Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Temple Institute on Facebook

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH (POTENTIALLY): The third Jewish Temple is coming to your Facebook feed. Temple Institute, dedicated to rebuilding ancient holy site, begins using new internet tools to bring its message to the masses (ANDREW TOBIN, Times of Israel).
The video – released this week ahead of the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’av, which commemorates the second temple’s destruction in 70 CE by the Romans — is part of the Temple Institute’s strategy of using the new tools of the internet to bring its ancient message to the masses.

“Our goal is to raise the consciousness of the Jewish people and all humanity toward the central role that the holy temple plays in the life of mankind,” Rabbi Chaim Richman, the Massachusetts-born cofounder and the international director of the Temple Institute, told JTA. “We’re very much focused on getting the message out on all the channels of social media and all the things people are into today. Most of my work is internet related.”

Established in 1987, 20 years after Israel conquered the Temple Mount and the Palestinian territories in the Six-Day War, the Temple Institute was one of the first groups to openly advocate the rebuilding of the two temples that once stood on the plaza. Another cofounder is Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, who was among the paratroopers who took the Temple Mount from Jordanian forces in 1967.

The problem for supporters is that the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem is sacred not only to Jews, but to Muslims and Christians too. The site includes the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, two of the most significant shrines in Islam. Israel chose to leave it under Muslim control in 1967, and Jewish prayer is prohibited there. Ever since, even rumors of changes to the “status quo” — let alone provocative calls to build a third temple in their place — have provoked international Muslim ire and Palestinian violence. Tensions surrounding the Temple Mount played a major role in the first and second Palestinian intifadas, or uprisings, and helped trigger the most recent wave of attacks that started in October.
I wish the media would press the Temple Institute a little more on the subject of the ancient monuments already on the Temple Mount and how they figure into this plan to build a third Temple. Background and much-repeated additional commentary are here and links.