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Audio: Why Does the Heart of the Torah Begin with a Still Small Voice?

Purim and the Book of Vayikra: Little Children, Old Prejudices, and Gross Misunderstandings
3/8/2011, 10:43 PM

A7 Radio's "Temple Talk" with Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven
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The joy of Adar abounds as Temple Talk hosts Yitzchak Reuven and Rabbi Richman prepare for the awesome day of Purim which is quickly approaching. But what is true joy? Is Purim a time for revelry and ribaldry? Or is there something deeper going on? Our hosts consider the matter and decide that Purim is the most misunderstood holiday on the calendar. We begin reading the book of Leviticus this week, which our hosts call the "Book of G-d's Rights. " They find that like vanilla and Purim, Leviticus is lonely...misunderstood, isolated and not fully appreciated for what it really is. It's secret is communicated very quietly in its first three words: "And He called... "

This week from the TEMPLE INSTITUTE:

WEEKLY TORAH PORTION: VAYIKRA: The book of Vayikra, (Leviticus), the most intimate of the five books of Torah, opens with a whisper. With the establishment of the Tabernacle, G-d is welcomed back into the world!

LIGHT TO THE NATIONS, with Rabbi Chaim Richman:  MUSIC OF THE HOLY TEMPLE, PART II: THE ORIGINS OF MUSIC: Every day of the year, Shabbat and festival holidays included, the music of the Levites was heard in the Temple courtyards and throughout Jerusalem. What kind of music was played? What part did the music play in the Divine service? What instruments were used and how was the Levitical orchestra formulated? With musicologist Rabbi David Louis . Available Thursday, March 10.

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.

Rabbi Chaim Richman is the international director of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem which is dedicated to rebuilding the Holy Temple (Beit HaMikdash). He is a member of the current effort to revive the Sanhedrin and the author of ten books including Mystery of the Red Heifer and A House of Prayer for All Nations. Yitzchak Reuven works at the Temple Institute in Jerusalem. He previously worked building Biblical harps and other musical instruments for use in the Holy Temple. He and Rabbi Chaim Richman have been friends since their Israeli army days. They host the Temple Talk podcast dealing with issues of the Temple Mount and the weekly Torah parsha every Tuesday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Israel time (11 a.m. U.S. EST) on Israel National Radio. Contact Rabbi Richman at:
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