Monday, July 23, 2007

Mourning and planning for the Third Temple

You probably thought Yom Kippur was the saddest day on the Jewish calendar -- the atoning for sins, the fasting. But, in fact, that date is Tisha B'Av, which begins at sundown tonight. It commemorates the tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people, particularly the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.

With this backdrop, a group of Jewish priests and Levites gathered at the Western Wall last week, bringing together the sons of Aaron for the first time in 2,000 years, and discussed what their duties would be upon the construction of the Third Temple.
"With the help of God, we are hoping that the Beit HaMikdash" -- the Holy Temple -- "will be rebuilt, and I would like my sons to know what that's all about, what their role as Levi'im will be in the time of the Beit HaMikdash when things are really relevant," Levi, a mother of five and an immigrant from South Africa, said between conference sessions Monday.

"We believe, and every day we have to believe, that it is imminent -- that it can happen today. Until then there should be an awareness of their heritage and responsibility for the future."
Considering the Holy Mount is currently the home of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, these priests likely will need to live longer than Methuselah if they are going to enter the Third Temple.

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