New Temple Model for Chanukah

The following is a photo essay of a replica of the holy Temple and its vessels that was dedicated on Chanuka.

Adina Hershberg, | updated: 16:10

About halfway down the steps from The Jewish Quarter to the Western Wall, enclosed in glass casing, stands a replica of one of the vessels of The Holy Temple that stood in Jerusalem until its destruction in 70 C.E. by the Romans. This menorah (Chanukah candelabrum), made by the Temple Institute in The Old City, is covered with gold and is the size of the solid gold one used in the Holy Temple. The Arch of Titus in Rome has a carving of Jewish captives carrying this menorah with them.

Not far from this menorah, perched high on the rooftop of the recently dedicated Aish HaTorah World Center, sits a 1.2 ton model of The Holy Temple, facing the Temple Mount. The model was constructed at a scale of 1:60 and it is made of gold, silver, wood and Jerusalem stone. There is a hydraulic system that raises the mikdash (sanctuary) section of the Temple model exposing the Holy of Holies, the Ark of the Covenant, and the menorah.

The rooftop offers a panoramic view of The Western Wall and one can see various sites on the Temple Mount. A gigantic binocular was erected for use by visitors.  Down below to one's left are excavations which have not yet been open to the public.

After Israel recaptured the Old City of Jerusalem, the Israeli government decided to allow the use of the site for a Jewish educational center which could give each Jew who comes to visit the Kotel a more detailed knowledge of Judaism's holiest place.  Rabbi Noah Weinberg, head of Aish HaTorah Yeshiva and Mr. Bernard Hochstein, known philanthropist, both of blessed memory, worked tirelessly on obtaining the site and on planning the center

While the Temple model is open, not yet completed is an Exploratorium of Jewish History. When completed it will span three floors and will take visitors on a virtual tour of all of Jewish history. It is expected to be completed in two years.
One of Rabbi Weinberg z”l’s sayings is particularly fitting for Chanukah, which celebrates the victory of the Jewish spirit over the materialistic culture of the Syrian Greeks:  "The essence of free will is to be a soul and not a body. The battle is to do what your soul wants, not what your body feels like doing."

The model of the Holy Temple with the Temple Mount in the background
Looking towards the Holy of Holies
Combining the ancient and the new


The Hochstein Gate


One of the marble walls inside the center


The door leading to the Holy of Holies


The altar


Ceiling of light in The Kirk Douglas Theater


A view from the roof


The Aish World Center with its name unveiled


Steps of light


Tzedaka box