Third Temple preparations: Rabbis Bring Out Priestly Garments For First Time Since 70 AD
Posted by Job on July 2, 2008
Wearing a turban and a light blue tunic threaded with silver, a man stands in a workshop in Jerusalem’s Old City beside spools of white thread affixed to sewing machines. A painting of high priests performing an animal sacrifice beside the First Temple illustrates the function of the room.
On Monday, the Temple Institute started preparing to build a Third Temple on Jerusalem’s Mount Moriah, the site of the Dome of the Rock and the Aksa mosque, by inaugurating a workshop that manufactures priestly garments.
After Efrat Chief Rabbi Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, a Kohen himself, gets measured for his own set of Kohanim garments, Aviad Jeruffi, the clothing’s designer, strums “To Ascend to the Temple Mount” on his guitar in celebration.
Priestly garments have not been worn since the destruction of the Second Temple by Rome in 70 AD and cannot be functional until a Third Temple is constructed.
Kohanim, priests directly descended from Moses’s brother Aaron, are recognized by the Institute as such if their paternal grandfather observed the tradition. Today, they have special religious responsibilities; in days of yore they performed the most significant duties within the Temple.
Approximately one-third of the commandments in the Torah cannot be accomplished without a temple, including the obligations of the Kohanim.
But a Third Temple seems a flighty dream with nightmarish political implications to many, as both a shrine, the Dome of the Rock, and the Aksa mosque, Islam’s third holiest structure, currently stand on the Temple Mount.
Rabbi Yehuda Glick, director of the Temple Institute, says he assumes Muslims will be supportive when the Temple is ready to be built: “We already have some Muslims who are secretly in touch with us,” he says.
When the Temple is rebuilt, Kohanim must wear the proper outfit to perform their obligations, Glick continues. Each set has a turban, tunic pants and belt and is individually tailored at a cost of NIS 2,500.
“If it were a bathrobe for watching SNL [Saturday Night Live], it would not be worth it. But we’re talking about people who have a very strong yearning for working in the Beit Hamikdash [Temple],” says Glick.
Years of diligent research was needed to create the garments in conformance with Jewish law.
Special flaxen thread was imported from India and overseas travel was necessary to obtain the correct colors for the clothes, including to Istanbul, to purchase mountain worms from which the correct shade of crimson is derived.
The secret of the correct shade of blue has been lost since the destruction of the Second Temple, as the identity of chilazon, the snail from which it was extracted, was uncertain until the Ptil Tekhelet nonprofit organization identified it as the murex trunculus, aka hexaplex trunculus, the banded dye-murex found near the Mediterranean Sea.
“The Temple is not a message [just for] the Jewish people. It reunites the world all around one central prayer house. All the prophets say that at the End Times all the nations will be coming to Jerusalem and take part of building [the Temple],” Glick says.
(I wonder if Messianic Jews are going to participate in this, especially if they are of the dispensational pre – tribulation rapture sort? We already know that dispensational pre – tribulation rapture Gentile Christians are doing things like trying to breed red heifers to use in sacrifices as well as providing these people with a ton of financial and organizational support. So, they may as well be bringing burnt offerings and burning bullock and goat kidneys and liver cauls themselves. So what justification is there for supporting this if you are not also going to participate? I will grant you: Paul, who should be considered a Messianic Jew in certain contexts, continued to worship at the temple, as did Peter and many of the other Jerusalem Jewish Christians, and they did so despite the fact that the high priesthood was being held by and the temple was being run by Roman – appointed Sadducees that rejected most of the Old Testament in order to accommodate their embrace of Greek paganism. So my personal opinion of MESSIANIC JEWS STAY AWAY is not as cut – and – dried as I would like it to be. But still: my position is MESSIANIC JEWS AND GENTILE CHRISTIANS, STAY AWAY. Please recall: God told the Jews, whom He was still dealing with to accomplish His purposes in the world through His prophets, to build the second temple. God told them to build it, so that made it appropriate and proper for a person of God to worship there. Now did God tell Jews to build a third temple? If so, when? Instructions to do so were not in the Old Testament. Even better … HOW? Do Jews still have prophets? If so … then why do they need to convert to Christianity? Even more to the point … why does Christianity exist t all? Do not assume that it was the unconditional will of God for there to always be a Jewish temple. Keep in mind: God did not even tell the Jews to build THE FIRST TEMPLE. God merely blessed the decision of DAVID to build it. For more general information on this topic, please see A Better Replacement Theology For Christians And Jews)