[ Eyes on Israel - November 2007 Update ]
 

November 2007 Update

Priestly Blessing on Temple Mount

by Hillel Fendel

A historic first: Last week, during a special visit to the Temple Mount, the Priestly Blessing (Numbers 6:24-26) was recited there, for arguably the first time since the 1st-century destruction.

The Blessing is recited daily in synagogues in Israel by descendants of Aaron the Priest, and only on festivals in the Diaspora. On the Temple Mount: During the Priestly Blessing, the "Kohanim" raise their hands.

The special visit was held to commemorate the 842nd anniversary of Maimonides's famous visit to the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site. A group of some 25 Jews, organized by the Temple Institute in Jerusalem, marked the special day with a commemorative visit. Giving extra-special meaning to the occasion was a spontaneous Priestly Blessing delivered to the group by Yehuda Katz, the lead singer of the Reva L'Sheva band, and Eliezer Breuer, originally of the former Soviet Union and now from Kiryat Arba.

Rabbi Chaim Richman, one of the organizers of the trip, said, "This was probably the first time since the destruction of the Temple [1,928 years ago] that the Priestly Blessing was delivered on our holiest site.

Another notable aspect of the visit was the welcoming attitude of the police. "In an unusual departure from standard procedure," one participant said, "we found that the police were particularly sympathetic to our needs. At one point, when the Moslem Wakf guards started yelling that we were praying, one of the policemen took our side and even threatened to remove them if necessary."

Maimonides, also known as the Rambam, made his historic visit to the Temple Mount on the sixth day of the month of MarCheshvan in the year 1166 (4926 in the Jewish calendar). Unanimously considered one of Judaism's greatest figures, the Rambam wrote that he put himself in danger to make a trip to Jerusalem, where he entered "the Large and Holy House [the Temple Mount] and prayed." Three days later, he also visited the Machpelah Cave in Hevron, and vowed to commemorate the anniversaries of those days as his personal festivals for years to come.

Last week's visit was also led by Rabbis Yisrael Ariel and Yehuda Glick. Rabbi Ariel is a former Yeshiva head, founder of the Temple Institute, and one of the paratroopers who took part in the 1967 liberation of the Temple Mount.

Though the Chief Rabbinate disagrees, the Yesha Rabbis Council has ruled that one who ascends and visits the Temple Mount while adhering to three conditions - prior immersion in a mikveh; keeping the laws of Awe of the Temple (no leather shoes, proper respect, etc.); and knowledge of the precise permitted areas - is fulfilling a "great mitzvah [Torah commandment]."

"The more Jews who visit this holy site," Rabbi Richman told Arutz-7, "the more cooperative the police are with us and the more respectful they are of our needs - as some police officers have indicated to me. And the more we encourage Jews with stories like what happened last week, the more they will come."

Those who regularly read the “Eyes on Israel” section of our newsletter will remember last months news about the country of West Papua’s contribution of gold dedicated to the 3rd Temple project. This month we are excited to share the above news from Arutz Sheva. Brethren and friends as we compare the prophetic scriptures with the news from Israel we should be rejoicing! The majority of the world sees these events as coincidence but we must pray to see them through the eyes of the ancient prophets. It has already been opined by Mr. Gershon Salomon that the complete Temple does not have to be rebuilt for some of the sacrifices to begin to be performed, just a consecrated altar. This is significant in the fact that according to Daniel 9:27; "And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate." NASU

It follows that in order for the oblation to be stopped it must first be started and we believe that the closer the people come to establishing a foothold on the Temple Mount the closer they will be to reinstating these offerings.

So continue to watch the news from Israel and be reassured that Yahshua is truly closer than any of us can imagine. “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. Therefore, be on the alert — for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning — in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. What I say to you I say to all, ' Be on the alert!'" (Mark 13:33-37; NASU)