I was listening to a homily and here is what the priest said:

"You would travel with your family to Jerusalem and you would have either brought a lamb or you would have acquired a lamb and what you do is live with that lamb in your home, the lamb would not leave your house, the lamb had to be good, spotless, male, unblemished; the lamb would live in your house, typically eating from your table for one week. Why? So that you would begin to love the lamb, so that this is not just some anonymous sacrifice..."

My issue is about the lamb "eating from your table" part of that preaching. I understand that the priest was trying to make a point and the homily was great. I can take that it might be possible that, in Jewish tradition, an animal might be able to stay inside a house temporarily. However, I understand that Jewish people were obsessed with purity and it just seems fair to believe that having an animal eat from your table might have been deemed as improper.

So my questions are:

  1. Is it possible that Jewish people would keep a lamb inside their house, have them eat from their table, during one week prior to sacrifice?
  2. Are there any reliable resources that support or correct this assertion?
  • 'Eating from your table' does not necessarily require us to think of hooves holding a knife and fork. I think the preacher means 'eating food from your table' and is trying to convey the (limited but real) intimacy of having a lamb at home for a week. I think the lamb is on the floor eating stuff dropped from the table. – Nigel J Nov 24 '18 at 12:40
  • @NigelJ I do get that this has the attributes of figurative speech and (just for the record) I am well aware that a lamb would not be literally having its head on the table while the family was eating. However, having it constantly around just implies that at some point it would be in physical contact with the people in the house, not excluding while eating. I am no expert but this just appears "improper" by old testament logic... – jrojasqu Nov 24 '18 at 15:19
  • Shearing a sheep requires intimate contact with the animal. So does shedding lambs from ewes. I don't see a problem, myself. – Nigel J Nov 24 '18 at 19:04

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