This year, as a special pre-Pesach treat, the Temple Institute has teamed up with world renowned Michelin Star Chef Yochanan Lambiase, who in a short, five minute video, guides the viewer through three scrumptious Passover recipes and then unveils THE Passover recipe that you DON’T want to miss!

Wherever you are celebrating Passover this year, you will want to see this video!

The intended climax of the Seder is the moment when all participants eat a small amount of the Passover offering (an amount called a k’zayit) wrapped with charoseth and bitter herbs (lettuce) in a mazta. This is known as the ‘Hillel sandwich’ after the beloved sage Hillel, who lived more than 2,000 years ago, who established this practice. This is the fulfillment of the Torah commandment to prepare and eat the Korban Pesach (Passover offering) ‘together with matza and bitter herb’ (Ex. 12:8). The Hillel sandwich eaten during the time of the Holy Temple no doubt bore a great resemblance to Chef Yochanan’s kosher-for-Passover ‘lamb burrito!’

Chef Yochanan Lambiase heralds from five generations of chefs from Southern Italy. He trained under some of the most famous Michelin Star Chefs in the world. He was the founder of the Jerusalem Culinary Institute. He currently is the Head Chef of the Ugly Buffalo Mexican Street Grill in Jerusalem. Chef Yochanan has a regularly broadcast radio show and is frequent contributor of cooking articles.

Passover commemorates Israel’s miraculous exodus from Egypt. This extraordinary event marks the birth of Israel as a nation. Forever turning its back on Egyptian idolatry and slavery to foreign domination and culture, the people of Israel headed towards Mount Sinai and its eternal covenant with G-d towards its destiny of becoming “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:6).

Passover is one of the three biblical pilgrimage festivals. In the time of the Holy Temple, the entire nation ascends to Jerusalem for Passover, to the hallowed court of the Temple. Today many Jews hold a traditional Passover seder on the first night of the festival. The beautiful celebration, a time of family, tradition, and renewal, recalls the legacy of freedom that the people of Israel have bequeathed to all humanity. But the focal point of the entire festival – the true meaning and message of Passover – is missing: the eternal covenant of the korban pesach, the Passover offering. The Passover offering is not only the main aspect of the holiday; it is an experience and a Divine commandment that is intrinsically bound up with the national identity of Israel; with who we are as a people. Its importance is preeminent precisely because it represents the Divinely-mandated, perpetual task of Israel: to slaughter all forms of idolatry before the eyes of the world. The freedom from Egyptian bondage goes hand in hand with the responsibility to uproot and destroy the idolatry which holds humanity back from realizing its potential.

According to Torah law, there is nothing preventing the Jewish people from renewing the Passover offering today, even in a state of impurity and even before the Holy Temple is rebuilt. Contemporary kohanim are eligible to attend to the service, and a minimal size altar can be quickly constructed on the Temple Mount in its proper spot. Indeed, the Passover offering can be the first step in the reestablishment of the service of the Holy Temple in its entirety. The halachic (Torah law) requirements and criteria that need to be fulfilled are all within reach. It is only the political level that prevents this from becoming reality. Today, there is a great awakening within the nation of Israel towards the renewal of the Passover offering. A public ‘practice drill’ held annually before the festival, whose goal is to educate and prepare the Jewish people for the renewal of the offering, attracts many thousands of participants, demonstrating the great reawakening of the people of Israel towards the significance of the Passover offering.

Please find Chef Yochanan Lambiase’s recipes and to learn more about the Korban Pesach here.

Chag Pesach Kasher Ve Sameach!