Audio: US Congressmen Visit the Temple Mount, Pesach Sheni & More

Parashat Bechukotei and the Secretary of State: The Fury of Casualness
5/14/2014, 9:20 PM

A7 Radio's "Temple Talk" with Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven
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Everybody needs a second chance. This week's powerful edition of Temple Talk, specially recorded on the 14th day of the month of Iyar, the Biblical festival of "Second Passover," pays homage to G-d's gift to us on this day...the ability to have a second chance. Pesach Sheni also represents the battle we all wage against those who would fill us with doubt, the naysayers who are the modern-day warriors of Amalek. 

Plus: Yitzchak Reuven and Rabbi Richman lead a congressional fact-finding delegation to the Temple Mount. 

Two US congressmen participated in a fact finding mission of the Temple Mount early Wednesday morning. Congressman Andrew Harris (R- Maryland) and Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) witnessed firsthand how non-Muslims are discriminated against at the Holy site. Rabbi Chaim Richman, International Director of the Temple Institute led the group, pointing out religious and historical landmarks along the way. The American lawmakers were also accompanied by their wives.

The group witnessed how outwardly looking Jewish groups are singled out and accompanied by both Jordan Islamic Waqf guards and Israeli police officers that scrutinize their behavior for signs of prayer or non-Muslim worship. In addition to the usual entourage, the Congressmen were also followed by an Israeli intelligence officer that filmed their every move for much of the visit.

Both were clearly moved by the experience and expressed concern at the lack of religious freedom for Jews and Christians at the site.

Congressman Andrew Harris expressed his concern at the lack of religious freedom on the site "It's a pleasure to be here on the Temple Mount, obviously an area of religious significance for many religions including Christians like myself, Jews and Muslims…but I'm actually surprised that access is so limited and especially the discrimination against Jews above any other religion in visits to the Temple Mount. It surprises me as an American, believing in religious freedom, that [such conditions] would exist."

Rabbi Chaim Richman, International Director of the Temple Institute commented "It was an honor to guide these two distinguished congressmen and their wives on the Temple Mount, holiest spot in the world, and focal point of mankind's spiritual aspirations. The congressmen, as part of a "Jewish group," were able to experience first-hand, what it is like to be victims of anti-Jewish discrimination. Were Jews to be treated in this manner in any other country, the State of Israel would protest vehemently against such grievous discrimination."

The Congressmen are currently in Israel as part of a week long visit organized by the Yes Israel Committee. The trip was arrange in conjunction with the YESHA Council which represents the 375,000 Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria. In addition to the Temple Mount tour, highlights of the trip included: Hebron, Ancient Shiloh, Ariel University and various strategic outlooks that overlook 70% of Israel's population.

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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