Once again, as it was just three years ago when 8 yeshiva boys were murdered over their holy texts, the month of Adar is accompanied by tragedy in Israel. Just days before the joyous festival of Purim, an unspeakable atrocity is committed in the beautiful, holy community of Itamar. How do our eyes register these horrible images? How do our minds explain such evil? What words can we offer to comfort the children who have survived, and ourselves as well? And how do we do Purim?
In this gripping episode of Temple Talk, Yitzchak Reuven and Rabbi Richman discuss the murder of the Fogels and the world's reaction. A difficult show to listen to....but a show that you cannot afford to miss.
This week from the TEMPLE INSTITUTE:
WEEKLY TORAH PORTION: TZAV: The olah - burnt offering - described in parashat Tzav is understood by our sages to embody the potential to expiate the sin of doubtful thoughts of the heart, those thoughts which can distance us from G-d and lead us to transgression. An untoward thought is a most serious spiritual lapse, even if it does not ultimately lead to an ill-conceived action. The inclusion of the olah in the daily Tamid service of the Holy Temple attests to the centrality of the doubtful thoughts of the heart in the human condition and our need to vanquish the doubt and draw near to G-d. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiJ52Mhj7ms
BAT MELECH, with Rena Richman: THE TRUE QUEEN: In spite of her title as queen, Esther's life wasn't bright lights and glamour. Having to deal with cruel despots on a daily basis, she braved great hardships and personal deprivation in order to stay true to the G-d of Israel and rescue her people from the wicked plans of their detractors. Available Wednesday, March 16.
LIGHT TO THE NATIONS, with Rabbi Chaim Richman: ARE YOU READY? HERE COMES PURIM: Written by Esther herself, the megillah which bears her name nevertheless has its source at Mount Sinai. Available Thursday, March 17.
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.