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Audio: Moses, the Mikveh, & the Amazing Sapphire Staff: A Midrash

G-d to Egypt & the Leaders of the World: It's My Party, Ready or Not Here I Come.
1/18/2013, 12:16 AM

A7 Radio's "Temple Talk" with Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven
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In this remarkable edition of Temple Talk, Yitzchak Reuven and Rabbi Richman explore the vast dimensions of Parashat Bo, including the justice brought upon Egypt and the concept of Rosh Chodesh Nisan, and seamlessly apply these cosmic themes to our contemporary scene. In a brilliant literary stroke, they also invoke the great Hemingway and borrow his oft-quoted line, "the past isn't dead -- it's not even past" to underscore the reality of this week's Torah reading. There's only one thing to add: it wasn't Hemingway who said that, it was Faulkner. Oh well, if it's not even past, then the misquote didn't happen yet! This conundrum leads to endless possibilities in the space/time continuum. Our apologies to both gentlemen.
The Torah records that Moshe utilized his staff to bring about the plagues in Egypt. In an amazing analysis of some tantalizing Midrashim, our hosts discover that this was no magic wand or prop, but rather, a signal that evokes a life-changing lesson for us today, and an insight into the dynamic reality of G-d himself. This week's Temple Talk is a collector's item!

This week from the Temple Institute:

WEEKLY TORAH PORTION: BO: No direction home? This is the inside-outside story of the Passover offering in Egypt and on which side of the door jamb the blood was spread and why and what's the reason for.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: COPPER LAVER: The Temple Institute is busy preparing for the grand opening of its new Vistors Center. The massive Copper Laver (Hebrew, Kiyor), stands 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) tall and 2.8 meters (9.1 foot) in diameter and is kosher for use in the Third Temple. Twelve priests - kohanim - can approach the laver and simultaneously purify their hands and feet. The Laver is seen in the photograph being lifted by crane onto a tractor which will deliver it to its new home in the Temple Institute's Jerusalem headquarters. The photograph was taken outside the Old City walls. The Mount of Olives can be seen in the background. The Laver, which has never before been on permanent display, will receive a place of honor in the new Visitors Center. To learn more about the Kiyor,

THE ARK OF THE COVENANT: It’s well-known that the Temple Institute has no intention of recreating the Ark of the Covenant, unlike all the other sacred Temple vessels that can be seen in our Jerusalem headquarters, ready for use in the soon-to-be-rebuilt Holy Temple. The reason for this omission? We know exactly where the original is hidden, and when the time is right, it will be reinstated in its proper place. For the original ark was neither lost nor destroyed – it was hidden away by King Josiah of Israel, in anticipation of the impending destruction of the Holy Temple by the invading Babylonian army. In a subterranean chamber deep within the bowels of the Temple Mount prepared especially by King Solomon himself, the ark lays waiting for its own redemption. Until that time arrives, the Temple Institute’s spectacular new visitors center will feature a beautiful model of the Ark of the Covenant, created for educational purposes, never before displayed publicly. In this photo the model of the Ark is seen being hoisted up to a workshop, where it will undergo repairs and renovation, before being displayed in the Temple Institute's new Visitors Center. Another giant step towards the rebuilding of the Holy Temple!

For more information on the new Visitors Center,

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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