issue a lot as of late. I have read plenty of stupid short answers to why animal sacrifice is not bothersome. Aish and NJOP have short articles on animal sacrifice. I am so glad to see that we are talking about it on Jewschool. I look foward to more topics like this.

  16. benda,
    wouldn’t the sanhedrin also be able to water down or even tear down the many ‘gderot’ that past hachamin put up to prevent us from doing averot?
    Isn’t the oppurtunity to eat milk dairy right after meat a good enough reason to reinstate the sanhedrin? They could also posek that we can get rid of two sets of dishes for everything.

  17. The Dayan family writ large does trace its heritage back to the Davidic line- there’s a book of toledot that covers it up to modern times. There are a few other families out there that are acknowledged as having similar lineage such as Saltiel and Abarbranel. ther aer others that are less well documented throught the Maharal or Rashi… Whether this particular member of the Dayan clan is the right guy for the job, well, I would think we’d need a sign frmo the big guy or someone to prophesize and annoint him…

  18. i would like to ask all of you about the role of women in a potential new sanhedrin. would women be allowed to be a part of this? if so, how would that influence this sanhedrin’s rulings? interpretation of halacha? or, even if women are not allowed to be one of the 70, what are the ramifications for women of this new sanhedrin? i am also curious about homosexuality, but i think that is more clear-cut textually than many things about women. what are your thoughts on this? also, would a women going through “her time of the month” be so “unclean” as to not be allowed to participate in a sanhedrin even if otherwise learned and respected enough in the community to be allowed? could the 70 or so men currently a part of the sanhedrin have enough jurisdiction to change things so that a women would be allowed to become a part of it now even if previously not allowed?
    thanks everyone for your time and input.

  19. stop getting your knickers in a tizzy. first of all -david’s son – solomon, had about 1,000 wifes. So, we all could be the first in line to the throne. Secondly, these guys (yes I said guys) are just placeholders till the most qualified people show up. Thirdly, since Munkatsch can trace their lineage directly to king david, I think Mobius, if I’m not mistaken, is a direct descendant of the Munkatsch dynasty, so I nominate him to be king. Let’s annoint him now. we can start a googlebomb campaign to get him to number one, at least for a day…

  20. the only danger with nominating Mobius is that he may have to kill his siblings to prevent anyone else from claiming his spot. I don’t know if i’m ready to encourage that.
    The main function of the meshiach nowadays is to throw good parties. doesn’t R’Nachman say that or something?

  21. Sam, I think that women that are truly knowledgeable should indeed be part of any future sanhedrin. As far as during niddah status, modern technology has given us the phone and they would not have to be present in the meetings to participate.
    Someone earlier mentioned that the sanhedrin would be able to allow meat and milk to be eaten closer together. It is my personal opinion that when the Torah states ‘do not boil kid in it’s mother’s milk’ it means just that and see no problem with eating kosher meat with kosher dairy.

  22. The following articles about the re-established Sanhedrin were written in a much more informative manner than the Jpost piece, which was written by a guy who makes a living out of following around Kach guys and characterizing anything hey express an interest in as “largely made up of Kahane-supporters.” The Sanhedrin is a reunification of the Jewish people. Check it out y’all:

  23. My brother isn’t from Muncacz, sorry, he’s from the Yid HaKadosh…
    his great uncle married the Minchas Elazar’s daughter and the current Muncacz Rebbe is our mother’s first cousin.
    And Daniel is the only boy in the immediate family, though there are many cousins.
    As for animal sacrifice, yeh, it’s a good thing, animals aren’t people though people try to be animals…

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