Ascending the Temple Mount (Credit: Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz/Breaking Israel News)
Though there is no Temple in Jerusalem, in very many ways, Jewish sources describe the Temple Mount as the viaduct for blessings, spiritual and material, to flow into the world. Several experts weigh in on this source of divine bounty.
Mordechai Persoff, head of the Mikdash Educational Center, noted that the blessing of sustenance came to the world via the Temple and the Temple Mount. Persoff cited a Midrash (homiletic teaching) that described the even hashtiya (the large stone that lay underneath the Holy of Holies in the Temple) as the seed from which all of creation grew.
“Every person can look to the Temple Mount and the Holy of Holies as their true origin,” Persoff said to Breaking Israel News. “In all the world, this is every individual’s personal connection to creation.”
Persoff cited another Midrash in which the even hashtiya is referred to as a tabor (belly button or umbilical cord).
“Just as the sustenance flows from the mother to the child via the tabor, spiritual and physical sustenance flow into the world via the Temple Mount,” Persoff said. “It is as if every person had a spiritual umbilical cord to God, all of them passing through that one point on the Temple Mount.”
Yet another Midrash refers to the Temple Mount as the lev (heart).
“The thing about the heart is that it is hidden,” Persoff said. “A person can look perfectly healthy but if there is a problem with his heart, if he has not paid attention to his heart, he will die. The same is true for the world. Everything can look fine with all the material concerns taken care of but if we ignore our heart, the Temple Mount, we are in grave danger.”
Persoff described different levels in which God provides our material needs.
“In Egypt, we ate from the sweat of our brow and there was no blessing in our everyday sustenance,” Persoff said. “It was only sustenance with no clear level of blessing. Before we came into the land of Israel, the blessing was all around us and there was no work. We ate the manna in the desert. It was a period of healing in which we were like a sick person in a hospital. But after we came into the Holy Land, there became a link between sustenance and holiness. We were partners. Our work, the land, was a meeting of material and spiritual, work and blessing.”
Persoff explained that the three pilgrimage feasts corresponded to three blessings that come down to the world via the Temple. On Passover, the harvest is blessed. On Sukkot, the blessing of rain is established. The bikurim (first-fruits) were first brought to the Temple on the holiday of Shavuot, which is when the fruit was blessed.
“There is a correspondence between the Temple, the service, and the agriculture. We learn that we always need to look up to Hashem, every day all day. It is a greater blessing than the manna which came directly from heaven. The blessing that came through our hands, from the land that Hashem (God, literally ‘the name’) promised us, was even greater. And this came through focusing on the Temple.”
Rabbi Yehuda Kroizer, the Chief Rabbi of Mitzpe Yericho, has a deep spiritual connection to the Temple Mount, visiting the site regularly for more than a decade. He also noted the Jewish tradition of blessings being integrally connected to the Temple Mount.
“The Talmud states explicitly that bounty comes into the world via the Temple and the Temple Mount,” Rabbi Kroizer told Breaking Israel News. “The rains, the fruit, the grains, everything changed with the destruction of the Temple. As much as we think we understand nature, agriculture was on a totally different level in Temple times and will return to that when the Temple is rebuilt.”
Rabbi Kroizer also noted a different blessing, perhaps no less important, that originates from the Temple.
“But the Talmud also states that since the Temple was destroyed, Jews are not permitted to be entirely happy,” the rabbi said, citing Psalms as the source for this section of Talmud.
Our mouths shall be filled with laughter, our tongues, with songs of joy. Then shall they say among the nations, “Hashem has done great things for them!”
“The Temple was the source of pure joy,” Rabbi Kroizer said. “If a person dedicates themselves to Geula (redemption), to Hashem and his special place in the world, the source of blessing and joy, it is clear that he will see some blessing.”
Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, the founder of the Temple Institute, takes a more pragmatic approach.
“Jews have mitzvot (Torah commandments) to perform,” Rabbi Ariel said to Breaking Israel News. “That is how we connect ourselves to God. Our relationship with it is not theoretical or in the spiritual. The important thing to remember is that the Temple was and will be a real place with mitzvot attached to it. The sacrifices were the avodah (service, or work). Prayer is called avoda sh’ba’lev (service that is in the heart). That is why no matter where we are in the world, we face toward the Temple Mount when we pray.”
BDS movement founder Omar Barghouti (YouTube)
Omar Barghouti, founder and leader of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, was denied entry to the United States on Wednesday.
He was informed by airline staff at Ben-Gurion International Airport in Israel that U.S. immigration officials told the American consul in Tel Aviv to block him from boarding the flight.
A State Department official told NPR, “Visa records are confidential under U.S. law; therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases.”
The US Capitol Building. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Four of Israel’s most dedicated supporters in the US Congress on Friday expressed concern that the Jewish state may annex the West Bank, as results from Israel’s election earlier this week confirmed the likelihood of a right-wing government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“As strong, life-long supporters of Israel, a U.S.-Israel relationship rooted in our shared values, and the two-state solution, we are greatly concerned by the possibility of Israel taking unilateral steps to annex the West Bank,” said a joint statement from Democratic representatives Eliot Engel (NY), Chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,
The final image sent by Israeli spacecraft Beresheet before it crash-landed on the moon. Photo: courtesy of Space IL.
Astronauts and scientists at the US space agency NASA commended the Israeli non-profit organization SpaceIL for its efforts afyer its spacecraft “Beresheet” failed to land safely on the moon on Thursday.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said, “While NASA regrets the end of the SpaceIL mission without a successful lunar landing of the Beresheet lander, we congratulate SpaceIL, the Israel Aerospace Industries and the state of Israel on the incredible accomplishment of sending the first privately funded mission into lunar orbit.”
“Der ewige Jude” – “Theeternal Jew” movie poster . (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
The lead article Thursday on the opinion page of the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper compared Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the 1940 Nazi antisemitic movie The Eternal Jew.
The article was titled in the paper “The Eternal Netanyahu” in a word play in connection with director Fritz Hippler’s antisemitic pseudo-documentary, based on the medieval legend of the wandering Jew, that served as a cinematographic justification for the Holocaust.
As an orthopedic surgeon for 30 years in Washington, D.C. I see patients from all over the world and from every walk of life and what has become clear to me is that everyone is fundamentally the same. As a rule, I shy away from political or religious discussions with my patients as they have no bearing on their care. But occasionally, the discussions are thrust on me.
Several years ago I treated a professor of political science from a local university and had established a good rapport with him. On his last visit before saying goodbye he popped a question.
It is well-known by some and wholly ignored by others that Islam has a long, sad history of antisemitism, a bigotry that originated in the seventh century CE (the first Islamic century) and has grown more vicious in the 21st. Combined with an almost universal anti-Zionism and bolstered by many on the political “left”, it is today the most ubiquitous and deadliest form of Jew-hatred. It takes the form, not just of insults, boycotts, and lawfare, but of wars, terrorist attacks, and calls for the destruction of the Jewish state and the genocide of the Jews.
Amman – The streets in Amman’s Jebel al-Weibdeh are crowded in the early evening with sounds of young people looking for a place to relax. Coffee shops intermix with art studios selling crafts for tourists. At the Maestro bar and restaurant, a band is getting ready for a live performance. The lights are dimmed and someone has put “no smoking” signs on the tables – they are out of place with the ash trays. Apparently, Monday has jam sessions and anyone can bring their instrument to join in. But it’s Wednesday.
A few of my readers recently asked me to explain the difference between “Palestinians” living inside and outside of Israel’s borders. Who are the “Palestinians” anyway? First, see below:
“Palestine” does not exist today as a nation-state, but at multiple times in history, including the present, it has been one of the names of a place. The Romans, recalling the defunct Philistines – non-Arab Sea People – coined it after defeating [Jewish general] Bar Kochba in 135 CE to disassociate what had been Judaea from Jews.
President Trump’s peace plan for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict surfaced two years ago and to this day – remarkably – only he and a handful of aides know its precise details. A stream of leaks, however, contains enough internal consistency that their collation, supplemented by conversations with administration officials, provides a plausible outline of the plan’s contents.
On March 31, a South Bend grandma brought her grandson to the hospital. The 11-month-old baby boy had been shot. His grandmother’s car had also taken fire. It was another early morning in South Bend.
Around the same time, Mayor Buttigieg, was toting up the $7 million in donations from his charm offensive as his bid for the 2020 Democrat nomination got underway. The national media never bothered reporting the shooting of an 11-month-old boy in the city he was supposed to be running, but instead confined its coverage of South Bend matters to a publicity stunt wedding officiated by Buttigieg.
The Palestinian students are being targeted because of their political affiliations and not because of any crime they committed.
While the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are busy beating up each other’s supporters, “pro-Palestinian” activists on US and Canadian university campuses are busy blaming Israel for Palestinian woes.
As an American Christian who has had the privilege of working in senior-level positions for four US presidents and who has enjoyed a close association with three of Israel’s prime ministers, I believe it is my obligation to provide the Israeli people with my views. I think my viewpoint is important because a vast number of American Evangelical Christians believe as I believe. In addition, Evangelical Christians are, without question, Israel’s strongest supporters in the United States.
Does Case 3000 – known as the submarine affair – prove that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is guilty of doing something illegal? Well, all Likud supporters believe with absolute confidence that it’s a political plot. Netanyahu’s opponents, however, believe – also with absolute confidence – that it’s the largest corruption case to ever occur in the State of Israel.