Photo Credit: David Rubinger
Rabbi Shlomo Goren blowing the Shofar near the Western Wall in June 1967.

The “tiny” Torah from the tiny ark was the one that Rabbi Goren carried with him during all the wars. It was the first Torah to enter the Temple Mount in 2,000 years and the first to enter the Machpela Cave in Hebron, where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebbecca, Jacob and Leah are buried and the first to enter the burial place of Rachel.

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So what does the little room I pray in on Yom Kippur have to do with Rabbi Goren?

As the IDF paratroopers were entering the Old City of Jerusalem in 1967, Rabbi Goren found the Arab who was the owner of the “Machkame”and offered to buy the building. After a short delegation, the Arab was happy to sell the building to the Rabbi and after the Six Day War was over, Rabbi Goren gave ownership of the building over to the State of Israel on one condition. Twice a year (Yom Kippur and the 9th of Av) this small room that overlooks the Temple Mount will be used as a synagogue for Jews to come and pray.

For the past 25 years I have been coming to the same small room, with the same small congregation and reading from the same small Torah scroll. What did I pray for on Yom Kippur? I prayed for the peace of Jerusalem and that may we merit to witness the rebuilding of the Bet Hamikdash in our days. May we all merit to witness the prophecy of Isaiah 56:7

“Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon Mine altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” Watch the whole video or start from 3:28

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