Your average Jews in Temple times did not go participate actively in the regularly scheduled Temple offerings. For them, probably the biggest sacrificial experience of the year was the Korban Pesach on 14 Nissan afternoon. It is one of the two positive commandments in the Torah (along with Brit Milah) that have a punishment of Karet (Mishna Kereitot 1:1), women are obligated in it despite its being a positive time bound commandment (Rambam KP 1:1), it has a second opportunity to be brought (Numbers 9), and seems in Tanakh to be a central part of a Jew's religious experience. 14 Nissan was seen as a holiday, with its own prohibition on Chametz (Pesachim 5a), a prohibition on doing labor (Pesachim 50), and Hallel being recited in the Temple (Pesachim 64) accompanied by flutists (Arachin 10).

The Talmud (Brachot 26b) tells us that the prayer services enacted by Chazal were based on the Temple sacrifices (hence, the existence of an extra "Musaf" prayer on days when there was a Korban Musaf).

Why did Chazal not enact a liturgical commemoration of the Korban Pesach on 14 Nissan? There could have been an extra Amida said after Mincha (a pseudo-Musaf). There could have been a Torah reading (with Haftarah?) at Mincha. There could have been a public Hallel.

(I'm aware that some recite collections of verses related to the Korban Pesach and study some associated laws on 14 Nissan afternoon. This is a practice which significantly postdates the Talmud. Its existence enhances my question: clearly all those people think such a commemoration is necessary or at least reasonable. Why wasn't it legislated?)

Given the central value of this Korban and its being brought in such a communal fashion (Exodus 12:3-4, 12:47-49; Pesachim 64a, 65b, 76b, 91a; Rambam KP 1:3, 1:9-11; etc.), I would like to see more than "technically it's a Korban Yachid" in an answer.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 2:17
  • the modern day seder remembers the kardon pesach
    – Dude
    Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 3:18
  • 1
    @Dude Not really. Frankly, we explicitly remove many references to the KP at the Seder (the Mah Nishtana question is an obvious example). Why is there no Piyut אשרי עין ראתה כל אלה to be said at Tzafun? No Yehi Ratzon שנעלה ונראה ונעשה חובותינו בבית בחירתך? In any event, Seder night is when it was eaten, not offered. The offering is the Mitzva that has Kareit (not the eating), and it is the one that was done publicly in the Temple. Plus from Tisha Bav we learn that the beginning of the event is when we hold the commemoration.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 3:21
  • avrahambenyehuda.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/…
    – Double AA
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 4:12
  • groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rohav-lashon/QSUzBsv2TCQ has a full set of piyutim for mincha 14 nissan.
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 16:03

1 Answer 1


Some possible answers (unsourced; edits are welcome):

  • The korban pesach, despite its peculiarities, is an individual korban (group, actually; but anyhow not a single animal for the entire nation.)

    (OK, the entire nation can combine as a single group, but the korban is effective because of the group, not because of the nation.)

  • The korban pesach is kodoshim kalim. (On second thought, would this matter at all?)

  • The korban pesach is brought after the afternoon korban tamid, so the hypothetical additional tefilla would be after mincha; this is sufficiently different from tefillas mussaf that it was never enacted.

  • Sufficient remembrance of the korban pesach is included in the seder.

Consider also that the correspondence of tefillos to korbanos dates back to when the Temple stood, to the communal prayers of the ma‘amados. Would the ma‘amados have done anything corresponding to the korban pesach? During the rest of the year only the week’s ma‘amad sent representatives to Yerushalaim, but for the korban pesach everyone in the entire nation who could make it was obligated to do so; would the ma‘amad have considered this korban so specific to themselves that those staying home would have a tefilla corresponding to it?

Assuming I’m correct regarding the ma‘amados, the other reasons I listed would suffice that no new tefilla would have been established.

  • Did you read my entire post, or just the bolded line? Using such categories regarding the Korban Pesach is not obvious at all (note its absence from Temurah 2:1; additionally the Yerushalmi (Pesachim 6:1) calls KP a Korban Tzibbur). IAE please source your both your sentences (the former of which, at least, seems inaccurate: no Tefillah corresponds to the lone lamb offered on 16 Nissan AFAIK).
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 3:07
  • Note too R Natan (Pesachim 78b) holds one animal for the entire nation would be sufficient.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 3:32
  • @DoubleAA: This would be a chabura that just happened to include everybody, right? Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 10:18
  • Yes (he holds eating isn't Me'akeiv). We have similar statements about a Sukkah for everyone (Sukkah 27b). Requiring more than one animal seems to just be in order to have sufficient meat so everyone can eat a Kezayit. Think of it like multiple Korbanot Tzibbur scaled to provide enough meat.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 14:25
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    @J.C.Salomon re "cannot see how to withdraw an answer via the app": Is your intention to delete this answer? I can do that for you if you wish to but find yourself unable to.
    – msh210
    Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 8:27

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