from page 71
Selected news and feature stories
from the Detroit Jewish News.
Back In Time
Herod even wanted to overlay the stones with gold,
but the sages told him, "Leave it as it is. This way, it is
more beautiful, for the stones appear like the waves of
Look for Alexis R Rubin's
"This Month in Jewish History"
New Column from Brian
Blum: Making the News
Brian addresses the contro-
versy generated by an article
in last week's San Diego
Union Tribune about the
death of Marla Bennett, who
was killed in a bombing at
Hebrew University one year
ago. The article "compared"
the death of Marla, Brian's
cousin, with that of pro-
Palestinian protester Rachel
Read the full article at
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One of history's most eminent leaders, Alexander
the Great, also was a friend to the Jewish community.
After conquering all the ancient world, Alexander came
to Jerusalem, where he was met by the Temple's High
Priest, Simon the Just.
Alexander promptly bowed before Simon and
exclaimed, "This is the face which is victorious before me
He explained that he had had numerous dreams where
he saw an image of Simon, whose work in the Temple he
believed had helped protect him from harm and ensure
his success in war. Alexander became one of the greatest
protectors of the Temple and on more than one occasion
saved it from destruction.
Prayers in Jerusalem on the day of mourning for the Temples.
It took seven years to build the First Temple, and 22 to
create the Second.
On Rosh Hashanah, the sound of the shofar in the
Temple was accompanied by shorter blasts from silver trum-
pets. (See Psalms 98:6: "With trumpet blasts sound off before
the King, God.") Unlike most other shofarim, both of past
and present, this one was not humble in appearance. Instead,
it was covered with gold.
The Lamentations read today in congregations on Tisha
b'Av were known to have been recited in public — also to
mark the destruction of the Temple — for literally thousands
Sacrifices brought to the Temple could be either from
Eretz Yisrael the Land of Israel, or anywhere in the Diaspora
— with one exception. The omer, whose counting marks the
days between Pesach and Shavuot, had to be from barley
grown within Israel.
o The divine name of God, known as the Tetragrammaton,
was spoken aloud only one day and in only one place and by
only one person: on Yom Kippur, the High Priest would utter
the name 10 times in the Temple.
After those assembled heard the name, they would bow
down and prostrate themselves.
When you visit Jerusalem, don't be surprised if someone
stops you if you try to visit the Dome of the Rock, located just
beside the Kotel, the Western Wall. Most scholars believe this
Arab mosque is atop what used to be the Temple, and specifi-
cally areas inappropriate for casual visitors (such as the site of
the sacrifice of Isaac and the former location of the Ten
(1) The menorah contained in the Temple was made from
one kikar of pure gold — a single piece, rather than several
placed together. Exactly how this was done remains a mystery
to this day.
Among the secular leaders — to name just a few — who
donated items to the Temple were Ptolemy Philadelphus, who
gave a table and vessels of gold; Seleucus IV, who provided
funds to cover the entire cost of sacrifices; Antiochus III, who
also gave a substantial amount for sacrifices, in addition to
wheat, salt and flour; Demetrius, who donated his own money
Throughout history, various groups have called for the
building of a third Temple. The first known efforts came sever-
`Man Praying on the Ninth of Av," from the 1492 Rothschild
for use in the Temple; and King Monobaz, who provided gold
for the handles of all vessels used on Yom Kippur.
C) The building of the Temple is a mitzvah, among the 613
commandments God gave the Jewish people.
al years after the Second Temple was destroyed. The Talmud
recounts, "In the time of Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Chananya, the
evil empire (Hadrian) decreed that the Temple may be rebuilt.
Two wealthy Jews, Papus and Lulianus, were appointed to
finance the project ...
"Meanwhile, the Samaratins [who opposed the building of
any Temple] went to the emperor and they lied. They said,
`Know, 0 King, that the Jews are rebelling against you! When
they rebuild the Temple, they will cease to pay the royal taxes.'
"Hadrian replied, 'What shall I do? I already authorized the
"They responded, 'All you need to do is send a message to
them saying, 'Change the location of the Temple just a bit —
or, add on another five cubits to the site. Then they will with-
draw of their own accord.'
[The Temple was to be built to extremely specific direc-
"The whole nation had gathered in the valley of Beit Rimon
when the emperor's edict arrived. They began to wail and cry.
They considered rebelling against Hadrian, but Rabbi
Yehoshua Ben Chananya rose and spoke before them. 'It is
enough that we have escaped from these people with our lives,'