Someone told me years ago that animal sacrifice was part of the religious practices of the Jews. I was shocked at the time because I didn't know much
about spiritual things at that time. It seemed at variance with my idea of what Jews were about, i.e., law, business, education, the professions,
bourgeois values of property, respectability, maintaining appearances, etc. At the time the Jews as an ethnic group were so far off my radar that I
didn't even associate them with wealth, particularly. Kosher pickles, yes, money no. Woody Allen yes, Baron Rothschild no.
Years later, really a lifetime later, I realized that the Jews were part of a world wide, humanity spanning conviction that sacrificing a living being
whether human or animal is taken to be a very thoughtful and even, as the French say, sympathique
overture to the world of the spirit. Notice
is taken of the gesture. This is the practical experience of generations of religious people of every stripe. The real issue is who or what is
Some religions make substitutions for a living being when they sacrifice, such as, among others, bread and wine for body and blood.
adherents of religions which make substitutions believe that the substitutions are just as effective. Religions that make substitutions are likely to
believe that taking life produces bad consequences, or that their deity would not be impressed by the gift of a spirit through execution.
It is not hard to see how at variance animal sacrifice is with the popular (sympathetic) notion of what a Jew is. Animal sacrifice has not been as
well publicized as the holocaust, for example, although, surely, there is ample means to do so. There must be consciousness, within the Jewish
community, of a problem with that practice, or at least an acknowledgement, tacit or otherwise, that this practice might present public relations
problems, perhaps even among Jews themselves. Is it at the root of Jewish factionalism, such as it is? I don't know.
edit on 3-2-2011 by
ipsedixit because: (no reason given)