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THE GOLDEN LAMP OF QUEEN HELENA

 

WE INVITE ALL WHO WISH TO PLAY A PART IN THE REBUILDING OF THE HOLY TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM TO JOIN US
IN RECREATING THE GOLDEN LAMP, QUEEN HELENA'S GIFT TO THE HOLY TEMPLE.

 

1980 years ago a woman presented a precious gift to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. She brought the gift from afar. And with the gift she brought her husband and her children. The gift found its place in the Holy Temple and the woman and her family made the city of Jerusalem their new home. The woman's name was Helena and she was the queen of Adiabene, a small nation found in what is present day Iraq. Immersed in the prevailing Roman pagan culture, Queen Helena was searching for a way of life that was true and moral. She searched and she discovered the One G-d of Israel. Queen Helena and her family left their pagan ways and adopted the faith of Israel as their faith and the Torah of Israel as their truth.

(It may take a minute for the slideshow to begin. The slideshow can be paused by placing the mouse over the image.
Click on the slideshow and help us build Queen Helena's Golden Lamp.)

 

Queen Helena's gift to the Holy Temple was the nivreshet, a golden chandelier that reflected and refracted the brilliant light of the rising sun. The Temple priests hung the golden lamp high up in the massive entrance to the Temple Sanctuary. Facing the east, the nivreshet, each morning would catch the rays of the sun as it rose up over the Mount of Olives. As the sun cleared the mountain ridge, its light would reach the golden lamp, creating a dazzling flash of light that would be seen throughout the entire city of Jerusalem, broadcasting the tidings of the new morning and the time of saying the Shema, Israel's daily testimony to the oneness of G-d: "Hear O Israel, HaShem is our G-d, HaShem is one." The High Priest and the Levites, the sandal makers and the smiths, the weavers and the tanners of Jerusalem, mothers and fathers, young children and the elderly, all would witness the radiant beams of light cascading from the upper reaches of the great entrance to the Holy Temple, and all would recite in unison the words of the Shema.

Queen Helena's gift was much more than simply a breathtakingly fashioned object. It became an integral part of the daily Divine service, rallying Israel and all those who ascended to Jerusalem from afar to go up to the mountain of HaShem, and worship in His holy house. Queen Helena's gift itself became a testimony to the grandeur of the vision of the prophet Isaiah: "For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations," (Isaiah 56:7) declaring each day with the first rays of dawn the centrality and the reality of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem for all mankind.

The Temple Institute, inspired by the great yearning for the Holy Temple as expressed by thousands of Jews and Gentiles the world over has chosen to recreate the golden nivreshet of Queen Helena, with the hope that it will once again fulfill its role as a light filled clarion call for all nations to turn their eyes and their hearts toward Jerusalem and the Holy Temple, may we merit to build it speedily and in our days. We invite all who wish to play a part in the rebuilding of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to join us in recreating the golden nivreshet, Queen Helena's gift to the Holy Temple, to the people of Israel and to the world.

 

WE INVITE ALL WHO WISH TO PLAY A PART IN THE REBUILDING OF THE HOLY TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM TO JOIN US IN RECREATING THE GOLDEN LAMP, QUEEN HELENA'S GIFT TO THE HOLY TEMPLE.
TOGETHER WE CAN FILL THE WORLD WITH LIGHT.
TOGETHER WE CAN DECLARE, "HEAR O ISRAEL, HASHEM IS OUR G-D, HASHEM IS ONE."

 

The artist Chaim Odem at work on Helena's Golden Lamp.

The source of the history of Queen Helena is Talmud Tractate Yoma 3.10.

 

WATCH THIS BEAUTIFUL 2.5 MINUTE VIDEO ABOUT THE GOLDEN LAMP OF QUEEN HELENA

 

 

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