Orthodox Judaism/Elijah's sacrafice


In the Bible it says that Sacrifices are only to be offered in the Temple, yet, Elijah offered a sacrifice on Mount Carmel that was accepted by God. Also Samuel offered Sacrifices in places other than the Temple, why is that and how do their situations differ from us today (ie, if they offered sacrifices outside the Temple, why can't we?)

Hi Marcus,

Once the Temple was erected one was not allowed to bring sacrifices elsewhere but when the Tabernacle stood in Shilo, one was allowed to bring them elsewhere and that is why Samuel was able to bring offerings where he did.  As to Elijah, this was a one time command by G-d because of the urgent need that allowed him to do so even though the Temple stood and is normally forbidden.

As for today, the prohibition for bringing them elsewhere was never lifted even though the Temple got destroyed.  We are unable to bring sacrifices on Temple Mount today because we are all "tomei" (spiritually unclean) and are prohibited to enter the area and in addition, the sacrifice would be made unfit via this uncleanliness (even if all the nations were to agree to allow us to do so, which is very unlikely).  If we were to bring the sacrifice elsewhere the same thing happens, we would render them unfit because of the uncleanliness.


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David Rosenblum


I am an ex-student of yeshiva and I like to be presented with Torah study problems. If you have studied the Torah and have questions on the subject matter, I want to hear about it. I am not a Rabbi and not qualified to decide halachic issues. I am still interested in halachic questions for which I can sometimes offer general guidelines or present decisions in halachic works such as Mishna Berurah. I welcome questions from non-Jewish people but I cannot respond to religious references that are not part of Judaism. If you are working on a paper or doing research and want general information on a Jewish subject, I may or may not satisfy your need, depending on how comfortable I am with the question. If you have a personal problem, I am not qualified to help you but I will do what I can to offer you some assistance.


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