December 31, 2004

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Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri (AMV"SH) on the coming Redemption

At least one Kabbalist sage predicted "natural calamities" over two weeks ago. He and others call for an increase in acts of kindness, as they try to place the events in universal context.

Rabbi Kaduri said this week, "What can save the world from calamities is real repentance by Jews, who must increase acts of kindness towards one another... The cry of the many poor in Israel and the expulsion of Jews from their homes shakes the world... It's not for naught that this place was hit, where many of our compatriots went to look for this-worldly lusts."

And he states: "The Messiah is already [here] in Israel. Whatever people are sure will not happen, is liable to happen, and whatever we are certain will happen may disappoint us. But in the end, there will be peace throughout the world."

See the full story here:

December 3st!

On this December 31st I want to take the opportunity to wish everyone a happy and healthy Shabbos.

If you decide to celebrate "New Years," why not take a moment to see what you're glorifying:

Kiddush Hashem - Don't Talk During Prayers!

I have written about this important issue before. Whole communities have been destroyed and countless disasters have befallen us because of needless talking during davening. You would not talk to your friend if you were standing before a judge in court. Why would you talk to someone else when you stand before the Judge of the world?

This Shabbos is the 800th anniversary of the death of the Rambam. Let us honor him and his memory by honoring G-d and his House. Please see the following great article by Rabbi Bulua:

From Arutz Sheva

In Shul, Jews Who Shmooze - Lose
Dec 30, '04 / 18 Tevet 5765

Shmoozing in shul, especially on Shabbat and Yom Tov when the davening is longer and people don't have to go to work, is a major problem. While most people who go to shul know of the Halachic prohibition against talking during davening, still much talking goes on anyway, most probably from force of habit. That is no excuse, however.

The Rambam (Hilchot Tefillah, Perek 11 Halacha 6) says that a shul is not a place for engaging in idle conversation. The Sefer Chareidim (9:19) notes that this prohibition is in force even not during davening time; he concludes by quoting that one should learn in this regard from the behavior of non-Jews who stay completely silent when in their houses of worship. According to the Aruch ha-Shulchan (124:12), it is a chillul Hashem to talk during davening, since it unfortunately gives credence to the widely held perception that non-Jews are more careful than Jews to maintain proper behavior in their house of worship.

Rabbi Yom Tov Lipmann Heller (Tosfot Yom Tov) maintained that the terrible massacres of Chmielnicki (gezerot tach v'tat), in which tens of thousands of Jews were murdered by Cossacks, was a punishment for the lack of decorum that prevailed in shuls at that time. Rabbi Heller composed a special "Mi She'berach" prayer for those who refrain from talking in shul, which our shul proudly hangs on the wall. The Vilna Gaon, in Igeret HaGra, said that speaking in shul is like playing with fire.

The Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 124:7, says: "It is forbidden to engage in frivolous conversation during the reader's repetition of the prayer, and if one does talk, he is a transgressor, and his sin is too great to bear, and we must rebuke him." This applies during K'riat HaTorah as well. Beiur Halachah 146:2 (starting "v'hanachon...") remarks that even talking with your neighbor between aliyot is forbidden (and according to some poskim, even where one speaks words of Torah!) because you might continue talking during the aliyah. (Mishna Berurah 146:2, Sif Katan 6)

Other obvious problems with talking in shul include distracting your neighbor who wants to listen to the chazzan or daven with kavannah, and setting a terrible example for your children.

The Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 151:1, says that one who engages in any form of idle conversation in shul (even when not davening) violates the rabbinical extension of the commandment of "Et mikdashi ti'ra'u." - "You shall revere my sanctuary." We must conduct ourselves with awe and respect in a shul or beit medrash, today's "miniature Bait Hamikdash," as it says in Megilla 29a: "And I have been for them a Mikdash M'at [a little sanctuary]." (Yechezkel 11:16) Says Rabbi Yitzchak: "These are the shuls and batei midrash in Babylon."

For almost all of davening, it is forbidden to talk. For example, on Shabbat morning, from the beginning of P'sekui d'Zimrah till the conclusion of the Amidah, it is forbidden to speak. (Even if you want to speak to a friend after both of you have finished the Amidah, you should walk out of shul so as not to disturb others.) During the Torah and Haftarah readings, one is forbidden to speak. Finally, during Mussaf and its repetition, talking is forbidden, so that leaves only the end of the service, a very small timeframe, in which it is permissible to speak.

The following remark, penned by Rabbi Shimon Schwab, sums up the Torah viewpoint: "For Hashem's sake - let us be quiet in the Beit Haknesset. Our reverent silence during the tefillah will speak very loudly to Him Who holds our fate in His hands. Communicating with Hashem is our only recourse in this era of trial and tribulations. There is too much ugly noise in our world today. Let us find peace and tranquility while we stand before Hashem in prayer."

There's a sign hanging on the door to our shul. It reads: "Fellow Jew, if you came to shul to talk, where do you go to daven?" You can't have it both ways.

December 30, 2004

Send a Kohain back to Jerusalem!

Send a Kohain (me) back to Jerusalem for a mere 4.5 million dollars.

I kid, but do take a look at the property for sale listed here:

You won't belive this place.

See the Kotel Live with Streaming Video

See our new link on the side bar. Just click on the Kotel to see it LIVE!

Thanks so much for Hasidic Gentile for this great link. PLEASE visit his site often. He is a mench with terrific insight and a true Kiddush HaShem.

His perpetual link in on the side bar or click here:

December 29, 2004

Please Daven for those in Asia

Please take the time today to daven for those poor souls who are suffering in Asia due to the tsunamis. Many have lost loved ones, are homeless or are fighting for their lives.

May Hashem save them and comfort them.


December 28, 2004


"And Moshe wrote this Torah and delivered it to the Kohanim the sons of Levi, that bore the ark of the covenant of Hashem, and unto all the elders of Israel." - Devarim Chapter 31

Take advantage of many of the great Torah sites on the web. New links have been added to the side bar. Enjoy.

The Pathans of Afghanistan - Cool Stuff

I have been doing some research on the Ten Lost Tribes and was fasinated by the following accounts of the Pathans of Northern Afghanistan. Are they our long lost brothers? Check out these pages and post your thoughts.

Halachos of Kria Upon Seeing the Mikdash, Jerusalem, and Judean Cities

From Rabbi Chaim Jachter:,%20Jerusalem,%20and%20Judean%20Cities.htm

December 27, 2004

First Born

From last week's Parsha:

Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them. And Israel said unto Joseph: 'I had not thought to see thy face; and, lo, God hath let me see thy seed also.' And Joseph brought them out from between his knees; and he fell down on his face to the earth. And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him. And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the first-born. And he blessed Joseph, and said: 'The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God who hath been my shepherd all my life long unto this day, the angel who hath redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named in them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.' And when Joseph saw that his father was laying his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head. And Joseph said unto his father: 'Not so, my father, for this is the first-born; put thy right hand upon his head.' And his father refused, and said: 'I know it, my son, I know it; he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; howbeit his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.' And he blessed them that day, saying: 'By thee shall Israel bless, saying: God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh.' And he set Ephraim before Manasseh.

Judaism seems to place great value on the "First Born." But is this really the case?

Let's think about this. In history: Abraham was not the first born, Isaac was not the first born, Jacob was not the first born, Levi and Judah were not the first born, Moses was not the first born, David was not the first born, Solomon was not the first born.

The first born of every family was supossed to serve in the Temple ala Samuel, but G-d appointed the Sons of Aaron due to the sin of the Golden Calf.

I once had Shabbat with a convert. This person went on and on about how amazing it was that I was a Kohain. I laughed. "I didn't do anything to be a Kohain but be born." I was in awe of this woman. She chose Judaism and lived an observant lifestyle by choice. That is impressive.

I guess we can learn from this that status is a nice thing, but not what ultimately matters. It is character.

Just a thought.

December 26, 2004

Keep Jerusalem undivided!

Please sign the petition at One Jerusalem:

I could not have said it better...

Please, just read it.

A Thought.

This past Saturday morning was Xmas. I had the following thought when I woke up.

Xmas is a time where Christians show good will to one another, give charity, spend time with their familes, invite guests, worship together and sit down to a big meal. Despite its pagan origins (Mithra, the Roman Kalends, Saturnalia and Nordic Solstice festivals) and present day (no pun intended) consumerism, no one can say rightfully speak ill of those things that I listed above.

The sad thing: Thousands of secular Jewish children either woke up to open their presents or envied their Christian friends as they opened theirs. Let's face it. Xmas is everywhere and it is hard for many Jews.

But should it be?

These Jewish Children have been robbed. They have been robbed of a heritage. They have been robbed of a religion. They have been robbed of an intimate connection to the Holy One that their ancestors; prophets, kings and priests had.

How can I say this? This Saturday was not only Xmas. It was also Shabbos. EVERY WEEK religious Jews show good will to one another, spend time with their familes, invite guests, worship together and sit down to a big meal. During the week they give charity and pray three times a day to their Creator. Every week thousands of Jews give to and deliver for Tomchei Shabbos which delivers food to the needy EVERY WEEK.

Good will and living a holy life is not seasonal.

So I say to the young Jew out there who is taken in by the "Season," look inward to your own people and see what a wonderful gift Hashem has given you. Don't begrudge Christians their holiday by making it "happy holidays" or "Season Greetings." Don't demand a menorah where there is a tree (the menorah being the ultimate symbol of Jewish identity and refusal to assimilate). Rather be proud of you you are and seek the Truth of your people, your nation, your faith. Wish your Christian friends a Merry Christmas and understand that it is not for you.

On a related note: This New Years Eve is Friday night.

You will find me at home, showing good will, spending time with my family, inviting guests, worshiping with my bretheren and sitting down to a big meal.

Good Shabbos/Shabbat Shalom.

December 23, 2004

Visamachta B'Chagecha! - Site of Temple Water Libation Festivities Uncovered!

From Arutz Sheva:

Site of Temple Water Libation Festivities Uncovered

Thursday, December 23, 2004 / 11 Tevet 5765

New excavations in Jerusalem's City of David, now the Arab neighborhood of Silwan, have revealed the location of the most joyous of all Temple services.A large paved assembly area and water channel, used for the festive Simhat Beit HaShoeva in the times of the Holy Temple, has been uncovered in recent days at an excavation in the City of David, next to Jerusalem’s Old City.The water channel and assembly area were integral parts of what Jewish tradition calls “the most joyous celebrations of the year.” Water accumulated by the newly discovered channel was conducted to the Shiloah Pool, from which water libations brought to the Holy Temple’s altar in the Holy Temple on the final day of the Sukkot Festival.The excavation was led by Eli Shukrun of the Israel Antiquities Authority and Dr. Roni Reich of the Hebrew University. The waters of the Shiloach Spring, where the High Priest would immerse himself in Temple times, were collected in the Shiloach Pool and used in purification ceremonies.The new discoveries add to other finds which together make it possible to see more clearly how the site looked at the time of the Second Temple. In the period immediately before the modern State of Israel, British archaeologists uncovered parts of a stepped street descending the length of the City of David from the Temple Mount to the north. The street surely led to the section of pool that has now been excavated.

See the full story with pix here:

"He who has not seen the rejoicing of Simchas Beis ha'Sho'evah has never seen rejoicing in his life." (Mishna Sukah 51a)

To read more about the festival, see here:

May we merit seeing the festival done in our times. Amen.

Amalek is alive and well. The blood libel lives on in Iran.

From the MEMRI site:

MEMRI TV Project Special Report: Iranian TV Drama Series about Israeli Government Stealing Palestinian Children's Eyes

Iran's Sahar 1 TV station is currently airing a weekly series titled "For You, Palestine," or "Zahra's Blue Eyes." The series premiered on December 13, and is set in Israel and the West Bank. It broadcasts every Monday, and was filmed in Persian but subsequently dubbed into Arabic.

The story follows an Israeli candidate for Prime Minister, Yitzhak Cohen, who is also the military commander of the West Bank. The opening sequence of the show contains graphic scenes of surgery, and images of a Palestinian girl in a hospital whose eyes have been removed, with bandages covering the sockets.

In Episode 1, Yitzhak Cohen lectures at a medical conference on the advances being made by Israeli medicine regarding organ transplants. Later in the episode, Israelis disguised as UN workers visit a Palestinian school, ostensibly to examine the children's eyes for diseases, but in reality to select which children's eyes to steal to be used for transplants.
In Episode 2, the audience learns that the Israeli president is being kept alive by organs stolen from Palestinian children, and an Israeli military commander is seen kidnapping UN employees and Palestinians.

Sahar TV also broadcast an interview with the director of the series, a former Iranian education ministry official, who discussed his motivations for making a series "about children."
The following are excerpts from the first two episodes, and from the interview with the series' director. To view clips from the series, visit In the coming weeks, MEMRI will continue to monitor and translate future episodes of the series.

Me: How do you even attempt to make peace with a people whose culture is hate-filled and nazi-like?

You don't.

Please support MEMRIs efforts by visitng them often and donating to keep their work going.

HaTenu'ah LeChinun HaMikdash

Somewhat informational Israeli site on Temple matters. I do not personally endorse this site and am not responsible for its content.

December 22, 2004

Today is Asarah B'Teves - The Tenth of Teves


"The Tenth of Tevet marks the onset of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylonia, and the beginning of the battle that ultimately destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon, and sent the Jews into the 70-year Babylonian Exile. The date of the Tenth of Tevet is recorded for us by the prophet Yechezkel, who himself was already in Babylonia as part of the first group of Jews exiled there by Nebuchadnezzar, 11 years earlier than the actual destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem itself.

The Tenth of Tevet is viewed as such a severe and important fast day that it is observed even if it falls on a Friday (erev Shabbat), while our other fast days are so arranged by calendar adjustments as to never fall on a Friday, so as not to interfere with Shabbat preparations. "

For the full page, please visit:

Their main page can be found at:

Use today to fast, learn some Torah, do some good deeds and mourn our Holy Temple.

December 21, 2004

More on the Muslim Destruction of the Holy Temple Mount

"In an unbelievable disregard for holy respect, scientific principles and simple decency, see what is permitted to go on at the Holiest site on Earth!"

Read it here:

Holy Garments of the Kohanim

"And draw near to yourself Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to me in the priest's office; Aaron, Nadav, and Avihu, Elazar, and Itamar, the sons of Aaron. And you shall make sacred garments for Aaron your brother, for honor and for beauty. And you shall speak to all who are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister to me in the priest's office. And these are the garments which they shall make: a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a quilted undercoat, a mitre, and a girdle; and they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, and his sons, that he may minister to me in the priest's office ... "(Ex. 28:1-4)

The Temple Institute in Jerusalem has a fabulous site. Firstly check out their page on the garments of the Kohain Gadol and the Kohanim:

Then check out their main page at:

December 20, 2004


Here's a great blog! Please visit:

This guy is righteous!

Shilo - Home of the Mishkan for 369 years

I just found a cool site for the community of Shilo, Israel. They have a scale model of the Mishkan, the precursor to the Temple. You can find the site here:

A dvar Torah about Shilo is found here:

December 19, 2004

View of Jerusalem from the sky

Please visit the following page for a history of ancient Jerusalem:

The Jerusalem Mosaic at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Posted by Hello

December 17, 2004

From Wired Magazine

Apocalypse Now
How a hologram, a blimp, and a massively multiplayer game could bring peace to the Holy Land.

To see the full article:

(Hat tip to Barry Weiss)

Posted by Hello

From the Los Angeles Times

Spock's Futuristic Gesture Grew From Ancient Roots
Actor says 'Star Trek's' Vulcan salute was inspired by a hand sign for a Hebrew letter.

By Larry B. Stammer
Times Staff Writer
December 17, 2004

Actor Leonard Nimoy of "Star Trek" fame remembers well that mysterious moment on a long-ago Shabbat. Seated in an Orthodox synagogue in Boston with his brother, father and grandfather, Nimoy, then 8, had dutifully done as his father had asked. During a climactic moment in the service, he was told not to look.He covered his eyes with his hands. From the direction of the ark he could hear Hebrew words surge over the congregation's bowed heads — words infused with a passion so palpable that the boy did what any 8-year-old would do. He peeked."I was awestruck," Nimoy, 73, recalled in a recent interview. "I had no idea what was going on. And my father was saying, 'Don't look!' And the whole congregation have their eyes covered with their hands and their heads covered with their prayer shawls." To this day, he said, he has never forgotten what he saw. Facing the congregation were five or six men, their heads covered by talitot, or prayer shawls, their arms uplifted."The Lord bless you and keep you," they chanted in Hebrew, pronouncing the priestly blessing, the Birkat HaKohanim. But the boy wondered: What did the sign mean that they made with their fingers and thumbs? Their chanting continued without offering a clue. "The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.""I had no idea what it meant," Nimoy said of the gesture. "But I was affected by it."Years later, the sign became known to millions around the world as the salute in the "Star Trek" television and motion picture series in which Nimoy starred as Spock, the ultra-rational Vulcan who served as science officer on the Starship Enterprise.During development of the series, Nimoy said, the writers were looking for something that would be distinctive about the Vulcan culture. "Why not do this," he said, imitating the priestly hand sign in which the thumb is held separate and the other fingers are split in groups of two. "So I introduced that gesture," he smiled, agreeing that in retrospect it could be seen as subversive.The three-pointed hand sign forms the Hebrew letter shin, the first letter in Shaddai, one of the mystical Hebrew names for the Almighty.Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, who is Orthodox and head of Jewish Law and Ethics at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, explained that in Cabalistic or Jewish mystical thinking, bringing the two hands together with the thumbs touching creates a space or window through which the divine presence comes down upon the outstretched hands and then flows to the congregation."Out of respect for the notion that the divine presence is there, people a long time ago had this custom of not looking," Adlerstein said. Since Nimoy popularized the hand sign as a Vulcan salute and went on to help write the story for "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" in 1986 and produced "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" in 1990, he has continued on a spiritual trek of his own. This Sunday at 3 p.m., for example, he will be the storyteller at Temple Israel of Hollywood for the West Coast premiere of Cantor Charles Osborn's oratorio "Souls on Fire," which tells the stories of six charismatic leaders of the Hasidic movement. Based on a book of the same name written by Elie Wiesel, the oratorio features the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony. Nimoy previously served as the storyteller for "Souls on Fire" in Philadelphia, Boston and Lincoln Center in New York, and recorded a compact disc.He and his wife, Susan, decided to launch the Nimoy Concert Series, now in its third year, after attending a performance by pianist Emanuel Ax at the synagogue several years ago.For Nimoy there is a sense of fascination and alienation when he speaks of Hasidic Judaism — and echoes of his boyhood. "There was something magical about them that inspired a passion," he said of the six leaders portrayed in "Souls on Fire." Yet, today, he said, he could not agree with much of the social and political stands of Hasidic Judaism. Temple Israel of Hollywood, which he and his wife attend, is in the Reform movement, one of the two major liberal streams of Judaism in the United States. "I'm much more secular than religious, I would say." "It bothers me in a certain kind of way there are these conflicts," he said. "But beyond that, I think they're sincere in their great passion, and in a way I feel that they help us ground ourselves in the history. To me, it's the historical aspect," he said. All Jewish denominations, he said, "carry something of a flame of what the history is all about, what the culture is all about."

Me: How sad that Mr. Nemoy feels estranged from Torah Judaism. Hopefully he will open his mind and heart rejoin us. One can live in the "secular" world and still be religious. As for the statement: [I can] "not agree with much of the social and political stands of Hasidic Judaism," Mr. Nemoy must realize that Hasidim are not homogeneous and there are many religious Jews out there, especially due tot he Ba'al Teshuvah Movement, who span both the social and political spectrum. He should delve into Orthodox Judaism for no reason other than it is authentic and not an "ism" that was founded to undermine Judaism. The Reform and Conservative "branches" are apostate.

How can I say such a thing? Ask yourself this: Even with their philosophical differences Catholicism and Protestantism both agree on Jesus, the New Testament, etc. Is there a Christian sect out there that negates Jesus or the New Testament and is considered legitimate? Sunni and Shiite Islam also disagree, but both agree on the fundamentals: Muhammad as prophet and the Qur'an. Is there a Muslim sect out there that claims that Muhammad was not a prophet or that the Qur'an is false? I think not. Yet we, as American Jews, have been lied to. For you see, Reform and Conservative Judaism reject the Torah and the Talmud as divine writings and they reject some if not most of the Mitzvot. This is not Judaism.

As your local Reform "rabbi" if they even believe in G-d.

You may be surprised.

December 16, 2004

The Prayer of Rabbi Yishmael

Find it here: yishmael.pdf

You need Adobe acrobat to read it.

Please visit the main site and explore some authentic Jewish spirituality. The Rav, Rabbi Ariel Bar Tzadok is a true tzaddik. Explore TRUE and Kosher Kabbalah demystified and de-madonna-ized

Please consider donating to this Yeshivah.

Neat map of the Hasmonaean Kingdom

See the map here:

Let's look at the Qur'an...


by Shaykh Abdul Hadi Palazzi

Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi has been a lecturer in the Department of the History of Religion at the University of Velletri (Rome, Italy).

In 1987, after completing his secular and religious education in Rome and Cairo, he was asked to serve as an Imam (spiritual leader) for the Italian Islamic Community. In addition to numerous Masters Degrees, Prof. Palazzi hold a Ph.D in Islamic Sciences by decree of the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

See how he is recived by other Muslims here:

A Passion for Hatred

Curious to see what all the commotion was about, I recently rented the Passion of the Christ.


It was so bloody and violent that I cannot for the life of me understand how any Christian could be moved by it.

An orgy of torture and pain are not very spiritual to me.

That being said, I was not just taken aback by the anti-semitism but also by the hateful and disgusting portrayal of the Kohanim. Ignorance of the Priestly garb aside, the movie portrayed the Kohanim as vicious, hypocritical, vengeful and ugly.

I call upon those Christians who so passionately (pun intended) defended the movie to read their Bible. Don't rely on fanaticism or centuries old slander repackaged into a movie to be your source.

Here is a timely quote from the U.S. Bishops:

"Jews should not be portrayed as avaricious; blood thirsty (e.g., in certain depiction's of Jesus' appearances before the Temple priesthood or before Pilate); or implacable enemies of Christ (e.g., by changing the small "crowd" at the governor's palace into a teeming mob). Such depictions, with their obvious "collective guilt" implications, eliminate those parts of the gospels that show that the secrecy surrounding Jesus' “trial” was motivated by the large following he had in Jerusalem and that the Jewish populace, far from wishing his death, would have opposed it had they known and, in fact, mourned his death by Roman execution (cf. Lk 23:27)"
-U.S. Bishops, Criteria for the Evaluation of Dramatizations of the Passion (1988), B,3,d.

For a great response to the movie, please visit this wonderful site:

Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ: A Challenge to Catholic Teaching
Philip A. Cunningham
Executive Director,
Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College

December 15, 2004

Bircat Kohanim at the Kotel

Great site.

New Temple Finds

From Arutz Sheva

Western Wall Hill - Out Temple Period Finds-In

Jerusalem city engineers will take down the hill jutting out from the Western Wall, replacing it with a bridge. Archaeologists expect to find treasures, such as a tall gate from the Second Temple. The Jerusalem Municipality has decided to take down the hill that leads up from the Western Wall (Kotel) entrance to the Temple Mount, for fear that it might otherwise collapse. The walkway up the hill leads to the Mughrabim Gate, which is currently the only entrance for Jews to the Temple Mount. The city plans to replace the hill with a bridge that will lead into the Mughrabim Gate.The plans are a bonanza for students of Jerusalem history, as the removal of the hill will uncover an eight-meter high gate leading into the Temple Mount. The gate, dating from the period of the Second Temple, is known as Barclay's Gate, after the 19th-century American consul who first identified it. In addition, archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar told Arutz-7 today, "it's not every day that we get to excavate so close to the Western Wall. We expect to find, as we did in other excavations nearby, the Roman street alongside the Temple Mount structure, and many other treasures." She said that Barclay's Gate descends several meters below the current street level of the Western Wall plaza. "Today, only the top of its lintel can be seen [from the women's section]. It is very beautiful, and when it is uncovered it will be one of the most beautiful scenes in the Old City."The hill in question, located to the right of the women's section when facing the Wall, is an ancient one, comprising several layers of old buildings. Dr. Mazar said that some of them may be as old as the Mamluke Period, some 700 years ago, but under them are remnants from the Second Temple Period, 2,000 years ago. "I assume that they will study these structures, and document whatever needs to be learned, but in the end, the real find lies behind them. I assume, therefore, that the authorities will remove whatever now forms the hill, so that the full glory of the Wall and the Gate can be seen... It should be a matter of months." The entire area that is currently the Western Wall plaza was filled with low buildings when Israel liberated the area during the Six Day War of June 1967, and was later cleared away – except for the area on which lies the walkway-hill leading to the Mughrabim Gate.City engineers fear that the collapse of the hill that began last winter could continue this year, leading to a total collapse. Part of the women's section of the Western Wall plaza is already closed off for fear that worshipers below may be injured by falling rocks and earth, or by a major cave-in. The collapse began last year following a week of heavy rains, a snowstorm and an earthquake.The Western Wall Heritage Foundation launched a new website last night, providing historical information on the Western Wall and real-time photos thereof. The site's English version is scheduled to be ready on January 20. It provides historical background, Jewish sources, historic photos, Bar/Bat Mitzvah options, a virtual "tour" of the entire length of the Western Wall – only a small portion of which is familiar to the public at large – and educational programs, all using impressive and attractive technology.The site also features three different real-time video views [clickable on the right side of the screen] of the goings-on at the Kotel. One camera is a wide-angle view of the entire plaza, while another one zeroes in on the prayer area. A third camera shows the Wilson's Arch area, to the left of the men's section.

December 14, 2004

A very happy last night of Chanukah to everyone.
May we merit seeing our Holy Temple rebuilt in our lifetime.


Posted by Hello

Get involved!

Every Jew should be concerned for the state of the Temple Mount. Our heritage is being erased. Write the Knesset. Write your Senator and Congressman. Spread the word. Get involved!

Posted by Hello

December 13, 2004

A Special Thanks to Project Awareness for Addressing this Issue

Please visit Project Awareness at: Posted by Hello

Sanctity of the Synagogue

The shul or beit knesset has become the spiritual homes of the Jewish people since the destruction of the Temple. We can longer ascend to bring our sacrifices. Prayer has replaced our offerings for the time being.

That being said, it is shameful that the reverence of the Temple has not carried over to the shul.

Talking. Joking. Improper dealings. Would you act this way if you were standing in font of the Holy of Holies?

Well, you are.

G-d didn’t go away when the Temple fell.

Know before Whom you stand and act accordingly.

"If a person cannot control his talking in shul, it is preferable that he pray at home and not attend shul at all. (Kaf Hachaim, Orach Chaim 151)"

Please visit the following sites for more information:

December 12, 2004

Zevachim 054: "The Location of the Beis HaMikdash"

Rabbi Yehudah Landy's lecture and pictures on the location of the Temple can be found here...

Level: Advanced

Take a Tour of the Beit HaMikdash

Chabad site. Cute introduction on the ins and outs of the Second Temple.

Please note that neither this site nor the author of this site endorses or subscribes to the philosophy or teachings of the Chabad movement especially the faction that regards the Rebbe as the Messiah.

The time of truth for the Temple Mount


The time of truth for the Temple Mount
By Ariel Natan Pasko
May 19, 2004

Three modern "prophecies" have been spoken in the last generation, yet few have listened. The first, was in a song by Naomi Shemer just weeks before the June 1967 Six Day War. The second, spoken in his Yeshiva - Rabbinical Seminary - three weeks before the war, by Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah Kook. The third was said, in the middle of the war, just after the heat of battle ended in victory, by Mordechai "Motta" Gur. Prophecies of liberation, prophecies of consolation, to the nation of Israel, that had suffered occupation, destruction, exile, torture and murder, too long.

Weeks before the outbreak of the Six Day War, "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav - Jerusalem of Gold" written by Naomi Shemer was released. It spoke of the eternal connection between the Jewish People and Holy City of Jerusalem. But not just the modern half of "Western Jerusalem" that had spilled out of the Old City Walls, that had sprung up during the last 100 years of fervent growth, seen in the return of Jews to Zion. No, "Jerusalem of Gold" cried out about the heart-wrenching situation that had prevailed since the 1948 Israeli War of Independence.

For 19 years, the Jordanians had occupied the Old City of Jerusalem and its eastern side. For 19 years, in violation of the 1949 Armistice agreement with the newly established State of Israel, Jordan - the late King Hussein - denied Jews access to the Western Wall, the outskirts of their most holy site, the western retaining wall of the Temple Mount. It is one of the last vestiges of the Jewish People's Holy Temple - the "House of G-D" - destroyed by the occupying Roman Army 1,900 years earlier.

"The shofar is heard again on the Temple Mount, in the Old City," the song declared. "Jerusalem of Gold" spoke to the sufferings of the Jewish People and the hope that the situation would end. The war broke out and it became a massive hit, the unofficial anthem of the war.

Three weeks before the war began, during Yom HaAtzmaut celebrations - Israeli Independence Day - at his Yeshiva, Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah Kook, son of the venerated former Chief Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, gave a rousing lecture on the joyous significance of the day. But then he took his students by surprise, switched gears and began lamenting the situation, in a tearful cry he asked, "Where is our Jerusalem (the Old City and Temple Mount)? Where is our Hebron? Where is our Jericho?" Teaching his students that the holiday joy was not yet complete without them. After the victory, his words rung with "prophetic" intent, as if he demanded from above the return of the Jewish People's inheritance, and was granted it.

The Six Day War was fought on all fronts. The Egyptians were fought in the south, in Sinai. The Syrians tried their hand, in the north, on the Golan Heights. But Jordan held the prize. Initially, the Israeli government called on King Hussein to stay out of the war, but he would have none of that. Over-inflated from Egyptian President Nasser's ranting to drive the Jews into the sea, King Hussein took the fateful plunge instead - that had already been "foreseen" - he opened another front in Jerusalem and the center of the country. Jordanian soldiers shot at Israelis - civilians and soldiers - from the Old City Walls into new, western Jerusalem, and the fighting was fierce.

But the Israeli government decided not to repeat the mistake of Ben-Gurion's government in the 1948 war. Rather than lose the Old City of Jerusalem a second time, they decided to liberate it. Soon the nation would hear those words that still send ripples of joy to Jews. Motta Gur, commander of the front, announced over his army radio the third prophecy - "Har HaBayit B'Yadenu - the Temple Mount is in our hands." They had liberated the Old City of Jerusalem. Almost 1,900 years after the Romans destroyed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, after 19 years of separation from the most holy place on earth, the Jews had returned home. Who still can't hear those words of prophecy without being moved? The full weight of 19 centuries was lifted off the backs of the Jewish People.

"The Temple Mount is in our hands!"

Jews took the initiative then and with help from above, they reunited with their holy site, the Temple Mount. Great joy encompassed the nation, 200,000 Jews came out that Shavuot - the Feast of Weeks - just days after the war's end, to celebrate at the Western Wall. Joy seemed complete again...

Yet in contrast to all those "miracles," all those hopes and dreams finally fulfilled, several "peace initiatives" envision a reversal of history, a slap-in-the-face to "The G-D of Israel." A plan being promoted by former Israeli Justice Minister Yossi Beilin and former Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo called, "The Geneva Initiative - a model for a permanent Israeli-Palestinian agreement," calls for the Temple Mount to be given to the "Palestinians" permanently, with the help of the rest of the world. The Ayalon-Nusseibeh petition drive also seeks to give the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to the "Palestinians". Even the "Roadmap" plan that the U.S., EU, UN, and Russia have devised - and the Sharon government has accepted - puts Jerusalem and the Temple Mount on the chopping block, "up for negotiations."

How is it that this generation is contemplating the unthinkable?

Generations of Jews prayed for the eventual return to the Holy City of Jerusalem, the prayers and dreams of generations and millennia materialized in 1967. And today, there are those who want to reverse history, to give away the Jewish People's patrimony?

Ironically, rather than by force of arms - something the Arab occupiers tried and fail to do - some Jews contemplate doing voluntarily, through peace agreements. How could they spurn the "Blessings of G-D"? How could they try to reverse Jewish history? How could they ignore the "prophecies"?

Now is the time for every Jew - and gentile - to take a stand. "Not by force, nor by might, but by MY spirit," says the Holy One of Israel.

Now is the time of truth for the Temple Mount.

Please visit for excellent news and commentary on Israel and Judaism.

Kohanim: What's your custom? Posted by Hello

Seal of the Kohain Gadol

See it here...

Yom Kippur Avoda: What every Kohain should know...

Nice step by step explanation with drawings.

Rav Kook on Chanukah. A great article.

Aharon Ha-Kohain ( has put together a great page on Aharon Ha-Kohain with some great facts...

Born: Egypt, 1406 BCE.
Died: Hor HaHar, 1283 BCE.

Prophet, brother of Moshe Rabeinu (Moses) and Miriam the Prophetess, the first Kohen Gadol (High Priest). The chariot for the Sephirah of Hod.

The Ari says that Aharon HaKohen, was Haran (brother of Avraham Avinu) in his previous life. Haran (same letters as Aharon, without the Alef) had to correct an element of idol worship committed by Adam, but he failed. As Aharon he should have also sacrificed his life, like Chur ben Miriam did, in order to stop the sin of the "Golden Calf" from taking place, in order to do a correction concerning idol worship. Mistakenly, he thought that Chur's death accomplished that. (Sha'ar HaGilgulim p. 95, 114)

Though all of his intentions had been pure, trying only to hold off the Erev Rav (Mixed Multitude) long enough to give Moshe a chance to return to the camp and restore order, still, it had been his hand that had worked the gold. Aharon's was punished for his mistake, to lose all his four sons. Moshe prayed for him and succeeded in saving two of them.

Aharon was later reincarnated as Yaabetz HaShofet (another name for Othniel ben Kenaz), he returned again as Tula ben Puah HaShofet, he reincarnated again in Shmuel HaNavie (Samuel the Prophet), reincarnated again in Aviyah son of King Yerovam, reincarnated again in Uriah HaKohen (who was killed by Yehoyakim the king, and by that was atoned for having to be killed in the Golden Calf incident) and reincarnated again in Zechariah HaNavie. (Shaar HaGilgulim, Hakdama 33)

Aharon's wife Elisheva was later reincarnated as Batsheva, the soul mate of King David. (Kitvei HaAri - Shaar HaPsukim, Shmuel II)

Three good leaders arose for Israel, Moses, Aharon, and Miriam (Ta'anit 9a).There were seventy small courts over which Aharon was appointed (Zohar 3:20:1).

The merit of Moses and Aharon was enough to redeem Israel (Shemot Rabbah 15:3).

Not all are answered when they fall on their faces in prayer, and not all when they rend their garments. Moses and Aharon were answered when they fell on their faces, as it is written, Moses and Aharon fell on their faces (Numbers 14:5), whereas Joshua and Caleb were answered when they rent their garments (Ta'anit 14b).

He loved peace and pursued it, loved people and drew them close to the Torah (Avot 1:12).
Aharon never said to a man or woman, "You have sinned". Moses, however, rebuked them (Sifra Shemini 1).When Aharon went on his way and a wicked person encountered him, Aaron greeted him. The next day, that man wanted to commit a sin, but thought, "Woe is to me! How will I raise my eyes afterwards and look at Aharon? I am ashamed before him, for he greeted me" (Avot d' Rabbi Natan 12:3).

When two people quarreled Aharon went and sat down with one of them and said to him, "My son, know that your friend has said, 'I am ashamed before him because I have sinned against him.' " Aaron would sit with him until he had dispelled the ill feeling from his heart. Then Aaron would go and sit with the other one and say to him, "Know that your friend is saying, 'Woe is to me! How shall I raise my eyes and look at my friend? I am ashamed before him because I have sinned against him.' " Aharon would sit with him until he had dispelled the ill feeling from his heart. When the two friends later met, they embraced and kissed each other (ibid. 12:3).

There were thousands in Israel who were called by the name of Aharon, for if not for Aaron, they would not have come into the world. Aharon made peace between husband and wife so that they came together, and they named the child that was born after him (ibid. 12:3).Aharon tied a rope of iron about his waist and went around to all the houses of Israel. To whoever was ignorant he taught Kriat Shema and prayer, and to whoever could not learn Torah he taught Torah (Tanna d'Bei Eliyahu Rabbah, ed. Meir Ish Shalom).When Moses spoke, Aharon would bend his ear to listen in awe, and Scripture considers it as if he heard directly from the Holy One, Blessed is He (Mechilta Bo 3).

In one year three righteous people died, Moshe, Aharon, and Miriam. Three precious gifts that had been given through them were canceled: the manna, which was in the merit of Moshe, the pillar of cloud, which was in the merit of Aharon, and the well, which was in the merit of Miriam. All of them were removed in the same month (Sifri Devarim 305). seems to have a great selection of Torah books. I was very impressed. Check them out at and add to your library.

Kohanim of Djerba Tunasia

Informative site about the Island of Djerba off Tunasia that has been home to Kohanim for thousands of years.

Rav Kook on Parshat Emor

"God told Moses: speak to the priests ('cohanim'), the descendants of Aaron. Let no (priest) defile himself (by contact) with a dead soul among his people." [Leviticus 21:1]
Why are cohanim not allowed to come in contact or be in the same room as a dead body?
Why does the Torah refer to the dead person as a "dead soul"? It is the body that dies, not the soul!

In his book on death and mourning ("Gesher Hachaim"), Rabbi Tokachinsky explained the Jewish view on life after death with the following parable:
Twin brothers, fetuses in their mother's womb, enjoyed a carefree life. Their world was dark and warm and protected. These twins were alike in all aspects but one. One brother was a 'believer': he believed in an afterlife, in a future reality much different than their current, miniature universe.

The second brother, however, was a skeptic. All he knew was the familiar world of the womb. Anything besides what he could feel and sense was only an illusion. The skeptic tried to talk some sense into his brother. He warned him to be realistic, but to no avail. His naive brother insisted on believing in an extraordinary world that exists after life in the womb, a world so immense and fantastic that it transcends their wildest imaginings.

The months passed, and the fatal moment arrived. Labor began. The fetuses became aware of tremendous contractions and shifting in their little world. The freethinker recognized that 'this is it'. His short but pleasant life was about to end. He felt the forces pressuring him to go down, but fought against them. He knew that outside the womb, a cruel death awaited, with no protective sack and no umbilical cord. Suddenly, he realized that his naive brother was giving in to the forces around them. He was sinking lower!

"Don't give up!" he cried, but the innocent one took no heed. "Where are you, my dear brother?" he called out. He shuddered as he heard his brother's screams from outside the womb. His poor brother had met his cruel fate. How naive he had been, with his belief in a bigger, better world!

Then the skeptic felt the uterine muscles pushing him out, against his will, into the abyss. He screamed out ...

"Mazal Tov!" called out the doctor. "Two healthy baby boys!"
Rav Kook wrote,

"Death is a false illusion; its defilement is due to its deceptive nature. What people call 'death' is in fact the intensification of life. Because man wallows in pettiness, he pictures this increase of life in a pained, black fashion, which he calls 'death'."
The cohanim in their holiness are able to rise above this falsehood. Yet, deception rules the world. In order to overcome the illusion of death, the cohanim must limit their exposure to death. They need to protect themselves from those sights that impress the soul with deceiving messages.

The word 'soul' in the verse does not refer to soul of the dead person. It refers to the soul of the cohen. This is how the verse should be understood: "For the sake of the soul, the cohen shall not defile himself among his people." For the sake of the cohen's soul , he must distance and protect himself from death and its illusions.
[Orot HaKodesh 2:380]

Ashkenazi Custom

Does anyone know the history and reason that Ashkenazim do not doe Bircat Kohanim outside of the Land of Israel except on certain holidays? Please post and let us know.

December 09, 2004

The DNA Chain of Tradition -- Discovery of the "Cohen Gene"

Interesting article about the supossed Kohain gene.

Check out this site for more information on the Tribe!

Great site.

Muslim Desecration of Mount Continues

From Arutz Sheva

More Moslem Plans To Destroy Jewish Bonds With Temple Mount Friday, August 20, 2004 / 3 Elul 5764The Moslem Waqf plans to remove another few thousand tons of dirt dug up in the course of its illegal construction/destruction work on the Temple Mount. The dirt contains ancient remnants from the Temple Mount.The Moslem Waqf plans to remove another few thousand tons of dirt dug up in the course of its illegal construction/destruction work on the Temple Mount. The dirt contains ancient remnants from the Temple Mount, and the leaders of the Committee to Prevent the Destruction of Temple Mount Antiquities will meet on Sunday with Antiquities Authority Chairman Shuka Dorfman to counter this intention. In the past, the Waqf has received permits from the Prime Minister's Office and the Public Security Ministry to remove dirt of this nature. It is well-known that the Moslem goal is to erase all vestiges of Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, Judaism's most sacred site in the world. Islamic Movement leader Israeli-Arab Sheikh Raed Salah has said that the "use of the Temple Mount is exclusively a Moslem Arab Palestinian right," adding, "There never was any First or Second Temple in the vicinity of the Mosque." Archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar has told Arutz-7 that the Waqf's objective is to turn "the entire Temple Mount compound into a large mosque, with absolutely no Jewish, Christian or other presence there. The archaeology there absolutely does not interest them; they merely want to cover up all signs of Jewish history there."


The Sanhedrin is back?

I would love to see the Gedolei HaDor step up and be a part of this. Until then, it's hard to legitimize this and even harder for Klal Yisrael to accept it.


This is a pet project of mine. There is no other place on the web for Kohanim and Leviim to discuss our duties and the sorry state of the Temple Mount today. Excavation and desecration continue round the clock and the Israeli Government will not act to stop it. The Muslim Wakf digs relentlessly to remove all evidence of our Temple and dumps it without any outcry from the world. The time has come to make our voices heard.

Please add suggestions and comments on this.