The Temple Institute, dedicated to reestablishing the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, announces school for training Kohanim.
The Temple Institute, dedicated to reestablishing the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and in keeping its memory alive, announced it is opening a school for training Levitical priests for their eventual service in a new temple.
The institute ran several pilot programs in recent years and now “is embarking on a mission to teach Kohanim all the practical skills required to serve in the Third Holy Temple,” it said in a statement.
The institute has opened an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise at least $75,000 for the project.
The Temple Institute hopes one day to replace the Dome of the Rock with the Third Holy Temple, but not by violent means. Observant Jews pray for that to happen in every daily prayer service, with some awaiting the appearance of the Messiah and others believing that they must act to bring the Messiah closer.
Muslim religious and political leaders, however, use this to fan fears that Israel will change the status quo that has kept the site in control of a Jordanian authority, known as the Waqf. Speeches meant to inflame believers have led to repeated clashes over the years and were used to inspire a recent wave of murderous terrorist attacks aimed at Israelis.
The Wakf stayed in power at the end of the 1967 Six Day War when the Temple Mount returned to Jewish hands, because the government allowed then CoS Moshe Dayan, who was not at all observant and felt that the Western Wall was enough for Israel, to “give the keys” – that is, control of the site – to the Wakf in vain hope of forging peaceful relations. Since then, rights for Jews have deteriorated to the point that Jewish visitors to the Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, may not even utter prayers without being arrested.
The Institute has reconstructed nearly all of the sacred vessels needed to perform the services in a rebuilt Temple in their original size, including the High Priest’s breastplate featuring the 12 precious stones of the tribes of Israel, the half-ton golden menorah and the musical instruments of the Levitical choir. Visitors to the Old City can see the beautiful display of these vessels and see creative, animated films on how they were used at the Institute’s center in the Jewish Quarter.
The curriculum at the Nezer HaKodesh Institute for Kohanic Studies will include courses on the Temple service, theory and practice and the role and application of modern technology in the Third Temple, according to the Institute.
“We are extremely excited to announce this new step towards the restoration of the Holy Temple service. We call first and foremost upon Kohanim worldwide to support this special project, which signifies a return to their birth right. We have chosen to use Indiegogo as a tool to enable as many people as possible to be a part of this historic initiative,” Rabbi Chaim Richman, international director of the Temple Institute, said in a statement.
The second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.
Israel National News
“This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded: Gather ye of it every man according to his eating; an omer a head, according to the number of your persons, shall ye take it, every man for them that are in his tent.’” Exodus 16:16 (The Israel Bible™)
On Monday, a very special gathering took place in Jerusalem. A group of Kohanim, Jews from the priestly caste, reenacted the Omer offering service as it would have appeared on Shavuot (the Festival of Weeks) were the temple standing today.
The Kohanim, wearing clothes made according to Biblical specifications, were accompanied by music played on silver horns, specially created to be used in the Third Temple.
The period for bringing first fruits begins on Shavuot so, like the original ceremonies in the Jewish Temples, the reenactment included the presentation of the first fruits, bikurim, to the priests while reciting the Biblical passages.(Deuteronomy 26:3-10)
I profess this day unto Hashem thy God, that I am come unto the land which Hashem swore unto our fathers to give us.’” Deuteronomy 26:3
And now, behold, I have brought the first of the fruit of the land, which Thou, O Hashem, hast given me.’ And thou shalt set it down before Hashem thy God, and worship before Hashem thy God. Deuteronomy 26:10
The Omer offering is preceded by a libation of wine made from specially grown grapes, poured from silver vessels that were specially prepared to be used in the Third Temple.
The two loaves, baked beforehand from a sourdough, were shaped in a special manner with squared ‘horns’ in the corners, resembling the altar.
Lambs were brought for the demonstration, since the two loaves of the Omer wave offering are accompanied by sheep that have been slaughtered and cut into pieces. For the reenactment, the lambs were allowed to watch while contentedly chewing grass. Meat was brought from the local butcher and placed on the altar.
After the ceremony, the priests ate the bread, while the participants celebrated joyously at meriting to catch a glimpse of the glory of the Temple.
Just four days before Passover, the day the Bible commands Israel to bring a lamb to the Temple to be sacrificed, a group of Kohanim (members of the Jewish priestly class) sacrificed a lamb on Mount Scopus overlooking the site of the Temple. The Kohanim wore ritual clothes conforming to Biblical requirements and were accompanied by music played on silver instruments specially made to serve in the Third Temple.
The reenactment included all the steps required for the korban pesach, the Passover Sacrifice: checking the animal for blemishes, slaughtering it, collecting its blood and bringing it to the corner of a model altar, skinning the animal and separating its inner parts, and roasting it whole in a special Passover oven.
All of the utensils used for the sacrifice were prepared by the Temple Institute, which organized the event along with United Mikdash Movements, an organization composed of several Temple movements that promote freedom of worship for all nations, and for Jews in particular on the Temple Mount.
Breaking Israel News spoke to Arnon Segal, who organized the reenactment for the last five years.
“Every year there are more people,” Segal said. “We keep changing venues to accommodate the growing crowds. This year hundreds of people, more than ever before, arrived from all over Israel.”
The initiative for the project comes from the belief that even today, lacking a Temple, Jews are required to sacrifice the Passover lamb. The imperative comes from the grave implications for not doing so. Two positive commandments are specifically mentioned as bringing a punishment called karet if they are omitted: brit milah (circumcision) and korban pesach. Opinions vary as to the precise nature of Karet, ranging from premature death to being cut off from heaven. Since it is the only punishment divinely implemented, Karet is considered the most severe of all judgements. For this reason, the desire to perform the korban pesach is greater than for any other aspect of the Temple service.
Breaking Israel News asked Rabbi Hillel Weiss, secretary of the Nascent Sanhedrin, if the mitzvah of korban pesach is incumbent upon the Jews today by Jewish law, despite the lack of a Temple or an altar.
“Of course. There isn’t even a question,” Rabbi Weiss answered. “There is nothing in Jewish law that prevents us from performing this sacrifice. The only obstacle is the government that will not allow the Jews to do this great mitzvah, so the sin is on them, and not, God forbid, on the Jewish people.”
The Sanhedrin established a committee in 2004 concerning the korban pesach to work in cooperation with all religious, legal, and administrative authorities. The committee has attempted several times to obtain the government’s permission. Legal documents were sent to the Prime Minister, the Supreme Court, and the Chief of Police. The Prime Minister did not respond. The Supreme Court appeared to uphold the right to perform the sacrifice, but denied it on grounds of security. This answer was reiterated by the Chief of Police.
Indeed, the korban pesach is not dependent on the presence of a Temple and continued long after the Second Temple was destroyed. Jewish sage Rabban Gamliel commanded his servant to roast the korban pesach 100 years after the destruction of the Temple. Also, the Byzantine Caesar Yostaninos issued an edict forbidding the Jews from sacrificing the korban pesach as late as the sixth century CE, indicating the Jews were still doing so over 500 years after the destruction of the Temple.
One reason given for preventing the sacrifice today is ritual impurity. All Jews are considered ritually impure today since we lack the ashes of the red heifer used to purify from contact with dead. However, the Rambam, a preeminent medieval Sephardic Jewish scholar, ruled that ritual impurity does not prevent bringing a time-bound public sacrifice, such as the korban pesach, and in the case where most of Israel is impure, the Passover sacrifice can be brought nonetheless.
The lack of an altar is an obstacle, but recent developments in technology can help in a way the forefathers could never have imagined. It was forbidden to use iron to quarry stones for the altar (Exodus 20:25), since iron is used for weapons and the Temple was the source of life, not death. Today, high-pressure streams of water are routinely used to quarry stones and could be used to recreate the altar.
Rabbi Yehudah Glick, Temple Mount Heritage Foundation founder, explained to Breaking Israel News the special significance of the Passover sacrifice for the Nation of Israel today.
“Korban pesach was the first mitzvah for the Jews as soon as they became a nation, accepting Hashem as God, allowing us to receive his Torah. The renewal of this special korban today is a clear expression that we are acknowledging that this is not just a physical land, but that we are accepting the mission to bring light unto the nations.”
Warning: Photos show an animal sacrifice.
JERUSALEM (RNS) An Israeli institute dedicated to building the Third Temple in Judaism’s history is seeking males ritually pure enough to carry out Torah-based commandments that haven’t been performed in nearly 2,000 years.
Earlier this week, the Temple Institute announced a search for a select group of male kohanim, members of the Jewish priestly class, qualified to perform animal sacrifices, including the slaying and burning of a red heifer.
The arcane rituals the institute wants to revive stretch back to the biblical book of Numbers, which stipulates, among other things, that the ashes of an unblemished red cow sacrificed by Jewish priests at the Jerusalem Temple can purify people who come in contact with the dead.
Problem is, a Jewish Temple hasn’t existed since the year 70, when the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans, and Jews have been led by rabbis, not priests, though they continue to keep track of priestly lineage.