Saturday, July 29, 2006

Temple Institute: Living in Security

Living in Security

Av 3, 5766/July 28, 2006

"But you shall soon cross the Jordan and live in the land that G-d your Lord is allotting you. When He has granted you safety from all your enemies around you, and you live in security, there will be a site that G-d will choose as the place for His name to rest there."
Deuteronomy 12:10 - 11

Still surrounded by enemies, Israel today is waging war on two fronts. Broken promises and empty threats and Israel's northern (Lebanon) border and southern (Gaza) border have erupted. Israel seems to have awakened to the acute existential threat posed by these two enemies, (Hamas and Hezbollah), each of them proxies for the fascist Islamic government of Iran. But has Israel's secular leadership awakened to the existential threat posed by their estrangement from the land of Israel, the Torah of Israel, and the G-d of Israel? Will forcing her enemies back and buying time prove anything but a dangerous illusion if the decision makers in Israel don't return to the Torah values that have protected and propelled this people forward for more than three thousand years? Of what value is "security" if Israel isn't determined to be "the place for His name to rest there." Can this nation be secure if we don't make room for G-d to dwell amongst us?

This past week's double Torah reading of parashot Matot and Ma'asei, which close out the book of Bemidbar - Numbers: what motivated the tribes of Reuven, Gad and half of Menashe to request to graze their livestock and raise their children in the land and cities east of the Jordan River? Why did Moses grow angry at their proposal? What can we learn today from the book of Numbers, known also as "the book of mistakes" in reference to the many errors committed by the Israelites during their desert sojourn?

Listen to this week's TEMPLE TALK as Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven discuss the situation in Israel today, in light of the life lessons the Torah bequeaths us, and the promise the Torah holds out for us:

"Oh that My people would hearken unto Me, that Israel would walk in My ways!
I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn My hand against their adversaries.
The haters of HaShem should dwindle away before Him; and their punishment should endure for ever.
They should also be fed with the fat of wheat; and with honey out of the rock would I satisfy thee.'"

(Psalms 81:14 - 17)

All things are in place for next Thursday's (Aug. 3rd) premier of Light to the Nations, Rabbi Chaim Richman's new online weekly video webcast. Beginning a series of Holy Temple related studies, Rabbi Richman will be discussing Tish'a B'av, the 9th of Av fast over the destruction of the Holy Temple. To learn more about Light to the Nations, please click here. To learn more about the destruction of the Second Temple and two thousands years of remembering, praying for, and working towards rebuilding the Holy Temple, please click here.

May G-d soon "turn (our) mourning into dancing... loosen (our) sackcloth, and gird (us) with gladness..." (Psalm 30:12)

Yitzchak Reuven

PO Box 31876
Jerusalem, Israel 97500

Monday, July 24, 2006

Is Germany in Danger of Backsliding?

Germany's "conversion" from Nazism to democracy was forced on it by the victors of WWII.

We left it up to the Germans to "deNazify" their country! Now Germany appears to be backsliding as the Nazi German spirit is beginning to stir again, getting ready to...

Is Germany in Danger of Backsliding?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Responsibility Of An Israeli Government And Its Army

By Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, Rosh Yeshiva [Chairman] of Yeshivat Nir Kiryat Arba [religious school near Hebron]
July 19, 2006

I must begin by expressing that our hearts are with our soldiers on both the northern and southern fronts, and our prayers beseech the Almighty to protect them so that they all return home safely.

Also, we implore the God of Israel to grant wisdom to our leaders so they have the courage to make the decisions that will achieve the goal of destroying our enemies. In times of war, the Jewish people’s secret weapon is the power of unity. Thank God this power is the active driving force in Israel today.

As we reflect on what has happened to us these past few weeks, we must not stop ourselves from recognizing and analyzing the weaknesses and mistakes that brought us to such alarming circumstances. Going back to the Yom Kippur War, I cannot remember a situation where our enemies succeeded in humiliating us by invading our sovereign territory, killing and kidnapping soldiers – and this despite the fact that intelligence sources specifically warned of such intentions.

The best way to express my feelings as an introduction to the harsh words and thoughts burning within me is by quoting Rav Kook, who wrote: I am lifting my voice loudly not because I have the strength to speak, but because I don’t have the strength to keep silent.

I believe that for years the leadership has been weakening the army. The IDF is highly technological and ultra-modern in its weaponry but its leaders depress the morale of the troops and suppress their motivation. It began with Oslo – creating the illusion of peace and turning our worst enemies, whose goal is to destroy us, into so-called partners for peace. And all this was done while blinding our people, especially our soldiers, to the reality of the evil intentions of these “peace partners.”

When an army created to protect the land and people of Israel is inculcated with distorted codes of morality which suddenly dictate that foes are friends, the result is confusion – the illusion of peaceful borders and an inability to recognize the enemy. The tragic events on the Gaza border and the endless barrage of deadly rockets on the North are direct results of that confusion and illusions of peace.

There can be no greater distortion of Jewish values and confusion planted into the hearts of our soldiers than when disengagement – meaning the uprooting of Jewish communities and synagogues – becomes Zionist policy. This situation has created a mentality that weakens motivation and alertness, which are so essential in preventing disastrous mistakes like those which preceded the Hamas and Hizbullah infiltration, kidnapping and murder of soldiers.

All the recent humiliating military failures stem from the uncertain policymaking of Israeli leaders in recent years. Specifically, there are three policy concepts – illusions, really – that express a basic misunderstanding of the responsibilities of a government surrounded by enemies bent on its destruction.

First illusion: By disengaging from our enemy and from our land which our enemy claims, we will lessen the friction and achieve peace. No one heeded our warnings that by fleeing from our enemies, yielding parts of our homeland and uprooting Jewish life, our enemies would be stimulated to attack us even more. Historically, Zionism always held that the best way to strengthen the Jewish position was by building up our settlements and communities in Eretz Yisrael.

Second illusion: By building a fence we will ensure security and the enemy will be unable to attack us. The truth is, rockets can be fired over the fence and tunnels can be dug under it. The intention of our enemies has never changed. They mean to destroy us.

Third illusion: They will remain there and we will remain here and never the twain shall meet. We have heard our leaders expressing this “logical “ philosophy to justify disengagement and building fences. How silly not to understand that the enemy on the other side will continue to seek the annihilation of the State of Israel by sending rockets from there to here, as indeed we are experiencing right now.

I do hope that any Israeli leader who has the courage to face reality will be able to recognize the tragic blunder of disengagement – a blunder that has brought the enemy’s rockets to Sderot and Ashkelon.

Can our leaders still dream of and plan another irresponsible crime called “convergence” which will, God forbid, bring the Arab rockets from disengaged areas of Judea and Samaria to our coastal plain – to Tel Aviv, Petach Tikva, Netanya and Ben Gurion Airport – in addition to uprooting 80,000 Jewish men, women and children, synagogues, schools and yeshivot? The very thought of another disengagement is beyond human logic and Jewish morals.

I pray and hope that our leaders have learned their lesson, a very painful one suffered by families bereaved by the loss of their loved ones as we’ve proceeded along this irrational path. How tragic that it took the blind hatred of the Iranian president, implemented by his prodigy Nasrallah in Lebanon, and rockets exploding in the Galilee and Haifa, to awaken the natural national instinct and pride of the Jewish leadership in Israel.

I hope I am not being overly optimistic when I expect our government and armed forces to have the determination and resolve needed to subdue the enemy and obliterate their stockpiles of weapons of destruction. We cannot allow ourselves to be enticed into curtailing this mission by yielding to a ceasefire and negotiations – as we have naively done in the past – which will only allow our enemies to rearm and rebuild their forces of destruction.

We are now in the period called the Three Weeks of mourning for the destroyed Temples which in Hebrew is called bain hamayzarim – between the straits. I have a feeling that we are on the verge of getting out of the narrow straits we have created by deluding ourselves with distorted concepts like disengagement and convergence. If I am correct, we must open our eyes to the divine guidance arousing the Jewish People and its leadership to a revival of Zionist faith, which will bring security and renewed pioneering activity in the Land of Israel.

In place of disengagement, an intense movement of reengagement – reengagement with the Land of Israel, reengagement with the Jewish People, reengagement with the God of Israel, reengagement with the destiny of Zionism.

Instead of uprooting thousands of Jews from our land, we must deepen the roots of Jewish faith and Zionist fervor in the soil of our holy land of Israel.

Hopefully this will bring us to the ultimate ideal of “Lamentations” which we read on Tisha b’Av: Bring us back to you, O Lord, and we shall return. Renew our days as of old.

Israeli Sheeple & Nazi-Muslims

Israeli Jews could Learn from Christian Zionists

Shimon Peres has No Clothes: Where's the Peace?

Germany Moves Closer to Jerusalem

Peretz OKs NATO Force in South Lebanon
14:25 Jul 23, '06 / 27 Tammuz 5766
by Hana Levi Julian

Defense Minister Amir Peretz approved the use of NATO forces in south Lebanon Sunday morning in a meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The German foreign minister was first on a list of several who were scheduled to meet with government officials today as they work to open a political front alongside the current military operation.

“Due to the weakness of the Lebanese army, we support the deployment in south Lebanon of a multi-national force with broad authority,” said Peretz. The Defense Minister told reporters after the meeting that the force would be comprised of NATO soldiers...


It's quite telling that Germany was the first to be told that Israel will accept their NATO wolves in sheep's clothing, "peacekeeping" troops, ready to enter Israel and ultimately provide an alleged buffer zone around Jerusalem...before brutally betraying Israel and occupying Jerusalem. How deaf, dumb and blind can the Israelis be? God help us to warn them!

EU to Conquer Anglo-Saxons and Jews

UN Resolution 181: Blueprint of the Beast?

The Great Mideast Commission: Reaching the Cities of Judah

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar wrote a letter to Israeli soldiers and civilians in the north the following letter. He began his letter from the book of Deuteronomy:

"'Listen Israel, you draw near today to do battle against your enemies; let not your hearts faint; fear not and do not tremble nor be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is he that goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to save you.'

"The Jewish people hope for peace and pursue peace, and call to our enemies to make peace. But when our enemies respond with fire and columns of smoke, and come on horse and chariot, we invoke the name of the Lord our God, and stand strong and heroic, fearless and steadfast, because not in our swords do we put our trust but in the name of the Lord we rise up and stand emboldened and God provides redemption

"All members of Israel, where they may be, are obligated to gather and to stand up for themselves, to remove all iniquities and sins from among us, whether sins against our neighbor or sins against God; we will search them out and return to the Lord our God, especially in this difficult time as it is written, 'When you go out to encamp against your enemies, keep yourself from every evil thing…For the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore shall your camp be holy that He see no unclean thing in you and turn away from you.'

"Let us strengthen our faith so as to give life to our souls, and let us put our trust in the Lord, God of Israel's battles, and He will overcome our enemies. God's redemption is as quick as the blink of an eye."


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Temple Institute: "My covenant of peace"

"My covenant of peace"
Numbers 25:12

Tammuz 22, 5766/July 18, 2006

"Disproportionate" response. This is the disapproving buzzword being bandied about by the international community these days concerning Israel's military response to the murderous attacks against the state of Israel by those who hate the G-d of Israel and the people of Israel. Without relating to the duplicitous nature of these words, the absurdity of the claim being made, or the cynical hypocrisy hiding behind the accusation, a "disproportionate" response to an evil being perpetrated is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, this past week's Torah reading, Pinchas, (Numbers 25:10 - 30:1), teaches us that a "disproportionate" response, when applied at the right time for the right reasons, is prized by G-d. Therefore, Pinchas, who stepped forth and skewered the two sinners, Zimri, an Israelite prince of the tribe of Shimeon, and Cozbi, a Midianite princess, was rewarded by G-d with "My covenant of peace." (Numbers 25:12) Moreover, Pinchas' swift action stayed the plague that was consuming the children of Israel as a direct result of their consorting with the enemy, and saved the nation from destruction, even as they stood east of Jericho, poised to enter the land.

We don't live in an age of prophecy, and even a child can glean the message being broadcast here: the swift and even brutal destruction of evil is a prerequisite for good to flourish. Recent Israeli governments, enacting the counsel of Bilaam, the heathen prophet, have armed the enemies of Israel, empowered their infrastructures of terror, abandoned the citizens of the north, exposing them to the deadly designs of the Hezbollah murderers, forced the good Jews of Gaza from their homes and livelihoods, and exposed the citizens of the south to murderous hatred spewing forth from Gaza. Barely one year after the infamous expulsion of 10,000 Jews from areas of the Holy Land deemed by self-proclaimed post-Zionists to be forevermore devoid of Jewish (Torah) presence, it is payback time. Whatever must be done to rout our enemies, and rid the people of Israel of the plague of self-deception and self-destruction, is self-evident and necessary.

Listen to this week's Temple Talk as Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven explore the inner meaning of the "covenant of peace" forged between G-d and Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron the High Priest. Discover the bond between the zealous Pinchas and Elijah the prophet who lives to this day [DBA - I believe Elijah is dead and buried]. Rabbi Richman also discusses the two inseparable "sides" of the Torah, the written Torah and the oral Torah.

We are pleased to announce the new online illustrated study of The Priestly Garments. This in-depth article describes the Torah requirements for the priestly garments, their special manner of manufacture, and the inner significance of each of the garments. The Priestly Garments can be accessed either through the Study Tools section or directly, by clicking here.

The Temple Institute is officially entering into the medium of internet TV. The first webcast of Rabbi Richman's Torah teaching show, Light to the Nations, will premier on August 3rd - the 9th of Av. A new chapter of the half-hour teaching will be aired each Thursday. To learn more about Light to the Nations and to view a brief introduction, please click here.

We would like to thank all whose support has made these new educational features possible.

May G-d grant the nation of Israel the strength and vision to repel our enemies and unite as one people in the way of Torah.

Yitzchak Reuven

PO Box 31876
Jerusalem, Israel 97500

Pope John Paul II Was No Saint

Pope John Paul II Was No Saint
By David Ben-Ariel

Beware Roman wolves in sheep's clothing!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Beware European Mediation in the Middle East!

Germany asked to mediate in Middle East-magazine

Europe Looks To Mediate In Raging Middle East Conflict


EU to Conquer Anglo-Saxons and Jews

Paint Israel Black: Jews to Lose Jerusalem!

UN Resolution 181: Blueprint of the Beast?

Beginning of Gog and Magog War

Israel is Attacked Again by Missiles and Other Weapons With the Backing of Arab and Islamic Countries-The G-d of Israel and His Faithful Israeli Soldiers will Win this Battle as Well

Israel is Now in the Beginning of the End-Time Gog and Magog War - The Rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem and the Coming of the Mashiach ben David is Behind the Door

As these words are being written Israel is being attacked by two evil terrorist organizations. Israel is being attacked from Gaza in the southwest by the Hamas terrorist organization and from Lebanon in the north by the Hezbollah terrorist organization.

These two evil terror organizations are fighting against Israel with the backing of Iran and Syria especially and other nations which arm them with missiles and other kinds of weapons. Missiles are shot from both sides on Israeli towns and cities.

Israel is again paying a price of blood for protecting the holy land of the G-d and the people of Israel and the end-time godly event that is taking place in Israel. This is another war against Israel with one clear goal: To destroy Israel and to push the Israeli nation into the Mediterranean.

These evil terrorist organizations have the backing of the Arab and Islamic countries and other countries in the world. Together they prepare even much more heavy weapons including nuclear bombs and chemical missiles directed at Israel. They know and understand that Israel is the only obstacle before their goal to occupy all the world especially the western world and to make it an Islamic world.

Israel is now again fighting against so many enemies and their terror agents of Hamas and Hezbollah. It is not only a battle for survival and protecting our fathers and mother, sisters and brothers against an inhumane cruel enemy that their religion is calling for murder, hatred and destruction. This is a battle for protecting the major godly event which is taking place in Israel now: The rebuilding of the Kingdom of G–d, His values and morals in the holy land that G–d gave to His chosen people Israel in an eternal covenant.

This is a major godly event which will be an opening for the redemption of all mankind based on G-d's values and morals at a time when it is so needed. Israel will again win this battle. The small Israel will overcome this difficult time. As it was in the biblical times the G–d of Israel, the Creator of the Universe, is fighting together with the Israeli soldiers against the messengers of the devil.

These evil powers want to destroy what G–d is doing with Israel at these critical times and to eliminate not only Israel but the great hope for all the world for a better mankind. They have illusions that they can win the battle against G–d and His people Israel. They never learned from their own experience and experience of other evil powers throughout the history of Israel that believed that they can destroy the G–d and the people of Israel.

They were all defeated by the G–d of Israel and His Israeli soldiers and have disappeared completely under the judgement of G–d from the stage of history. The same will be their destiny now as G–d promised to His people Israel through her great prophets. They have no chance. Who can challenge the G–d of Israel and the Universe and His Israeli soldiers who swore to dedicate and give their lives for their beloved G–d, His Word that He gave them in the Torah and the holy wonderful land that He gave them forever?

G–d promised Israel that His eyes, His heart and His attention will be day and night on His people Israel and their Promised Land to protect and save them from any enemy that will come to destroy His beloved wife Israel. This is not the first war against Israel and not, as we see, the last of them. This is another stage in the end-time war against Israel that started in 1948 and it is coming closer and closer to its climax.

Israel together with the G–d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is ready to face this actual war and this that is going to come, the end-time war which as G-d called it through His prophet Ezekiel "the Gog and Magog War" (please read Ezekiel 38 & 39, Zechariah 12 & 14, and Joel 4).

The victory belongs to the G–d of Israel and the Universe who is determined to complete His major end-time event which is called Israel and to bring to pass the eternal cause and mission that He gave to His chosen people Israel: To be a holy nation, a kingdom of priests, a treasure and a light to all the nations.

Israel is now experiencing one of the most critical stages in the process of Redemption, the exciting process that the G-d of Israel is leading in the last century, especially since the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948.

This is, as I said above, another stage in the beginning of the end-time war, the Gog and Magog War, against Israel. As G-d promised this end-time war against Israel will be the last stage before the climax of this process and the most exciting part of it: The building of the end-time Temple of G-d on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to be a house of prayer, worship and love for Israel and all mankind and the coming of the end-time Messenger of G-d, Mashiach ben David.

This will open the time of redemption for all mankind. All the friends and the lovers of the G-d of Israel and His people Israel which are now facing another evil war from evil enemies are called to stand with and encourage her at this critical moment, all those wonderful brothers and sisters all over the world are called to stand with, help and encourage the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement that fulfills a major part in this campaign and even more so in the near future, and G-d will bless those who bless Israel as He promised.

Gershon Salomon
Chairman, Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement

Temple Mount Faithful
4 Yochanan Horkanos
P.O. Box 18325
91182 Jerusalem
TEL: +972(2)625-1112
TEL/FAX: +972(2)625-1113

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Beware Roman Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

How some are so easily fooled! National Perspective, written by David Shribman, a Jew, heaps praise upon Pope John Paul II in A Pope for All People. A pope for all people? As if he were God's greatest gift to mankind, especially to Jews (truly anti-Christ, vicar, in place or stead of the real Jesus).

Popes are for members of the Roman Catholic cult of Mystery Babylon, as many Protestants once acknowledged (even if they condemned themselves in doing so, as they are daughters of that religious system).

How ominous, considering biblical prophecies warn of an impending interfaith intoxication that will cause many to stumble and fall for another religious world leader in the same bloody Vatican office pretending to be a pope for all peoples.

The plain truth is that the pagan pope (Catholics aren't Christian) was a Roman wolf in sheep's clothing, a politician who spoke out of both sides of his mouth. Remember the popes are both a religious leader and head of state.

By Pope John Paul II's support for an accursed "Palestine" - a perversion of dismembered parts of the Holy Land occupied by Arabs, an artificial division of the Promised Land of ISRAEL (Joel 2:3) - he aided and abetted the Nazi-Muslim goal of the phased destruction of Israel (Ps. 83:4); the pagan pope met with the hardened criminal guilty of shedding the most Jewish blood since Hitler, Herr Arafat, upon Judaism's holiest site, the Temple Mount - polluting it with their unholy presence. (Foreshadowing Europe's imminent wannabe divine emperor and sorcerer-pope defiling the Third Temple?).

The representative of the bloody Vatican, infamous for its RATLINES that helped innumerable Nazis escape justice, failed to release the silver and the gold, the Temple treasures that are held hostage in the chambers of the Vatican, to Jerusalem where they belong, as Gershon Salomon, chairman of the Temple Mount Faithful, and other Jewish leaders, including Israeli Parliament members, requested.

I confess Pope John Paul II spoke pretty platitudes, and appeared to be different, however we're warned even Satan appears as an angel of light and looks can be deceiving, but the bottom line is he's the same old thing: an unrepentant leader of the Roman Catholic Church that covets the Temple Mount; the representative of a monstrous church that continues to dream of a Crusader-Kingdom with Jerusalem as its capital even if it becomes the world's worst nightmare; a false father figure who abused his innocent appeal to call upon Europe to remember their roots, to revive the unholy Roman Empire that will wreak havoc upon all in the name of their Pax Romana, their counterfeit kingdom of God, that won't hesitate to come to power over the dead bodies of anybody who gets in their way.

David Ben-Ariel is a Christian-Zionist writer and author of Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall. With a focus on the Middle East and Jerusalem, his analytical articles help others improve their understanding of that troubled region. Check out the Beyond Babylon blog.

Thursday, July 13, 2006



copyright (c) 2006 by Mr. Yosef Ben Shlomo HaKohen

YERUSHALIYIM, Israelite Tribal Territories of Yehudah and Binyamin, Kingdom of David and Shlomo, United Israelite Kingdom of Yehudah and Yosef, Fast of the Seventeenth of Tammuz, Yom Chamishi, 17 Tammuz, 5766 (Thursday, July 13, 2006), Root & Branch Information Services [] []:

Dear Friends,

Today, the 17th day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, begins a three-week period of contemplation and spiritual renewal. During this period, we remember the loss of our Temple and other related tragedies, past and current, for we wish to rediscover the true purpose of our People in the sacred land of Zion. This period of contemplation and renewal concludes with "Tisha B'Av" -- the Fast of the Ninth of Av. On Tisha B'Av, both the First and Second Temples were destroyed.

The 17th of Tammuz is a fast day, and the purpose of all our fast days is expressed in the Hebrew word "teshuvah" -- a process of spiritual renewal. The root of this Hebrew word is "shuv" -- return, as through this process of renewal, we return to the Compassionate One. Through this process, we also return to our true selves, for we are created in the Divine Image, with the capacity to emulate the Divine love, compassion, justice, and holiness to the best of our human abilities.

As the headlines indicate, we are living in a period of immediate danger. Someone might say that during this dangerous period, we do not have the ability to engage in teshuvah, as we have other priorities. The Prophets of Israel, however, disagree with this view. They stressed that periods of great danger are meant to serve as a Divine wake-up call for personal and collective teshuvah.

The Prophets of Israel also stressed that we should not rely on our military and economic strength to save us, for our true strength comes from the Compassionate One Who took us out of Egypt, gave us the Torah, and brought us to the Promised Land for a spiritual and universal purpose. We will therefore review some excerpts from the haftorah -- portion from the Prophets -- that we read on the 17th of Tammuz and on most other fast days. These excerpts proclaim a loving Divine call for teshuvah, as well as a loving Divine message of hope:

"Seek the Compassionate One in His readiness to be found, call upon Him, for He is indeed near. Let the wicked one forsake his way and the iniquitous person his thoughts; let him return to the Compassionate One Who will have compassion on him; to our God Who is abundantly forgiving. For My thoughts are not your thoughts and your ways are not My ways -- spoke the Compassionate One. As high as the heavens over the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For just as the rain and snow descend from heaven and will not return there without having refreshed the earth, fructified it, and furthered its growth that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall be My word that emanates from My mouth: It will not return to Me unfulfilled without having accomplished what I desired and having brought success to where I sent it. For in joy shall you go out and in shalom shall you arrive; the mountains and the hills will break out in glad song before you, and the trees of the field will clap hands".

[Yeshayahu/Isaiah 55:6-12]

In the next brief excerpt, we are reminded of certain Torah precepts that are central to the process of our teshuvah, including "tzedakah" -– the sharing of our resources with those in need, and the mitzvah of Shabbos -- a mitzvah which reminds us that the earth and its resources belong to the Compassionate One:

"Thus said the Compassionate One: Guard justice and do tzedakah, for My salvation is soon to come and My tzedekah to be revealed. Happy is the person who does this and the person who grasps it tightly; who guards the Shabbos against desecrating it and guards his hand against doing any evil".

[Yeshayahu/Isaiah 56:1-2]

In the next excerpt, we find messages of hope for converts, as well as for people who are unable to have children. The converts who accept the Covenant of Torah and its path of mitzvos may wonder if they have a role in the renewal of our People, since they seem to lack roots in the Jewish past. Those without children may wonder if they have a role in the renewal of our People, since they seem to have no share in the Jewish future, as they have not been able to continue the chain of generations. Through the following words of the prophet, the Compassionate One responds to these concerns:

"Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Compassionate One, speak, saying, 'The Compassionate One will utterly separate me from His People'; and let not the barren one say, 'Behold I am a shriveled tree'. For thus said the Compassionate One to the barren ones who observe My Shabboses and choose what I desire, and grasp My covenant tightly: In My house and within My walls I will give them a place of honor and renown, which is better than sons and daughters; eternal renown will I give them, which will never be terminated. And the foreigners who join themselves to the Compassionate One to serve Him and to love the Name of the Compassionate One to become servants unto Him, all who guard the Shabbos against desecration, and grasp My covenant tightly -- I will bring them to My Sacred Mountain, and I will gladden them in My House of Prayer; their elevation-offerings and their feast-offerings will find favor on My Altar, for My House will be called a House of Prayer for all the peoples. Thus said the Master of all, the Compassionate and Just One, Who gathers in the dispersed of Israel: I shall yet gather others unto His gathered ones".

[Yeshayahu/Isaiah 56:3-8]

As the above excerpt indicates, the rebuilt Temple will be known as a "House of Prayer for all the peoples" -- not only for converts who join our People, but for all the peoples who will make the pilgrimage to Zion. During this period of renewal, we are to remember that there will be a universal Divine "harvest" in Zion, as the Compassionate One will gather other peoples together with "His gathered ones" -- the People of Israel.

The current headlines are reflecting a reality which is far removed from this vision. These headlines should not cause us to despair, for the above vision will become the reality!

As the Compassionate One proclaimed:

"For there is yet another hazon -- vision -- for the appointed time; it will speak of the End and it will not deceive. Though it may tarry, await it, for it will surely come; it will not delay".

[Habakkuk 2:3]

May we have a healing and strengthening Shabbos.

Shabbat Shalom from Yerushaliyim,

Mr. Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen

Advisory Board Member, Ecology Fellowship, Root & Branch Association, Ltd.
Advisory Board Member, Social Welfare Fellowship, Root & Branch Association, Ltd.
Author, "The Universal Jew" (Feldheim Publishers)
Editor, Shema Yisrael website: "Hazon: Our Universal Vision"

Related Teachings:

1. Converts have roots in the Jewish past, as our forefathers and foremothers become their spiritual parents. In fact, when a convert is given a Hebrew name, he or she is also called a son or daughter of Avraham and Sarah. For example, a female convert who takes the name "Ruth" is called "Ruth, the daughter of Avraham and Sarah". As Maimonides wrote in his famous letter to Ovadiah, the convert, "Avraham, our father, peace be upon him, is your father!"

2. Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld was a sage of Jerusalem who was known for his love of the Jewish People and all humanity. During his efforts to make peace between Arabs and Jews, he described Zion as, "the Holy Land to which God affords special supervision, from which blessing emanates to the rest of the world, and in which God's prophets foresaw the future happiness of all humanity" ("The Guardian of Jerusalem", page 456). "The Guardian of Jerusalem" is a moving biography of Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld and a history of Jewish life in Zion during the 19th and early 20th centuries. For information on this book, please visit:

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Temple Institute: To Rise up Like a Lion

"[Israel] crouches, lies like a lion, like an awesome lion, who will dare rouse him? Those who bless you are blessed, and those who curse you are cursed."
(Numbers 24:9)

Tammuz 14, 5766/July 11, 2006

This coming Wednesday evening, the 17th day of the month of Tammuz, begins the three week period of mourning during which the nation of Israel increasingly occupies its thoughts with the Holy Temple. The 17th of Tammuz marks a dawn-to-dark fast day. The three week period ends with its climax on the 9th day of Av, the date of the destruction of both Holy Temples, observed as a 25 hour fast. These three weeks are also marked by the observance of various customs of mourning, which progressively intensify in stages from the beginning of the month of Av.

While Jewish law specifically designates this time period as one of mourning, the appellation may be misleading. When a family suffers a loss, the Jewish mourning customs help the mourners to come to grips with their loss, to work their way through it, both physically, spiritually, and emotionally, and ultimately to enable the mourners to return to the fullness of their lives. They are unable to make that return until they "get over" their loss.

These three weeks take on the various aspects of mourning, however, with quite the opposite intention. We are never supposed to "get over" this loss! Mourning the loss of the Holy Temple each year is intended to jar us into realizing that our lives as Jews, as human beings on this earth, cannot and will not return to the fullness that G-d has intended for us, so long as the Holy Temple is not standing on its destined spot on Mount Moriah, and the Divine Service has not been reinstated.

The purpose of the three weeks is not to provide a convenient means with which we can compartmentalize our suffering the loss of the Holy Temple. As Jews and as righteous Gentiles we must use these days for taking personal stock, and for recommitting ourselves toward realizing the vision of Isaiah: "... and My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples." (Isaiah 57:6)

Our sages teach us that three things are acquired with great travail: the knowledge of Torah, the Land of Israel, and the World to Come. Referring to this concept, Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith, the mayor of the Samarian town of Itamar describes how his community has coped with many tragedies over the past six years, including most recently, the murder by terrorists of Eliyahu Asheri, may G-d avenge his blood, and the death of elementary school student Shimon Zwicker, of blessed memory. Nestled in the hills overlooking the Biblical city of Shechem, (Nablus), within eyesight of the tomb of the righteous Joseph, and the tombs of Itamar, the son of the high priest Aaron, Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron, and the seventy elders of the Sanhedrin who entered the land with Yehoshua, this vibrant and resilient community draws its strength from the knowledge of the role they play in the prophetic promise of redemption. (To learn more about the Torah community of Itamar, please click here.)

This past week's Torah reading, Balak, (Numbers 22:2 - 25:9), teaches us that there have always been those among the nations who are bent upon preventing Israel from fulfilling its role in G-d's promise of redemption for all mankind. Bilaam, the greatest heathen prophet to ever walk the earth, assisted by the evil Balak, king of Moav, pulls out all the stops, as it were, in an attempt to curse the Israelite nation. Yet G-d turns the curses into blessings, as the words of the prophet are stymied by the deeds - the performance of the Torah commandments - of the children of Israel.

Tune into this week's Temple Talk, as Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven discuss the three week period of mourning for the Holy Temple, the Torah reading of Balak, and hear from Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith, the mayor of Itamar.

It is our fervent prayer that this year the three weeks of introspection will kindle within the people of Israel a new spirit, and that we shall, at long last, rise up like a lion, give chase to our enemies, and establish, for once and for always, the House of G-d in the holy city of Jerusalem.

Yitzchak Reuven

PO Box 31876
Jerusalem, Israel 97500

EU Propaganda by German Design



INTRODUCTION The EU Commission is handing over the development of its new media strategy to a German firm closely linked to the German Foreign Office and the Bundeswehr. The aim of the plan is to weaken the resistance by the population to the policies of the European Union. The firm offers so-called "integrated communications campaigns" in which content provided by the client is blended into editorial programmes in the they are no longer recognisable as the opinions and assertions of the client.This German PR firm sees journalists as “multipliers”. It is a disgraceful comment on the supine nature of so much journalism that this new Goebbels-like propaganda machine regards journalists as useful idiots and their employers as cost saving relayers of propaganda! With the help of the British Government this new Goebbels will be targeting British schools - despite that being illegal under the 1946 Education Act.

READ THE ARTICLE from the German journalists of translated by Edward Spalton at FREENATIONS

Germany's Fourth Reich Spreads Its Wings Over the World

Germany Behind the Mask: Monster or Marshmallow?

Shimon Peres

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Temple Institute: This is the statute of the Torah"

"This is the statute of the Torah"
(Numbers 19:2)

Tammuz 9, 5766/July 5, 2006

"All this have I tried by wisdom; I said: 'I will get wisdom'; but it was far from me." (Koheleth - Ecclesiastes 7:23)

These are the words of King Solomon, the wisest man that walked the earth. Our sages tell us that what "was far from" him was an understanding of the laws of the red heifer. For all his wisdom, Solomon could not comprehend the ordinance which at the same time could render the impure pure while also rendering the cohen ministering the purifying ashes, impure. The statute of the red heifer, the description of which opens this week's Torah reading of Chukat, (Numbers 19:1 - 22:1), is held up as a symbol of the type of Torah mitzvot known as chukim. Chukim are those commandments whose meaning cannot be derived from human reason or moral imperative. This is precisely because these commandments are an aspect of the perfect, highest will of the Creator and thus their explanation is outside the realm of human comprehension. Although we can understand certain dimensions of meaning, we can never fully comprehend the true nature of these ordinances. Another example of a chok are the laws of kashrut - the determination of which animals can be eaten and how they must be prepared.

What was King Solomon expressing when he admitted, "... but it was far from me?" Disappointment? Dejection? Rejection? Quite the opposite. Ironically, in a fashion that imitates the very conundrum of the red heifer, the ultimate inability to intellectually grasp the essence of the chok of Torah doesn't distance us from G-d, heaven forbid! On the contrary, this very built-in failing, as it were, brings us closer to G-d than any intellectual platitude ever could. For we live by the chok - the incomprehensible statute - not out of reason, or even intuition or faith, but out of love. As the children of Israel said at the foot of Sinai: "We shall do and we shall hear:" We fulfill G-d's command simply because this is His will.

True, this may sound unusual to modern ears. For we in the western world are treated to a daily barrage of messages, all of which boil down to a simple: follow your own desire; your will is king! Yet love - true love - is setting aside your own will, in order to fulfill another's. Every individual reaches a point in his service to G-d where his reason, (his intellect), can no longer keep pace. The resulting distance that King Solomon refers to is inversely the measure of one's closeness to G-d. Love, in the end, outflanks reason, every time.

To learn more about the mystery of the red heifer, with a special emphasis on how these fine philosophical points relate to what is happening in Israel today, listen to this week's TEMPLE TALK broadcast, with Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven. Also discussed are the deaths of Miriam and Aaron, and the true Torah response to the taking of a hostage by the enemies of Israel.

With blessings from Jerusalem,
Yitzchak Reuven

PO Box 31876
Jerusalem, Israel 97500

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Issue of the Temple Mount

The Issue of the Temple Mount
by Rabbi Levi Zipperstein


The common knowledge of our time is that the vast majority of Rabbis of this generation have prohibited the Jewish people from entering the Temple Mount (Har HaBayit), the holiest site in Judaism. The Temple Mount is the site of where the Beit HaMikdash (the Jewish Temple) once stood and the place where the Moslems have erected one mosque, the al-Aqsa and a site of pilgrimage, the Dome of the Rock. The supposed restriction of Jewish entrance imposed by the rabbis has been proclaimed because under usual circumstances, when the Temple is standing, a level of holiness must be attained before permission is granted to a Jew to enter the area. There are greater and lesser restrictions according to the place one seeks to go on the Temple Mount. The Rabbis state that since the actual location of the Temple structure is not known for certain, it is unclear where a Jew may go without first attaining the most extreme level of purification (mandated by Jewish Law when entering the confines of certain areas of the Mount and when the areas are either under the sovereignty of the Jewish people or the Temple is standing). Therefore, Rabbis have pronounced the prohibition that a Jew must not walk on the entire area of the Temple Mount. The assumed conclusion regarding the Temple Mount is that no Jew should shoulder the risk of incurring the punishment of Kareit. Kareit is the divine punishment of cutting off of one's soul from the World to come and is imposed upon a Jew entering the confines of certain areas of the Temple Mount in an impure state. These laws apply during normal circumstances. Let it be clear that normal circumstances in Jewish law assumes the existence of the Temple and the practices that accompany it.

It is the purpose of this article to analyze the issues and sources concerning entering the Temple Mount. Upon reading the following pages the reader will, with God's help, understand the position of the Rabbis of our generation and compare them to the positions of the Rabbis of previous generations. The issues are not complicated for the halakha (Jewish law) is clear regarding the entrance of a Jew on the Temple Mount. The intellectually honest reader will discover that the issue of the Temple Mount plays a central role in the modern Jewish problem in relation to traditional Jewish thought. Additionally, it is hoped that the conclusions reached in this most important analysis will foster the needed courage required to make that which is wrong, right and that which is a desecration, a sanctification.

The Rabbis of Silence

The impression that world Jewry now maintains concerning the issue of entering and maintaining control over the Temple Mount is a false one. It is additionally false to assume that there is but a single voice on this matter. In contradiction to the prevailing idea that all contemporary Rabbis have forbidden entrance to the Temple Mount, we find the following modern Rabbinical opinions:

Mordechai Eliyahu, former Chief Rabbi of Israel, after reading about Jews going up to the Temple Mount wrote, "I am happy to hear about your yearning for Zion, however we must protect that the Children of Israel will enter the permitted places in purity and holiness. Hashem should strengthen you and He should be with you. Amen, it should be His will."

Shlomo Goren, z"l, former Chief Rabbi of Israel, wrote: "I hereby, notify that because of the danger of a takeover of the Temple Mount by the Moslems and despite the halakhic rules that would apply for the purpose of protecting the Jewish sovereignty it is not only permitted, but it is a holy commandment (mitzvah) to go up to the Temple Mount. We learn that to protect the Temple it is permitted to enter even the Holy of Holies. So much more so to enter the Temple Mount in order to stop an Arab takeover and protect our sovereignty, it is permitted and a commandment. Concerning us, when the purpose is to free the Temple Mount from a takeover by the goyim, the more Knesset members and other Jews that go up will bring a greater result. The suggestion is not to enter with leather shoes and to go to the Mikvah the same day."

Menachem Mendel Schneerson, z"l, the Lubavitch Rebbe, during Sukkot speech of 5751 (1990), told the Jewish people to go to the "Place of the Temple," in the permitted areas, and celebrate the Simchat Beit Hashoeva (celebration of the water drawing) in the greatest and highest level of happiness. The Rebbe continued, insisting that by doing so, the rebuilding of the Temple and coming of the Mashiach will be hastened.

Chaim David Halevi, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv & Jaffa, wrote: "The law pertaining to entering the Temple Mount is one of the simplest and clearest. It is known that we aren't allowed to make a decree by ourselves, to forbid the permitted. It is incumbent upon the people in charge to devote their time and energies and make every effort possible to allow and encourage B'nai Yisrael to enter the permitted areas."

David Chaim Shlush, the Chief Rabbi of Netanya, wrote: "It is good to be accustomed to going up to the Temple Mount in our times to the permitted places."

Avraham Shalom David, the Rabbi of Kiryat Moshe, Jerusalem, wrote: "I read the material on the Temple Mount and I, hereby, join the recommendation of the Chief Rabbi to go up to the Temple Mount to the permitted places and Hashem will be with you. Amen, it should be his will."

Yichya Alsheich, the Kabbalist, wrote: "The Rabbis permitted the sacrificing of the Passover offering and the daily Tamid offering on the spot of the altar. We are allowed to go up to the Temple Mount to search for the spot of the altar and to make the preparations that are required for such. Hashem should give you favor, kindness, and grant success so we should merit through the rebuilding of the Temple, speedily in our times, Amen."

Levi Nachmani, Rosh Yeshiva of Pnaecha Ya'acov, wrote: "Since the conquest of Jerusalem, the requirement to build the Temple and to bring sacrifices has been renewed. There is a special requirement of the Bet-din (Rabbinate) of the generation and the Kohanim. Negligence in building the Temple will bring punishment. The commandment of conquering the Land of Israel cancels Shabbat and therefore cancels the prohibition of impurity. It is therefore worthy of every man and woman to go up to the Mount and show a constant Jewish presence and thus to prove the ownership of Am Yisrael over the Temple Mount can be even without going to the Mikvah. The one who goes up to the Temple Mount after going to the Mikvah is even better. Hashem should allow us to witness speedily the full sovereignty of the People of Israel over the Temple Mount, the Temple built in its place and the sacrifices renewed speedily in our times, Amen."

Eliyahu Shlomo Ra'anan, grandson of Rav Kook, z"l, wrote: "I, hereby, join the call from the Rabbis recommending to go up to the Temple Mount, into permitted areas, because it is clear without any shadow of a doubt. My grandfather, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook, z"l, and his son, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook, z"l, never said that the Aliyah to the permitted spots if forbidden. It is surely a great mitzvah to free the holiest site from the goyim, but done in the proper way."

Permitted Places

Most of the previously mentioned Rabbis talk about the "permitted places." This phrase is taken directly from the Rambam (Maimonides), Beit HaBechirah, Laws of the Temple (7,7). The Rambam rules, "even though the Temple is destroyed...a Jew is obligated to revere the Temple as if it were built. Only enter the permitted places and do not sit in the Azara (the Temple courtyard) it says, guard My Sabbath and revere My Temple, just as the Sabbath is forever, so too is the reverence for the Temple eternal, even though it has been destroyed."

Given the opinion of the Rambam, there yet remains the question the Rabbis pose, "How do we know where the permitted areas are?"

Today the Temple Mount is three times its original size. Most of what is deemed the Temple Mount in our time is, in fact, no different from any other part of Jerusalem. The extreme northern and southern parts of the Temple Mount are, according to all opinions, not part of the actual Mount. Nearly all opinions maintain that the extreme western side is not part of the Mount (which means that the western wall is not the wall of the Temple nor is it part of the Mount). All opinions state that the Temple stood in or near the center of the Temple Mount.

Should one desire to take all of the Rabbinical opinions into account (although some contradict one another) the majority of the land mass which constitutes the Temple Mount today, would remain as "permitted places." Of the actual Temple Mount, only a small section of it housed the Temple and the Temple courtyards.

The following is a quotation from the Rambam, Laws of the Temple, Chapter 7, Law 15: "the Temple Mount is holier than it (Jerusalem) as zavim, zavot nidot, and yoledet (impure people who require a clean week and ritual immersion to become pure) do not enter. You are permitted to bring a dead body onto the Temple Mount and there is no need to even mention that a person impure from contact with a dead body can enter." Tractate Sota 20b.

If a person purifies himself by immersion in a mikvah (ritual bath) or natural spring, he may enter without any reservations into the area of the Temple known as the women's courtyard. By studying the diagrams of the location of the Temple according to the different opinions it can be seen that the majority of the Temple Mount is accessible to every Jew. In the diagrams, the actual Temple is the rectangular figure in the center. Almost half of that rectangle representing the Temple structure is the permitted area of the women's courtyard. The Temple Mount is in the dotted square area. Outside the dotted area is not part of the Temple Mount and therefore poses no question of "permitted" or "not permitted" within the halakhic framework.


Perhaps the most important aspect of the Temple Mount issue deals with the concept of "conquest." That is to say, gaining and maintaining control over the Temple Mount. The Rabbis maintain that the law on entering only the permitted places applies during normal circumstances. However, the Rabbis rule that there are times when this law is nullified by more important considerations. There are situations mandating that a person enter the holiest of places in the Temple despite the fact that he is neither Kohen (priest) nor spiritually pure. As an example of this idea our Sages tell us: "to build the Temple, to make repairs and continued maintenance, or to remove something impure all constitute positive reasons for entering the forbidden areas of the Temple. (Tractate Eruvim 105a, Torat Kohanim Emor 3,11 and the Rambam, Laws of the Temple 7,23, etc.). The rationale behind permitting impure people the entrance to the holiest areas of the Temple Mount is quite simple. A person entering these areas in order to fulfill one of the above-mentioned tasks is doing so for the sake of the entire people, not for his own self-aggrandizement. Therefore, service in the Temple for the sake of the nation nullifies any impurity that the person may have. This rule also applies to other commandments connected to serving the people of Israel.

There remains little question that the law of conquest applies as one of the reasons for entering the holy areas while impure. In order to conquer the Temple Mount from the hands of the enemy, the impurity is nullified. This idea was mentioned in the decree by Rabbi Levi Nahmani concerning the verse, My Sabbath you shall guard and My Temple you shall revere...(Leviticus, 16,30).

Both the guarding of the Sabbath and the revering of the holiness of the Temple appear in the same verse; we therefore draw a connection between the two. As we know from the book of Joshua 5:15, the Jews conquered Jericho on the Sabbath (to teach us that conquest takes precedence over the Sabbath). The same rule, therefore, applies to the Temple Mount. The act of conquering that which Hashem has instructed supersedes that which can be attained or adhered to at another time. There is not act of impurity as long as the Temple Mount remains out of our hands. Conquering the Mount takes precedence over impurity.

The reader may pose the following: "Since the Temple Mount has already been conquered from the hands of the enemy, there is no longer a commandment to conquer the area." In other words, the impurity of the soldiers who conquered the Mount during the Six-Day War was nullified as is the impurity of the soldiers and police who continue to guard it, but an ordinary Jew, not in uniform, will not be fulfilling the commandment of conquest simply by entering the Mount.

To answer this question properly we must first fully understand the concept behind the commandment of conquering the Land of Israel. The Ramban (Nachmanides) in the Sefer Mitzvot states that the conquest of the Land of Israel is the fulfillment of the commandment to settle the land. It is not enough, according to the Ramban, for a Jew to merely live in the land; he must remove the enemies from within it. Rashi, in his commentary on the verses, Numbers 33:52-53, writes, that to live in the Land of Israel you must first conquer and expel your enemy.

Thus, we find in the book of Joshua 3:10, as the Jews stand poised to enter the waters of the Jordan River, the words of Joshua to the Jewish nation: "Hereby you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaani, and the Hitti, and the Hivvi, and the Perizzi, and Girgashi, and the Emori and the Yevusi [all inhabitants of the Land]."

In the Tractate Gittin, 8b, the Rabbis permitted a Jew to tell a gentile to write a deed of sale on Shabbat in order for the Jew to buy the land of the gentile in Israel. The Rabbis justified this undoing of Rabbinic prohibition because of the performance of the great mitzvah of "settling the Land of Israel." Rashi adds: "for the sake of settling the Land of Israel, to expel the gentiles and to settle Jews in place of them." The Ribash (a contemporary of the Ba'al Turim) wrote in a responsum on this gemara: "the Jew who buys a field from a gentile is better than the one who goes to live in the Land, because the aliyah is only for himself and for the here and now...but settling the Land (buying the field) is a deed that holds merit forever and serves the purposes of the entire People of Israel in order that the Holy Land not remain in the hands of the impure."

Finally, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook was once asked why we do not make a blessing on Aliyah to Israel. His answer was: "the fundamental purpose of the commandment to settle Israel is to redeem the land from the strangers and the gentiles...for this reason there was not enacted a blessing for Aliyah as is only the first step and not completion of the commandment." (Shulchan Aruch of Rabbi Maimon, 5734, page 427).

As our Rabbis have demonstrated, the Jewish people have failed in the performance of the obligation of settling the Land as long as Arabs control any part of Eretz Yisrael, let alone the Temple Mount. When dealing with the Temple Mount, the place where God reveals his majesty to his people and the entire world, how is it possible that the Jewish people allow a continued foreign occupation? Indeed, we find that the commandment of conquest is incumbent on every Jew, whether a soldier, a policeman, or a concerned Jew. Every act of removing foreign ownership, possession, and, sovereignty over any part of Israel, especially the Temple Mount, is an act of conquest.

All those who venture up to the Mount will soon realize that it is the Arabs, under the auspices of the Moslem religious trust, that are in virtually complete control of our Holiest Site. Jews are forbidden to pray on the Temple Mount. Jews are forbidden to perform any Jewish rituals on the Temple Mount. Jews are forbidden to walk freely on the Temple Mount. Jews are not permitted the same freedoms that tourists are given while on the Temple Mount. Is the very act of ascending the Mount, wearing a skullcap or hat and tzitzit, in themselves, acts leading to conquering the Mount and redeeming it from the hands of the enemy?

There are two ways of answering this question. First, this question should be approached from an aspect of Jewish Law. The question arises in the Tractate Baba Batra, 100a. In this gemara the Rabbis debate the issue of demonstrating ownership. Can a person show ownership by walking over the area in question or are other acts required? It is apparent from the Shulchan Aruch (Chosen Mishpat 192) that the law is similar to that where the Rabbis hold to show ownership an individual must do more than merely walk on a piece of land. However, the Rabbis do concur with Rabbi Eliezer concerning the path of the grape-pickers (i.e., a public path). The Meiri points out that the public shows possession over a path by simply walking. Since any Jew ascending the Temple Mount is not trying to attain personal ownership of land, but, is reclaiming the ownership for the entire Jewish people, the actual walking on the Mount is an act of conquest. Second, mere common sense dictates that if masses of Jews were to simply go up to the Mount we would express our desire for Jewish sovereignty.


For almost 1,500 years after the destruction of the Second Temple there are historical accounts of a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount. The following are citations from the Sefer Har HaBayit by Shaul Shefer, pages 341-345:

363 C.E. Julian Caesar, the Byzantine, returns Jerusalem to the Jews in the days of Hillel the third and allows them to build a Temple. An earthquake destroyed the building materials stored in Solomon's Stables.

640 C.E. Kalif Omar Ibn-Chatub cleans and repairs the Temple Mount allows 70 Jews to settle there and build a Yeshiva.

940 C.E. The Karaite writer, Solomon Ben-Yerucham, writes about a synagogue on the southern side of the Temple Mount and the arguments between the Rabbis and Karaites caused the Jews to lose their foothold on the Mount.

1000 C.E. Rabbi Avraham Berachia wrote about a synagogue and yeshiva built by Jews on the Temple Mount.

1165 C.E. The Rambam visits Jerusalem and prays on the Temple Mount.

1287 C.E. The Meiri writes of the custom is to enter the Temple Mount.

1476 C.E. Jews enter al-Aqsa for a hearing about the Ramban synagogue.

These accounts disprove the contention of the popularly held views of the masses and their rabbis. The reason Jews have refrained from entering the Mount for the past several hundred years is that of the prohibition of the Turks and Arabs. It is disgraceful that an anti-semitic decree has been turned into a self-imposed rabbinic prohibition.


The Chief Rabbinate of Israel, as well as the rabbis of the Eda Charedit, have stressed their fear of Jews entering the Mount while impure and risking the punishment of Kareit (cutting off of the soul). As has been stated above, if a Jew ascends the Mount to fulfill the commandment of conquest or other public duties concerning the Temple or sacrifices, the impurity is nullified. For this reason, there is no punishment of Kareit. Moreover, there remains a doubt as to whether an impure person who enters the Mount not for the sake of the public or of conquest will be punished with Kareit. The Rambam does not state anywhere that entering the forbidden areas while the Temple is destroyed will be punished with Kareit. The Meiri, also, makes this point as does the Migdal David.

It is ironic, that these rabbis are not concerned with the risk of Kareit resulting from not sacrificing the Passover offering. It is clearly stated in the Torah that a ritually pure person who knowingly does not bring the Passover lamb on the 14th day of Nissan is punishable by kareit. The Passover offering can be brought when the entire nation is impure from contact with the dead, as is the case with every public offering.


How can one explain the inaction of those rabbis who agree that we can enter the Temple Mount? How can one explain those who distort the truth and prohibit the entrance of Jews to the Temple Mount? After 2,000 years of prayers asking that God return us to Zion and speedily rebuild the Temple, what excuse could there be for preferring the Wall of Tears over the House of God?

The best answer can be found in the book, Ame Banim Smecha, written by Rabbi Yisachar Teichtel. Rabbi Teichtel was a Chasid who lived in Hungary and perished in the holocaust. While on the run from the Nazis, he wrote a powerful book quoting his sources from memory. He confronts the question that haunts many Jews: "why were so many religious Jews and Torah scholars killed during the holocaust?" His answer is unequivocal, the religious Jews and the Torah scholars watched the secular Zionists return to Zion; and they did not learn from their actions. Jews who prayed thrice daily for the return to Zion should have immediately realized that if secular Jews are leaving the exile, how much more so should they. By turning their backs on the Land of Israel, Rabbi Teichtel writes, their fate was sealed. God hates hypocrisy and punishes those who invoke his name in vain. And so they stayed in exile to be consumed by the fires of the Holocaust.

Many religious Jews yet maintain the false interpretation of Jewish texts that the Temple will fall from heaven when God deems it proper. This belief is akin to those who maintained that while sitting in exile there would appear the wings of an eagle, which would scoop them up and whirl them off to the Land of Israel. Obviously, the latter never happened and the former is even less likely to occur. The literal interpretation of parabolic literature is forbidden by Jewish thought. However, it is not the purpose of this work to delve into the intricacies and the failings of contemporary religious and Torah thought. It is enough that we realize that this thought has caused the Torah world to miss the opportunity to define the meaning of the return to the Land as it ought to be defined, in Torah terms. They turned their back on the building of a nation while leaving it in the hands of those whose socialist visions clouded their thoughts and blurred their vision. Added to this disgrace, the Torah world has now left the Temple Mount in the hands of those that would not recognize a Jewish concept even if it were placed in red dressing gowns. It is those self-hating Jews who have now turned over the holiest place in Judaism to the enemies of the Jewish people. The Temple remains in ruins while alien buildings of other nations sit in its place.


There is but one way to redeem the Temple Mount and but one way to renew the sacrifices and build the Temple. We must act in an authentically Jewish manner. Remaining in a state of atrophy will not only allow the status quo to continue, it will cause needless and unimaginable suffering to the Jewish people. Just as we witnessed the destruction of six million Jews because of inaction concerning the return to Zion, so will we endure terrible tragedy should we opt for the same inaction concerning the Temple Mount.

This is not an argument between Jew and Arab, nor between Judaism and Islam, but rather it is a question of religious fulfillment. If the Mount is redeemed and the Temple replaces the desecrations that now stand in its place, then the Jewish obligation to the God of Israel is attained, but should we leave the mosques in place and the Mount in the hand of the stranger, then we will be desecrating God's name by declaring that the Jewish people are unable and unwilling to do that which God has commanded. The fate and destiny of the Jewish people are in the hands of each and every Jew. All that is required is will and faith of Jews to enter the Temple Mount in large numbers until the day, with God's help, that we are able to demand its return to its rightful owners. If every one would make the commitment needed to redeem the Mount it will surely and speedily be in our hands.

Comment by David Ben-Ariel: This excellent article appeared in the Winter 1996, edition of B'tzedek, The Journal of Responsible Jewish Commentary, which I picked up in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem and widely distributed before my unjust deportation. I've sinced typed and made it available all over the internet.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Temple Institute: The View From the Outside

A Special Update from the Temple Institute
In Memory of Eliyahu Pinchas Asheri
May G-d avenge his blood

This week's Torah portion here in the Land of Israel is Parshat Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1), and it begins with the Divine ordinance of purity which is brought about through the ashes of the Red Heifer. This elusive concept is essential for the restoration of service in the Holy Temple, since the Torah's exclusive antidote to the impurity of death is the process of purification associated with the red heifer. (To learn more about the significance of this Divine commandment, click here to access the Temple Institute's on-line study tool about the red heifer).

"G-d spoke to Moses and to Aaron saying, this is the decree of the Torah, which G-d has commanded… and they shall take to you a completely red heifer, without blemish, and upon which a yoke has not come… you shall give it to Elazar the priest, he shall take it outside to the outside of the camp…he shall sprinkle some of its blood towards the front of the Tent of Meeting seven times… "

The red heifer is not an offering per se, but a process of preparation; a prerequisite for the service which takes place within the Holy Temple. And since it is not an offering, it is uniquely dissimilar to all the offerings that were brought upon the Temple's altar – for the heifer is slaughtered and burned outside the Holy Temple, and the officiating priest, in the midst of his sacred activity, turns his gaze and looks from a distance towards the eastern gate of the Temple. This is in keeping with the verse mentioned above, "he shall sprinkle some of its blood towards the front of the Tent of Meeting… " During the era of the Temple in Jerusalem, the heifer was prepared on the Mount of Anointment, an area on the Mount of Olives across the Kidron Valley. The wall of the Temple on the eastern side was purposefully lower, to enable the priest who stood at this outer location to gaze directly into the sanctified area of the Holy Temple.

The ordinance of the red heifer itself, and the concept of how it brings about a restoration of purity, is considered to be amongst the greatest mysteries of Divine knowledge. Indeed, this secret of Biblical purity is the ultimate example of that category of the Torah's commandments called chok, an ordinance which is beyond the grasp of human understanding. Even King Solomon, called by the Bible the wisest of all human beings, who understood every aspect of G-d's creation, was not able to fathom the secret of the red heifer. After contemplating the concept, he declared "I said, 'I will become wise, but it is far from me.'" (Ecc. 7:23)

How fitting that G-d instructs us to fulfill this special commandment, totally beyond man's frail comprehension, ­outside the environs of the Holy Temple, but gazing in all the while. We find so much of the predicament of the human condition to be like the ordinance of the red heifer - impossible to understand. At times we feel distant from G-d; at best we feel that we are trying to understand, glimpsing from the outside in. Perhaps this is most particularly and acutely felt when it comes to what appears to us as apparent injustice - especially when the righteous suffer. Indeed, speaking of "looking from the outside," our sages relate that this is the secret of the enigmatic dialogue that took place between G-d and Moses in the book of Exodus, Ch.33. When Moses beseeched G-d, "Show me now your glory," in reality he was seeking a definitive answer to this question…. why do the righteous suffer in this world while the wicked prosper? And like the priest who gazes into the Holy Temple from the outside, G-d responded to him that "You will not be able to see My face, for no man can see my face and live… you will see My back, but face may not be seen."

We can speculate after the fact, but there are things we will not understand. We can only look from the outside, knowing that it is G-d Himself who brings about our purification. Some of these thoughts were echoed yesterday at the funeral of Eliyahu Pinchas Asheri of blessed memory. Eliyahu was an 18 year old student who was kidnapped and brutally murdered this week by Palestinians. He was eulogized by his teachers and those who knew him best, including his parents, and described as a singularly pure and holy soul who was known for the intense fervor of his beautiful prayers, and for his selfless dedication to others. Like the red heifer, he was "pure and unblemished."

Almost one year ago, 10,000 Jews were uprooted from their homes. Now, missiles daily rain down upon Israel, launched from the very area that was once home to these families; our enemies have embarked upon an accelerated campaign of destruction, kidnapping and butchering our children. How can we reconcile ourselves to the senseless loss of such a precious soul? Why? How can we remain subservient to foreign ideals, value judgments that are passed against us, and pressure, when the enemy within our midst – barbaric, vicious child murderers – cannot contain its bloodlust? Where are our leaders? Why do we not openly declare total war upon this enemy until it is totally destroyed? Was it not King David who declared of his enemies, "Praiseworthy is he who repays you in the manner that you treated us. Praiseworthy is he who will clutch and dash your infants against the rock." (Psalms 137)

At young Eliyahu's funeral, his father read aloud from his son's own writing; notes that the boy had written as part of an essay on the subject of personal prayer. He wrote something along these lines: "It is good to separate yourself from other people and distractions, to find a place and time for private prayer. When there are no distractions, you can free your thoughts, and know what it is really is that you want from G-d."

What a blessing! To know what it really is that we want from G-d. May we strive towards this, and merit to the day when we see the fulfillment of the verse: "Then I shall sprinkle pure waters upon you, and you shall be clean, from all your uncleanness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you…" (Ez. 36)

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Chaim Richman
PO Box 31876
Jerusalem, Israel 97500

(To learn more about Eliyahu Asheri, please click here)