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April 18, 2015 / 29 Nisan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Kotel’

Rabbi Rabinowitz to Pope: ‘The People of Israel Live On, in the Land of Israel’

Monday, May 26th, 2014

JERUSALEM – After a visit at the Dome of the Rock and after descending from the Temple Mount Pope Francis visited the Western Wall (Kottel) today (May 26), where he prayed and placed a note among the Kotel’s stones.

Before approaching the Holy site the Pope received a briefing on the history of the Temple Mount by a guide using a three dimensional map. The Pope heard of the two Jewish Temples, their destruction, and the evolving architecture of the Temple Mount. Pope Francis was then addressed by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rabbi of the Kotel and the Holy Sites, and heard him speak proudly of the Jews’ history, of their exile and redemption.

“The Jerusalem you have arrived at, honored Pope, is not only the physical Jerusalem. It is also the Jerusalem of dreams; the dream of millions of Jews throughout two thousand long years of exile. Jerusalem is a dream that has been realized; we are still walking in it as dreamers, expecting the full realization of the dream,” said Rabbi Rabinowitz. Relating to the destruction of the Second Temple, Rabbi Rabinowitz spoke of Titus’s Arch in Rome, which depicts the exile of the Jews.

“It is true, Titus succeeded in taking the Menorah (candelabrum) and the tools of the Temple; but the light of faith, and the hope to return to the land of our fathers, he was not successful in extinguishing,” he remarked. “We have traveled a long road on the way home; we have journeyed from the four corners of the land.”

Possibly hinting to Christian persecution, Rabbi Rabinowitz said: “For two thousand years we have had our fill of scorn and sadness, but every day we prayed and believed ‘Next year in Jerusalem.’ We merited a great miracle to return here after a long exile and a horrifying Holocaust. Thank God, the People of Israel live on, in the Land of Israel.”

Noting a long list of Jews who immigrated to Israel throughout its history, Rabbi Rabinowitz remarked that throughout the exile Jews continued believing in their status as the chosen nation, not out of arrogance but out of a commitment to the nation’s mission to serve God. Finally, quoting the vision of the prophets, he read from the Book of Isaiah : “And many peoples shall go and say: ‘Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Rabbi Rabinowitz concluded with a request. Referring to global anti-Semitism, Rabbi Rabinowitz said: “I would like to address – together with you – the believers of all religions, asking them to fight hatred and anti-Semitism which has increases more and more. Only two days ago we have felt it again, and the voices that are heard all the time do not bring good tidings. We will raise to them from Jerusalem a blessing of peace.”

The Pope received a simultaneous translation of Rabbi Rabinowitz’s wors.

After hearing Rabbi Rabinowitz’s speech, the Pope placed a note in the Wall, and then signed a visitor’s book where he expressed his thanks and quoted the prophet Isaiah: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” The Pope received a book from Rabbi Rabinowitz on the Temple and its heritage.

Parallel to the Pope’s visit, The Temple Institute in Jerusalem, which educates about the Temple and actually prepares for the building of the Third Temple, released a statement demanding that the Pope return the vessels of the Temple. Under the title ‘Give Back the Vessels’, the statement read: “Today the Pope is in Jerusalem, and we demand: Return at once the Holy Temple vessels stolen by Titus in 70 CE and later hidden away in the Vatican where they have remained for over 1000 years. In your own words, Pope Francis, the situation is “increasingly unacceptable.” Return the stolen vessels at once!”

Pope Francis Lashes Out at Nazi Murderers During Yad Vashem Visit

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Pope Francis has had a busy day so far in the ancient Old City of Jerusalem.

He began his day on the Temple Mount, in the Al Aqsa Mosque, visiting with the Mufti of Jerusalem and the Waqf Islamic Authority. The pontiff was quoted as telling both, “May we work together for justice and peace.”

Given the violence that has emanated week after week from that quarter towards Christians and Jews alike, that would seem to be a tall order. There is no information about the response of the Arab officials to the Pope’s comments at the mosque. On the first leg of his journey to the Holy Land, yesterday, he made an unscheduled stop at the separation barrier that was built by Israel to prevent suicide bombers from infiltrating and murdering citizens in areas of the country that were under the government’s control prior to 1967.

The Pope was then led to Judaism’s holiest site for prayer by Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch. The Kotel (Western Wall) had been cleared of visitors for security reasons earlier by police. The pontiff bowed his head in prayer with his hand on the ancient stones. He followed those silent moments of communion with the Creator by placing a note in the Wall — an ancient tradition observed by nearly everyone who comes to the Wall — and embraced close Jewish and Muslim friends with him.

Francis met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres and made a quick visit to the Mt. Herzl cemetery where he laid a wreath at the tomb of the ‘father of Zionism,’ Theodore Herzl. He then visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Center in a moving ceremony where he laid a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance and greeted six Holocaust survivors. There the pontiff questioned the role of G-d in the slaughter of the millions of victims murdered by the Nazis.

“The Father knew the risk of freedom, he knew that His children could be lost, yet perhaps not even the Father could imagine so great a fall, so profound an abyss,” he reflected. Having lit the memorial light in the center just minutes before, he compared the Nazi Holocaust to idolatry, and standing before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, himself a survivor, lashed out against the murderers.

“Who convinced you that you were G-d? Not only did you torture and kill your brothers and sisters, but you sacrificed them to yourself, because you made yourself a god. Today, in this place, we hear once more the voice of G-d: ‘Adam, where are you?’ Hear “L-rd and have mercy,” Francis prayed. “We have sinned against You. You reign for ever.”

The Pope also received from Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev a reproduction of a painting of a Chossid engrossed in prayer created in the Lodz ghetto by a teenage victim of the Holocaust.

He is expected to celebrate Mass at the Cenacle, the upper room in the complex where some believe the tomb of the Biblical King David is located – and where Christians believe the Last Supper took place, sometime before leaving to return to the Vatican in the afternoon hours.

There have been protests against the Pope’s visit to various sites in the Old City of Jerusalem by both Muslim and Jewish groups, both saying the leader of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church is intent on defiling their respective holy places of worship.

Kotel to be Closed Monday Morning for Pope

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Call it a practice run. Entry to the Kotel was blocked a few times over the past few weeks due to a lack of guards available to check all the visitors.

But that’s nothing compared to this coming Monday morning, when the entire Kotel plaza will be closed to all visitor, until 10:30 AM.

‘Vatikin’ prayer-goers will have a special bus to take them to the Kotel, leaving from the Karta parking lot between 5:00 to 5:30 AM.

The indoor section of the Kotel on the side of the men’s section will be open for prayers during the morning, with access apparently through the Muslim Quarter.

Kotel Closed Due to Lack of Security Guards

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Jerusalem police closed the main entrances to the Western Wall plaza this morning (Monday). The Civil Security firm that provides security at the site simply did not have enough employees available for the job, according to a press release issued by the rabbi of the Kotel, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch.

It was the second time in recent days that police were forced to close the entrances.

Sources close to the Western Wall Heritage Foundation have asked the police to reconsider the outsourcing contact with Civil Security. “If this happens even once more, we will eventually get to a situation in which people trying to visit the Kotel are forced to run from place to place, looking for an entrance,” said a WWHF official.

HaTikvah at the Kotel

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

The Israel Defense Forces sing the Israeli national anthem, HaTikvah, in the Jewish holy city of Jerusalem, at the kotel.

The lyrics in English:

As long as the Jewish spirit
Yearns deep in the heart,
With eyes turned East,
Looking towards Zion.

Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope of two millennia,
To be a free people in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

 

Archaeologists Find Ancient Chisel that May Have Helped Build Kotel

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Archaeologists have discovered a treasure of Second Temple-era objects, including a chisel that may have been used to build the Western Wall, but officials at the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) are not officially confirming anything until conclusive studies are completed.

IAA archaeologist Eli Shukrun told Haaretz that he discovered the 2,000-year-old chisel last summer during digging in a tunnel at the lower base of the Western Wall, popularly known by the Hebrew word “Kotel,” which was the western outer wall of the courtyard of the destroyed Second Temple. The Kotel was not a wall of the Holy Temple itself.

Shukrun also told the newspaper that he found a golden bell that may have been used by the High Priest, but the IAA reported the same discovery three years ago, and it is not clear if the archaeologist has found  an additional bell along with the chisel.

The Torah states in Exodus, Chapter 28 Verse 3, “”A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, on the hem of the robe all around.”

Shukrun and Prof. Ronny Reich, who have been digging in Temple Mount area for 19 years, also found a Roman sword and a ceramic seal that probably was used as a stamp of approval for sacrifices brought on the Holy Temple.

 

Preparations Completed for Priestly Blessing from Jerusalem

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Rabbis have been busy preparing the traditional Birkat Kohanim, the Blessing of the Priests, set for Thursday.

One of the most moving events in the entire holiday, Jews and Gentiles alike flock to the Western Wall from around the world to be present for the blessing.

The benediction is given solely by Jewish males who are descended from kohanim – those who are in the patriarchal line from members of the priestly class dating all the way back to the time of the ancient Holy Temples. Those who recite the blessing cover themselves (and any children they may have with them) with their prayer shawls, spreading out the shawl in such a way so that they are unseen by others as they recite the benediction.

The blessing at the Western Wall is recited during the morning service by thousands of Kohanim during Chol Hamoed, the intermediate days of the festival of Passover. It is also recited during the intermediate days of the festival of Sukkot.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews come to visit and pray at the Western Wall in the Old City in Jerusalem during this holiday, and many arrive only for the purpose of being present to receive this special blessing.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/preparations-completed-for-priestly-blessing-from-jerusalem/2014/04/16/

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