Opening the Gates
After a while, the kohanim opened up the gates again. It was our turn to enter the courtyard with our lamb!
Pilgrims Approach the Courtyard with their Offerings
We weren't the only ones hurrying to get started!
Entering the Courtyard
The kohanim (priests) allowed us to enter into the Courtyard, one group at a time. When one group was finished, another would enter. All the while, the Levites stood on their platform and sounded blasts from their shofars, (rams' horns), and silver trumpets.
The Levitical Choir
The Levitical choir also included singers and musicians who played on trumpets, harps, lyres, and cymbals. They sang the festive Hallel songs of thanksgiving. Everyone who had entered with their Passover offering, also joined in and sang along. When we finished the Hallel, we would start all over again!
I helped my Saba and my Aba bring the lamb to the place where it would be slaughtered.
Ritual Slaughter of the Lamb
Now we were ready to perform the ritual slaughter of the lamb.
Passing the Mizrak
The kohanim (priests) formed a line so that once the blood was drained into the mizrak, they could pass it from one to the next, all the way to the altar.
Pouring the Blood onto the Base of the Altar
The last kohen (priest) in line would pour the blood onto the base (yesod) of the altar.
Climbing the Altar
My Saba and I watched as the kohanim (priests) climbed up the altar carrying pieces of our offerings to be roasted on the altar fire.
Burning the Offering
The kohen (priest) climbed to the top of the altar, and threw the parts that we were forbidden to eat into the altar fire.
Skinning the Carcass
The kohen (priest) then took our lamb, and attached it to a special marble post, where he skinned the carcass.
Preparing the Passover Offerings
There weren't enough marble posts for all the pilgrims, so some people used a wooden stick to improvise a makeshift post.
Leaving the Temple Courtyard
It was a lot of work to prepare our korban Pesach, (Pascal offering), but now Saba and I were on our way to roast our lamb in a specially prepared oven just for this purpose.
Washing the Temple Courtyard
As we rushed back to our courtyard oven, Saba explained to me that after everybody's Passover offering had been slaughtered, the kohanim would need to to wash down the Courtyard with water.
Preparing to Roast our Offering
We carried our offering back to the courtyard where we had prepared the oven for roasting it.