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Sacrifice to God only or other beings.


Rabbi David Sperling

Adar II 24, 5774
In Judaism are all sacrifices to be offered to God alone or sacrifices can be offered to other beings like angels, saints, or others with authority from God like Moses and all other great prophets?
Shalom, Thank you for your interesting question. The sacrificial service is certainly a major part of the Jewish faith – see for example much of the book of Leviticus in the Bible. We have very clear guidelines for sacrificing, including detailed laws of where, when, who and how each type of sacrifice is to be offered up. It is very clear that scarifies may only be offered up to God alone. Since the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, nearly 2000 years ago, we have not been able to offer any sacrifices. Until the Temple is rebuilt we use the vehicle of prayer as a replacement to scarifies. Here too we are very careful to only pray to God alone, and not any other spiritual being. This is perhaps the central theme of Judaism – the understanding of the Unity of One God alone, and the education of humanity away from the lure of idol worship which plays on the urge of man to bribe "the gods" with sacrifices and promises, rather than strive towards self-improvement and true spiritual growth. Blessings.
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