I seem to recall hearing that the Rambam stated somewhere that animal sacrifices were not necessary from G-d's point of view, but that He decided to institute them because of what the Israelites were used to. Anyone know which text this is or if I've miss attributed it?


The Rambam writes as much in Moreh Nevochim 3:32. It is slightly expanded upon in 3:46.

As an aside, it should be considered with the Rambam at the end of Hilchos Me'ila, which many understand to be a contradiction to that. (For a brief discussion of this point, see here, although it's far from a complete treatment of the issue.)

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