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YOM ATZMA’UT - ISRAEL INDEPENDENCE DAY AND THE ONE DAY WAR

 

This week, beginning Sunday evening, Israel will be experiencing two of its most poignant, painful and joyous days: Yom HaZikaron - Israel Memorial Day - followed by Yom HaAtzma'ut - Israel Independence Day. Yom HaZikaron, on which we turn our thoughts and our gratitude to our brave soldiers who have fallen in combat throughout modern Israel's seventy six years, and to those innocent citizens cut down by terror, is always, of course, a sad and difficult day. This year, in light of the more than 1,200 citizens of Israel who were brutally hunted down and murdered by Hamas terrorists emerging from Gaza on the 7th of October, and the many soldiers who have since given their lives defending our land, our people and our way of life, Yom HaZikaron will be more painful and difficult than ever before. We will be mourning our loved ones, our friends and our neighbors. Despite our ever increasing numbers, Israel remains a small country, or perhaps, more accurately, a large village, in which everybody knows someone who has been killed or kidnapped or fallen in battle. The pain of loss is keenly felt by all.

As every year, immediately after the conclusion of Yom HaZikaron Israel celebrates Yom Atzma'ut. Israel has so much to be grateful for and so many reasons to celebrate, but, of course, this year our celebration will be tempered by the harsh reality we currently find ourselves in.

Israel has been fighting a war on four fronts for seven months. We are fighting Hamas in the south, Hezbollah in the north, Iranian backed Islamist militias in Syria and Iraq, and of course, the head of the snake, Iran, in the east. This has been Israel's longest ongoing war in her modern history, seven months and running. It's not the Six Day War and it's not the Yom Kippur War. It began on the holiday of Simchat Torah and the current name of the war is Swords of Iron. But in spite of its great length, or perhaps because of its great length, it might most accurately be called the One Day War. We in Israel are still living in the reality of the 7th of October. That horrible day will not be over till Israel has unequivocally vanquished her enemies and returned home each and every captive currently being held in Gaza, dead or (hopefully, we pray) alive. Only then will we be able to see the sun set and know that it will rise again on the morrow.

Beyond the immediate hostile front there is an even greater and more threatening enemy in the west. Self styled “warriors” and Hamas groupies are wreaking havoc in western cities and on elite campuses across America. They have lost the ability to discern between right and wrong, between good and evil. They declare their hatred for Jews, for Israel and for America. They are organized and well funded and spreading their darkness across the globe. America, once the fearless leader of the free world, has become, under its current leadership, the feckless leaders of no one, acting to defend not the innocent, not the righteous, not the peace loving, but the evil uprooters of all that is decent and just. Our sages foresaw these times and dubbed them hevelei moshiach - the birth pangs of the messianic era. The heathen prophet Bilaam, no friend of Israel, but a speaker of G-d’s truth nonetheless, said  of Israel that she "is a nation that will dwell alone, and will not be reckoned among the nations." (Numbers 22:9) Israel has had her share of tight spots, most famously when she stood on the banks of the Sea of Reeds, with the pursuing Egyptian army at her back. This is the feeling here in Israel as even our erstwhile ally and champion, the United States, (more accurately, its current ruling administration), has abandoned her. And what did HaShem tell Israel at the Sea? “Why do you cry out to Me? Speak to the children of Israel and let them go forth.” (Exodus 14:15) And so we go forth, currently into Rafach, where our responsibility to ourselves and to the world is to eliminate the last vestiges of Hamas, for once and forever. And we do so full with the knowledge that, just as at the Sea of Reeds, “HaShem will fight for [us].” (ibid 14:14)

The road is long but we will neither sleep nor slumber. One hundred years ago no one imagined that the words of the Hebrew prophets would indeed come true. No one imagined the long prophesied ingathering of the exiled remnant of Israel. No one imagined a renewed living and breathing Jerusalem, from which Torah once again goes forth out to the world, just as the prophets said it would. No one imagined a revitalized army of Gideon, of David, of the Maccabees. And today we have all that, a nation with Jerusalem as its capital, and the Israel Defense Forces made up of the nation’s finest men and women.

Israel will weather the current storm and emerge stronger and more united than before. And there is one more reason why this war should be called the One Day War. This war, when won, will pave the way for the one day that we are all working toward, the day of the building of the Holy Temple. The day of the renewal of G-d’s glory. The day that the knowledge of HaShem will spread throughout the world and all the peoples will come up to Jerusalem, to the Holy Temple, just as our prophets said they will. This is the day that Jews have been praying for for two thousand years, and this is the day that the Temple Institute works toward, day in and day out. Our losses have been great and the road ahead remains long and full of challenges. But we have so very much to celebrate and to be thankful for on Yom Atzma’ut.

 

Yom Atzma’ut Sameach -  Happy Israel Independence Day!

Help us build a brighter future!

 

 

 

 

   

TEMPLE INSTITUTE'S LEVITICAL CHOIR REHEARSING NEW SONGS!

 

Following their very successful performance alongside the Temple Institute's golden menorah in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem's old city over the Passover holiday, the Temple Institute's Levitical Choir is back to rehearsals, preparing for their next public performance. Heeding the psalmist's exhortation to "sing to HaShem a new song," (Psalms 96, 98, 149) the Levitical Choir are now rehearsing a new melody for Psalm 115. In this rehearsal we hear them sing the first eleven verses. The Temple Institute is currently preparing a full length video of the Choir's Passover performance. We hope to have it ready for viewing within the next few weeks.

 

 

 

SILVER TRUMPETS FOR OUR HEROIC SOLDIERS!

 

Play A Part In Israel's War Against Evil!

"If you go to war in your land against an adversary that oppresses you, you shall blow a teruah with the trumpets and be remembered before HaShem your G-d, and thus be saved from your enemies." (Numbers 10:9)

Israel is at war with an enemy that sorely oppresses us with terror but our soldiers are filled with purpose and faith in HaShem, and firm in the knowledge that "it is Hashem, your God, Who goes with you to battle your enemies for you to deliver you!" (Deuteronomy 20:4)

Social media has been filled these past weeks with photos and videos of Israeli soldiers preparing for battle with prayer, with song, with reading from Torah and with sounding the shofar. We are witnessing with our own eyes that HaShem, indeed, is going with our troops "to battle your enemies for you to deliver you!"

It is a Torah commandment to prepare for battle by sounding silver trumpets, the same silver trumpets sounded by the kohanim in the Holy Temple, so that we should "be remembered before HaShem your G-d, and thus be saved from your enemies."

The Temple Institute has begun manufacturing silver trumpets to distribute to the IDF rabbis so that they can be sounded by our soldiers as they make their way to battle. Two trumpets are required to be sounded simultaneously, and each one needs to be produced from a single piece of silver. The cost of each trumpet is significant and every donation toward producing the trumpets will be gratefully accepted! We are calling upon friends of Israel around the world to play a true Torah role in Israel's war against today's Amalek, the villainous tribe who "happened upon you on the way and cut off all the stragglers at your rear, when you were faint and weary, and he did not fear G-d." (Deuteronomy 25:18)

 

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LEVITICAL CHOIR PERFORMS AT THE SOUTHERN WALL OF THE TEMPLE MOUNT!

 

Last week, during the intermediate days of Sukkot, the Temple Institute's Levitical Choir joined dozens of other musical Levites in a festive performance of Psalm 27. The Temple Institute's Levitical Choir performers can be recognized by their Levitical uniforms, and, of course, the silver trumpets are those reproduced by the Temple Institute. The concert was a joint production of The Temple Institute, the East Jerusalem Development Company, the Municipality of Jerusalem, and others.

The performance took place on the steps leading up to the ancient Hulda Gates on the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount, the gates through which thousands of pilgrims once ascended from the City of David to the Holy Temple.

"One thing I ask of HaShem, that I seek - that I may dwell in the house of HaShem all the days of my life, to see the pleasantness of HaShem and to visit His Temple all the days of my life."

TEMPLE TALK: ISRAEL'S BILL OF RESPONSIBILITIES!

PEACE, PROSPERITY AND THE HOLY TEMPLE ARE ALL WITHIN OUR REACH!

IF WE KEEP OUR PROMISES, G-D WILL KEEP HIS!

 

Israel signed a contract with HaShem at Sinai and we must keep our commitment. If we keep up our end of the bargain, G-d will keep up His end of the bargain. If we treat our commitment to HaShem with disdain, He will reciprocate in kind. Let's make the right choice and do what's right!

Remember: Helping to make HaShem's dream of a Sanctuary in which His Presence can dwell amongst us, is the work of the Temple Institute! Join us in our efforts!

 

BEHAR/בהר

 

Freedom! It's on everybody's lips! But when we demand our freedom what exactly are we demanding to be free to do? To run with the pack? To follow the crowd? To be attached to an electronic device that tells us 24/7 who to follow and how to behave? None of that is freedom. "For the children of Israel are servants to Me; they are My servants, whom I took out of the land of Egypt. I am HaShem, your G-d." (Lev. 25:55) Only by serving HaShem do we liberate ourselves from all other forms of slavery.

Behar (Leviticus 25:1 - 26:2)
Parashat Behar is read on Shabbat:
Iyar 17, 5784/May 25, 2024

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TISH'A B'AV: BUILD A HOUSE FOR HASHEM!

 

"Be strong and have courage! Build a House for HaShem!" In this scene from a film soon to become an integral part of the Temple Institute's Jerusalem based Visitors Center experience, the prophet Samuel charges King David with the task of building the Holy Temple!

 

 

 

TISH'A B'AV: THE GLORY OF THIS LAST HOUSE SHALL BE GREATER THAN THE FIRST!

 

"The Glory of this Last House Shall be Greater than the First!" In this scene from a film soon to become an integral part of the Temple Institute's Jerusalem based Visitors Center experience, Zerubavel from the house of David and Kohen Gadol (High Priest) Yehoshua consult with the prophet Haggai who instructs them to waste no time in rebuilding the Holy Temple!

 

 

 

THE TEMPLE INSTITUTE: BRINGING THE HOLY TEMPLE TO LIFE!

 

"Speak to the children of Israel, and have them take for Me an offering; from every person whose heart inspires him to generosity, you shall take My offering..." (Ex. 25:2)

Thus begins Terumah, this week's Torah reading, in which HaShem reveals His desire that Israel "make for Me a sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst." (Ex. 25:8)

The Temple Institute is dedicated to making the Holy Temple a reality in our day, and toward this end, the Temple Institute has, for 36 years, been building and planning and researching and teaching and sharing with you our reconstructed sacred vessels and priestly garments, our books and paintings, our red heifer candidates, our teachings and insights and our love for HaShem and the Holy Temple!

It is only through the generosity of your hearts that we are able to continue our important work. Only together can we build for HaShem a sanctuary and "a house of prayer for all nations!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF THE TEMPLE INSTITUTE!

THE RED HEIFER!

 

The ashes of the red heifer, essential for the renewal of the Divine service in the Holy Temple, is one of the Torah's most fascinating and mysterious commandments. In our brand new in-depth entry, learn what constitutes "a perfectly red unblemished cow," how the ashes are made and how they are applied, the history and the mystery of the red heifer, and current efforts to raise a red heifer. Beautifully illustrated and extensively footnoted!

 

 

INTRODUCING THE TEMPLE INSTITUTE'S LEVITICAL CHOIR ACADEMY

 

In yet another major step toward preparing for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple and the renewal of the Divine service, the Temple Institute has established the Levitical Choir Academy, dedicated to teaching today's descendants of the tribe of Levi the Levitical songbook - the songs that are sung by the Levitical Choir in accompaniment to the Daily offerings and the Additional Festival offerings performed in the Holy Temple. Levi'im from all across Israel have already responded to the Temple Institute's initiative, and as these video clip show, are already honing their skills as a proper Levitical Choir. Levitical garments are currently being designed for the choir to be worn during their service in the rebuilt Holy Temple.

 

 

BLUE, PURPLE & CRIMSON: THE COLORS OF THE TABERNACLE!

 

In the book of Exodus we read of the building of the desert Tabernacle, the Sanctuary in which G-d will dwell amongst His people. We learn of the beautiful fabric dyed sky blue and royal purple and crimson red. We learn that the Israelites, inspired by G-d with wisdom, understanding and knowledge, produced these colors. But Torah doesn't reveal the secret, how? In our day these ancient, long forgotten arts and sciences have been rediscovered here in Israel. Enjoy this glimpse into the fascinating renaissance of biblical dye-making, filmed in the re-established town of Shiloh, at the site of the ancient Tabernacle.

 

JUDITH ABRAHAMS, THE MASTER WEAVER WHO WOVE THE HIGH PRIEST'S ROBE

 

Judith Abrahams is a master weaver who was commissioned by the Temple Institute to weave the me'il techelet - the all blue tunic of the Kohen Gadol (High Priest), which can be seen at the Institute's Jerusalem exhibition. In this beautiful documentary, which was filmed by Graham and Ronit Humberstone in 2020, Judith shares her personal journey and enlightens us with her passion for weaving which has led her to study traditional Navajo weaving with the Navajo Nation in New Mexico, and then, employing the "chochmat lev - wisdom of the heart" (Exodus 35:25) that she accrued, to weave the High Priest's robe. Judith now sets her sights on weaving the Parochet, the massive curtain which separated the Temple Sanctuary (Kodesh) from the Kodesh HaKodeshim (the Holy of Holies). The Temple Institute thanks Graham and Ronit for allowing us to present their video on our YouTube channel, in order to share Judith's story with a wide audience. And, of course, great thanks and appreciation to Judith Abrahams, for blessing us with her talents and her inspiration.

"And all the skilled (chochmat lev) women spun with their own hands, and brought what they had spun, in blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and in fine linen. And all the women who excelled in that skill spun the goats’ hair." Exodus 35:25-26)

RED HEIFERS ARRIVE IN ISRAEL!

On Thursday, September 15, 2022, 5 PM, 5 perfect, unblemished red heifers arrived in Israel from the USA. A modest ceremony was held at the unloading bay of the cargo terminal at Ben Gurion airport, where the new arrivals were greeted and speeches were made by the incredible people who have put their hearts and souls and means into making this historic/prophetic day become a reality.

 

We invite you to join us in our worldwide effort to produce the longed-for ashes of the red heifer!

 

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