This week we read Parashat Pekudei (literally, "reckonings ") and we shall be ushering in the second month of Adar. It's also the first of the four special Torah readings, parashat "Shekalim. " Yitzchak Reuven and Rabbi Richman connect the dots and examine the Torah portion of Pekudei, only to find to that it contains nothing new... but at the same time, it's brand new! It's that 'ol feeling of deja vu - we've read all this before. And we've built a house for the Creator before! It's not rocket science! We did it once, we did it twice - we can do it again.
This week from the TEMPLE INSTITUTE:
WEEKLY TORAH PORTION: PEKUDEI With the completion of the Tabernacle the work of the creation of the world finally draws to a close. Moses blesses the work Israel has done, and now, the final piece in place, the world can begin!
BAT MELECH, with Rena Richman: THE SECRET OF CHALLAH, PART II: Join Rena in her special teaching for women. This lesson was originally recorded in Houston, Texas, and is being presented on UTN in four parts. We are all created and imbued with G-d given potential to achieve many great and good things in our lives. By following the commandments given us by Torah we can learn how to discover, develop and bring to fruition the unique potential that is within us. Learn the secret of your own hidden potential and how to fulfill it by serving G-d, in this exploration of the simple commandment to take challah when preparing bread. Available Wednesday, March 2.
LIGHT TO THE NATIONS, with Rabbi Chaim Richman: MUSIC OF THE HOLY TEMPLE: THE SWEETEST MUSIC ON EARTH: The music of the Levitical Choir and Orchestra was an integral part of the service on the Holy Temple. In this five part series, Rabbi Chaim Richman and musicologist Rabbi David Louis explore this fascinating and sublimely beautiful aspect of the Divine service. Available Thursday, March 3.
INTERVIEW: CHAIM ODEM, MASTER CRAFTSMAN FOR THE TEMPLE INSTITUTE: Master craftsman Chaim Odem is the designer and creator of the the golden Menorah that currently stands in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, overlooking the Temple Mount. Chaim has also designed and produced other Temple vessels on behalf of the Temple Institute, including a model of the Ark of the Covenant. Chaim is currently working on recreating the Golden Lamp of Queen Helena, to be hung from the great entrance to the Holy Temple sanctuary. Chaim Odem personifies the two criteria spelled out by Torah concerning the craftsmen and women of the Tabernacle in the desert: "wise of heart " (Exodus 35:10) and "generous of spirit. " (Exodus 35:21)
In this interview Chaim tries to answer the question how he merited building the golden Menorah for the Holy Temple. His story begins as a young man in the Soviet Republic of Georgia, where news of Israel's victory in the 1967 Six Day War awoke within him for the first time an awareness of his Jewish identity, something that had been denied him growing up in the communist totalitarian state. Chaim's story is one of faith, perseverance and eventual aliya (emigration) to Israel.
THE GOLDEN LAMP OF QUEEN HELENA: 1980 years ago a woman presented a precious gift to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. She brought the gift from afar. And with the gift she brought her husband and her children. The gift found its place in the Holy Temple and the woman and her family made the city of Jerusalem their new home. The woman's name was Helena and she was the queen of Adiabene, a small nation found in what is present day Iraq. Immersed in the prevailing Roman pagan culture, Queen Helena was searching for a way of life that was true and moral. She searched and she discovered the One G-d of Israel. Queen Helena and her family left their pagan ways and adopted the faith of Israel as their faith and the Torah of Israel as their truth.
We invite all who wish to play a part in the rebuilding of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to join us in recreating the golden lamp, Queen Helena's gift to the Holy Temple. Please click here:
THE GOLDEN LAMP OF QUEEN HELENA: THE VIDEO: Watch this beautiful presentation of a dream in the making - a work in progress.
BLUEPRINTS AND COMPUTER ANIMATION OF THE SANHEDRIN CHAMBER OF HEWN STONE: The Temple Institute presents for the first time, complete and highly detailed blueprints of the Sanhedrin Assembly Hall, the Chamber of Hewn Stone, part of the Holy Temple complex itself. These plans, drawn up by a top Israeli architectural firm hired by the Temple Institute, incorporate modern technological innovation while remaining true to the specific requirements of the Sanhedrin. This short video is based on these plans.