The World of the Temple
In the year 70 CE, the
Roman general Titus and his legions of warriors came against
Jerusalem in a siege that ultimately resulted in the total
destruction of the Temple and the killing of tens of thousands of
Jewish patriots. At that point the Temple services and sacrifices
ceased and have never been resumed. In 125 CE, after two more
attempts by the Jewish people to retake Jerusalem and rebuild the
Temple, the city was completely destroyed and the Temple Mount
Ever since that time it has been the dream of the Jewish people to see the Temple rebuilt and the daily sacrifices restored. During the intervening 1900+ years, they have clung to their traditions and maintained records concerning the Temple service with the expectation that one day the Temple would be rebuilt and services resumed.
All of this seemed to
be a hopeless dream for many centuries. But in the late 19th
century, the Jewish people began to return to the promised
land. At first it was a trickle, then it became a flow.
Following the horrors of the holocaust of World War II, it became
The state of Israel was proclaimed in May, 1948, but the re-establishment of the Jewish people in their Biblical homeland was not without trauma. A bloody war of independence was fought, during which they lost the old city of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to the Jordanians. However, in 1967 a war that was provoked by Egypt and Syria became widened into a conflict with Jordan when the Jordanians attacked Israel. One of the outcomes of that war was the capturing of the Temple Mount by Israel. But within days after the return of the Temple Mount into Jewish hands, Moshe Dyan, the famous one-eyed warrior of the Israeli Defense Forces, turned the Temple Mount back into the control of the Arabs, thus dashing the hopes of the Jews who wished to rebuild their temple on its original site.
It is now 1999, thirty-two years later, and the situation remains the same. Actually, things have gotten worse over the last few years, for now the declaration of a Palestinian state, coupled with claims that Jerusalem must be their capitol city, seems inevitable. But the dream of a Third Temple, situated on the Temple Mount, remains entrenched in the heart of many a Jew.
When this dream will be fulfilled, or how it will be accomplished is known only to YHVH, the God of the Universe. Apparently it was not in His timing to have the Temple Mount remain in the hands of the Jewish people following its capture in 1967. But, as the seemingly inevitable war between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to loom ever larger, it seems as though the time when Israel will again hold the Temple Mount is near.
While the world waits for this event to occur, there are men and women in both Israel and the United States who are working towards the day when they will see the realization of their dream; a Third Temple in Jerusalem. For many years the Temple Institute in Jerusalem has been researching and reproducing the utensils that will be needed for sacrificial services to resume. Visitors to the old city of Jerusalem can see these items on display at the Temple Institute headquarters.
The World of the Temple
Now even bigger plans
are being made. A new project has been initiated called Olam
Mikdash (Oh-lahm Meekdahsh) or The World of the Temple. This
is a project to build, in Israel, a life-sized model of
the Temple which will be open to the public. In this model not
only will the Temple itself be recreated in its entirety, but
also the various ceremonies will be enacted each and every day.
These will include not only the Daily Services, but also those of
the Sabbath, New Moon, and Festivals; all held on the appropriate
The primary purpose of this full sized model will be to provide training for the Priests and Levites who will eventually serve in the real Temple (or Tabernacle) when it is finally erected on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Olam Mikdash is to be built just outside of Jerusalem within the city of Maale Adumin. This is on the road that runs from Jerusalem to Jericho. A twenty acre site has already been acquired. For those who may be familiar with this area, it is just behind The Good Samaritan Inn.
The Olam Mikdash project is a joint effort that involves several individuals from both Israel and the United States. It is being conducted in conjunction with the Temple Institute of Jerusalem which is headed by Rabbi Israel Ariel. Olam Mikdash has the backing of the Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Jerusalem, and is also under Orthodox Jewish supervision. The project has been incorporated under the laws of Israel as an International Corporation, and is compatible with American law.
A Prophetic Sign
According to Jewish tradition, there is a command in the Scriptures to make just such a life-sized pattern of the Temple. The purpose is to learn all about its architecture, ceremonies, and ordinances. This command is found in chapter 43 of the book of Ezekiel. It begins with the complaint of HaShem about how the house of Israel has continued to defile Gods name and His sanctuary down through the centuries.
O mortal, this is the place of My throne and the place for the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the people Israel forever. The House of Israel and their kings must not again defile My holy name by their apostasy and by the corpses of their kings at their death. When they placed their threshold next to My threshold and their doorposts next to My doorposts with only a wall between Me and them, they would defile My holy name by the abominations that they committed, and I consumed them in My anger. Therefore, let them put their apostasy and the corpses of their kings far from Me, and I will dwell among them forever.
(Ezek. 43:7-9 Tanakh)
HaShem then commands that the temple be fully described to them so they may follow all of its plans and its laws:
[Now] you, O mortal, describe the Temple to the House of Israel, and let them measure its design. But let them be ashamed of their iniquities: When they are ashamed of all they have done, make known to them the plan of the Temple and its layout, its exits and entrances -- its entire plan, and all the laws and instructions pertaining to its entire plan. Write it down before their eyes, that they may faithfully follow its entire plan and all its laws. Such are the instructions for the Temple on top of the mountain: the entire area of its enclosure shall be most holy. Thus far the instructions for the Temple.
(Ezek. 43:10-12 Tanakh)
There is no better way to learn all the architecture, ceremonies and ordinances of the Temple than to actually experience them in a full sized model, complete with a functioning priesthood.
A Small Scale Model
A leading member of the
Olam Mikdash project conducts a ministry in the United
States. His name is Joseph Good of Hatikva Ministries, and his
primary function is to raise funds for the project. Joe plans to
do this, not through traditional fund raising methods, but by
conducting teaching seminars on the Temple and its ceremonies
throughout the United States. Joseph Good is perhaps the foremost
authority in America on the Temple and its services.
To assist in his teaching, Joe and a co-worker, Steve Salter, are in the process of constructing a travel-sized model of the Temple that can be used in the teaching seminars. We were privilege to see this model (still under construction at the time) last December in Waggoner, Oklahoma. It is awesome!
In preparation for the seminars, Joseph Good and his associates have been doing intensive Temple studies for some time. Their main goal is to in-crease the awareness of the Temple within the non-Jewish community. To quote Joes most recent newsletter, dated Winter, 1999:
We desire to impart to them new attitudes toward worship, understanding the Holy Festivals in new ways, and a foundation for every doctrine presented within the scriptures. We believe that this awareness will fransform the believer and the faith. (p. 7)
A Temple Seminar is being planned at the Hatikva Ministries office in Nederland, Texas, for sometime this summer. The exact date has not yet been determined.
If you are interested in receiving more information about Olam Mikdash, or to contribute to the project, you may contact Joseph Good at:
PO Box E
Nederland, TX 77627
Or, you can visit their web site at:
There is a Rabbinic
teaching that he who sees the full sized model of the Temple will
see the coming of the Messiah.
To Him be the glory, both now and forever!
Judge Others Favorably
The Torah states: With
righteousness shall you judge your fellow (Vayikra
- Leviticus l9:15), which our Sages interpret as a
commandment to give ones fellow the benefit of the
doubt (Shevuos 30a). This precept is among those
whose fruit one enjoys in this world and whose principal
reward is preserved for the World to Come (Shabbos 127a).
Development of this trait is crucial for perfecting the
quality of Shimras haloshon (guarding the
From: Chofetz Chaim - A Lesson A Day,