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    When did the sacrifices begin? – Tzav

    Animal sacrifices take up a great deal of the Book of Vayikra and lead to many questions.

    Let’s take the verse (Lev.7:38) which says that God commanded the offerings on Mount Sinai. Did the Israelites institute the sacrifices there and then in the Sinai wilderness, or at some later stage?

    Ibn Ezra posits a series of stages. He says that before arriving at Sinai they did not offer sacrifices because they had no flocks. In the wilderness there were certain sacrifices (the burnt and paschal offerings) which they did not bring. Num. 9:1-5 is an exception concerning the paschal offering in the first year when they had lambs.

    Only years later when the people were circumcised was the annual Pesach offering insisted upon (Josh. 5).

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