The Temple Institute: The Holy Temple: Purim Greetings from Jerusalem



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Purim Greetings from Jerusalem

March 19, 2003
2003 The Temple Institute, Rabbi Chaim Richman - All Rights Reserved
The Temple Institute sends warmest greetings from Jerusalem, where Purim is being observed today.

Today, as we remember the downfall of the wicked Haman and his plot against our people, we are also instructed by the Home Front Command to prepare a sealed room in the event of chemical or biological attack. For once again, Israel is caught in the middle of America's war with Iraq. America attacks Iraq, and therefore the possibility exists that Iraq attacks Israel. And for this we must prepare, though we are reassured that the possibility remains unlikely. The first Gulf War ended on Purim, and this one seems to be gearing up to start on the very same day. A coincidence? 11 years ago today we were taking down the plastic and duct tape, and today we are putting it up...

The struggle to rebuild the Holy Temple is at the very center of the Purim story. The first Holy Temple was destroyed by King Nevuchadnezzer of Babylon, which is present day Iraq. And it is well known that Saddaam Hussein considers himself to be the continuation of the traditions of Nevuchadnezzer. Indeed, Saddaam has even called himself a reincarnation of the ancient Babylonian king, and has minted coins with his likeness and erected statues and monuments in recognition of his shared destiny with Nevuchadnezzer.

The scroll of Esther, which recounts the Purim story, begins with the lavish pagan banquet hosted by King Achashverosh. At this banquet, Achashverosh made a mockery of everything holy to the Jews, by serving and eating from the sacred vessels of the Holy Temple that were plundered from Jerusalem at the time of the destruction of the Holy Temple. "And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, and the vessels were diverse one from the other." (Esther 1:7). During the feast, the king instructed that these vessels should be brought forth from his treasure house for all to see. His goal was to degrade the Jewish people and dissuade them from ever attempting to rebuild the Temple again. And in his most brazen act of all, the wicked and vile Achashverosh himself donned the holy garments of the pure High Priest!

But Purim is a time of turnabout. True, the forces that represent Achashverosh and Nevuchadnezzer in the world today are still trying to prevent us from rebuilding the Holy Temple. Palestinian violence has kept the Temple Mount closed to Jews for two and half years now, for the thing that they fear the most is the power of Jewish prayer in that holy site.

But Purim is a time of surprises! Achashverosh is no longer wearing the uniform of the High Priest, nor will he or his ilk, ever again. We are pleased to inform you now that after having completed the Breastplate, the Temple Institute has now completed the initial stage of the weaving of the sacred Ephod garment for the uniform of the next High Priest of Israel. This is a modern Purim miracle.

This is the answer we provide to those who seek to destroy the Temple in every generation, to those who seek to prevent its rebuilding: One day the High Priest will once again be serving in the Holy Temple, attending to the Divine service.

New illustrations of the Priestly Garments being created by the Temple Institute can be seen at

With prayers and blessings for Purim joy on this and every day,
Rabbi Chaim Richman

PO Box 31876 Jerusalem, Israel 97500



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