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What is the meaning of the lamb on Pesach? Is it seen as an offer or is it rather the traditional/prescribed meal?

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    check out Exodus 12
    – Joel K
    May 18, 2023 at 13:36
  • It could be a sheep or a goat.
    – James Read
    May 18, 2023 at 14:18
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    The meaning Christians employ is that Jesus died for our sins as in a sin offering. The pascal "lamb" however was not a sin offering, and can't be replaced with anything other the animal, certainly not a human. It was an offering that accompanies a celebration of a festival and is meant to bring joy, which is why we all had a mitzva to eat all of it. So this idea is probably completely off topic to Judaism as it makes no sense within Torah. If you take out the association with Christianity and just ask about the general meaning of the Pascal lamb that would make it on topic
    – Rabbi Kaii
    May 18, 2023 at 15:19
  • @RabbiKaii not disagreeing with your general point, but there's a mitzvah to eat the exact same parts of most sin offerings.
    – Heshy
    May 18, 2023 at 23:41
  • Am not asking about Christianity, but about the meaning of the lamb on Pesach in Judaism, without any Christian interpretation. That's why I asked here. I have edited the question taking out the reference to Christian teachings so that it can be re-opended.
    – Jeschu
    May 19, 2023 at 9:37

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@JoelK said: Exodus 12:

יהוה said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months; it shall be the first of the months of the year for you. Speak to the community leadership of Israel and say that on the tenth of this month each of them shall take a lamb to a family, a lamb to a household. But if the household is too small for a lamb, let it share one with a neighbor who dwells nearby, in proportion to the number of persons: you shall contribute for the lamb according to what each household will eat. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a yearling male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep watch over it until the fourteenth day of this month; and all the assembled congregation of the Israelites shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they are to eat it. They shall eat the flesh that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw, or cooked in any way with water, but roasted—head, legs, and entrails—over the fire. You shall not leave any of it over until morning; if any of it is left until morning, you shall burn it. This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly: it is a passover offering to יהוה. For that night I will go through the land of Egypt and strike down every [male] first-born in the land of Egypt, both human and beast; and I will mete out punishments to all the gods of Egypt, I יהוה. And the blood on the houses where you are staying shall be a sign for you: when I see the blood I will pass over you, so that no plague will destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. This day shall be to you one of remembrance: you shall celebrate it as a festival to יהוה throughout the ages; you shall celebrate it as an institution for all time. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the very first day you shall remove leaven from your houses, for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day to the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. You shall celebrate a sacred occasion on the first day, and a sacred occasion on the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them; only what every person is to eat, that alone may be prepared for you. You shall observe the [Feast of] Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your ranks out of the land of Egypt; you shall observe this day throughout the ages as an institution for all time. In the first month, from the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. No leaven shall be found in your houses for seven days. For whoever eats what is leavened, that person—whether a stranger or a citizen of the country—shall be cut off from the community of Israel. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your settlements you shall eat unleavened bread. Moses then summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go, pick out lambs for your families, and slaughter the passover offering. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and to the two doorposts. None of you shall go outside the door of your house until morning. For יהוה, when going through to smite the Egyptians, will see the blood on the lintel and the two doorposts, and יהוה will pass over the door and not let the Destroyer enter and smite your home. “You shall observe this as an institution for all time, for you and for your descendants. And when you enter the land that יהוה will give you, as promised, you shall observe this rite. And when your children ask you, ‘What do you mean by this rite?’ you shall say, ‘It is the passover sacrifice to יהוה, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt when smiting the Egyptians, but saved our houses.’ Those assembled then bowed low in homage. And the Israelites went and did so; just as יהוה had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. In the middle of the night יהוה struck down all the [male] first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sat on the throne to the first-born of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first-born of the cattle. And Pharaoh arose in the night, with all his courtiers and all the Egyptians—because there was a loud cry in Egypt; for there was no house where there was not someone dead. He summoned Moses and Aaron in the night and said, “Up, depart from among my people, you and the Israelites with you! Go, worship יהוה as you said! Take also your flocks and your herds, as you said, and begone! And may you bring a blessing upon me also!”


Is it an offering or not?

@RabbiKaii : The meaning Christians employ is that Jesus died for our sins as in a sin offering. The pascal "lamb" however was not a sin offering, and can't be replaced with anything other the animal, certainly not a human. It was an offering that accompanies a celebration of a festival and is meant to bring joy, which is why we all had a mitzva to eat all of it. @Heshy : there's a mitzvah to eat the exact same parts of most sin offerings.

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    Please check out this article, which deals specifically with your question about whether it is a korban or a general festive mitzva: etzion.org.il/en/holidays/pesach/… (specifically the one that was done in Egypt, not the Korban Pesach that was brought in the Beit HaMikdash)
    – Rabbi Kaii
    May 19, 2023 at 14:36
  • @RabbiKaii As I understand Prof. Yonatan Grossman, he says that it is indeed korban, the difference being that at the time this was decreed, the tabernacle hadn't been build. If you agree, feel free to edit the wiki above.
    – Jeschu
    May 20, 2023 at 21:20

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