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Giant Brazilian Temple Replica Panned as 'Mockery'

reprinted from Arutz 7
Av 28, 5770, 08 August 2010

by Hillel Fendel

(Israelnationalnews.com) Temple Institute in Jerusalem says plan by a controversial Brazilian Pentecostal church to build a mammoth $200 million Holy Temple replica is "self-aggrandizement."

The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, headed by controversial Bishop Edir Macedo, has announced plans to build a giant replica of the First Temple in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is expected to cost $200 million, stand 55 meters (18 stories) high, and seat 10,000 people. Its plans also call for a parking lot for 1,000 cars, TV and radio studios, and classroom space for 1,300 pupils.

"It is going to be a knockout," Macedo has been quoted as saying. "It is going to be beautiful, beautiful, beautiful – the most beautiful of all. The outside will be exactly the same as that which was built in Jerusalem."

The Temple Institute in Jerusalem takes a different approach, calling it a "hubris-inspired act of self-aggrandizement… the equivalent of [yet another] destruction of the [Holy] Temple, even before it is [re-]built. This planned church is a mockery which stands in diametric opposition to everything that the Holy Temple of Jerusalem represents."

The Universal Church has already paid $8 million to import stones from Israel. The Guardian reports that the church will be modeled on King Solomon's Temple and will feature a replica Ark of the Covenant in the center of the sanctuary.

Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute writes, "We are witness today to the phenomenon of nations that seek to de-legitimize Israel's connection to Jerusalem. This planned mega-church represents the next logical step, the de-legitimization of the significance of Jerusalem altogether." Click here to watch Rabbi Richman.

"The Bible teaches that the essence of Jerusalem is the presence of G-d," Rabbi Richman continues, quoting Isaiah's prophecy: "It will happen in the end of days, that the mountain of the Temple of the L-rd will be firmly established at the head of the mountains…and all the nations will stream to it. Many peoples will go up and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the L-rd, to the Temple of the G-d of Jacob…for from Zion will the Torah come forth, and the word of the L-rd from Jerusalem.'

"Bishop Macedo's planned mega-church," Rabbi Richman continued, "is a usurpation and abuse of the sacred space that is embodied by the Biblical concept and vision of the Holy Temple, and a gross expropriation of Judaism's most sacred values. The Divine Presence of G-d cannot be copycatted and cannot simply be usurped and transplanted elsewhere. This is nothing more than the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God's cynical and manipulative attempt to morph the Bible's universal message into its own self-serving agenda."

The Temple Institute, a non-profit educational and religious organization, is dedicated to every aspect of the Biblical commandment to build the Holy Temple of G-d on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. Its major focus is its efforts towards the beginning of the actual rebuilding of the Holy Temple.

In 1992, Bishop Macedo spent eleven days in jail on accusations of charlatanism. Last year, the Sao Paulo prosecution alleged that Macedo and other senior church clerics embezzled billions of donation dollars and used the money to buy property and cars. Macedo, a proponent of prosperity theology and owner of a $45 million private jet, has denied the charges.

Jewish Group Rips Church Plans For Temple Mount Replica

reprinted from World Net Daily
Av 28, 5770, 08 August 2010

'This mockery stands in diametric opposition to everything the holy site represents'

by Aaron Klein

Temple Mount

JERUSALEM – A Jewish Temple organization has slammed as "a hubris-inspired act of self-aggrandizement" controversial plans by a Pentecostal church to reportedly build a $200 million replica of the First Temple in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

"This planned church is a mockery which stands in diametric opposition to everything that the Holy Temple of Jerusalem represents," Rabbi Chaim Richman, director of the international department of the Temple Institute, stated in a press release.

"The Bible, bequeathed to the world by the Jewish people, emphasizes the preeminence of Jerusalem and its spiritual and prophetic role in the future of both Israel and all mankind," Richman said.

Is Israel already done for? Aaron Klein's "The Late Great State of Israel" brings you unvarnished truth straight from the front lines.

"We are witness today to the phenomenon of nations that seek to de-legitimize Israel's connection to Jerusalem. This planned mega-church represents the next logical step, the de-legitimization of the significance of Jerusalem altogether," he said.

Richman slammed the reported plans by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God as a "cynical and manipulative attempt to morph the Bible's universal message into its own self-serving agenda."

According to the UK Guardian, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God will construct a church in Sao Paulo based on King Solomon's Temple, including a replica of the Ark of the Covenant at its center.

"We are preparing ourselves to build the temple, in the same mold as Solomon's," Bishop Edir Macedo, the church's leader and founder, was quoted as saying in the report.

"[Solomon's] Temple … used tons of gold, pure gold ... .We are not going to build a temple of gold, but we will spend tons of money, without a shadow of doubt," said Macedo.

Macedo told the British newspaper his church had signed an $8 million contract to import stones from Israel.

"We have signed the contract and commissioned the stones that will come from Jerusalem, just like the ones that were used to build the temple in Israel; stones that were witnesses to the powers of God, 2,000 years ago," he said. "It is going to be a knockout, it is going to be beautiful, beautiful, beautiful – the most beautiful of all. The outside will be exactly the same as that which was built inJerusalem."

Rebuilding Third Temple

While the Temple Institute criticized Macedo's plans, Richman's group, based in Jerusalem, focuses on preparation for the rebuilding of the Third Temple in its biblical location - the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Institute has been preparing ritual objects suitable for Temple use. Many of the more than 90 ritual items to be used in the Temple have been re-made to the highest standards the Temple Institute.

The First Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The Second Temple was rebuilt in 515 B.C. afterJerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. That temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in A.D. 70. Each temple stood for a period of about four centuries.

The Temple was the center of religious worship for ancient Israelites. It housed the Holy of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant and was said to be the area upon which God's presence dwelt. All biblical holidays centered on worship at the Temple. The Temples served as the primary location for the offering of sacrifices and were the main gathering place for Israelites.

According to the Talmud, the world was created from the foundation stone of the Temple Mount. It's believed to be the biblical Mount Moriah, the location where Abraham fulfilled God's test to see if he would be willing to sacrifice his son Isaac.

The Temple Mount has remained a focal point for Jewish services for thousands of years. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Temple have been uttered by Jews since the Second Temple was destroyed, according to Jewish tradition.

The Al Aqsa Mosque was constructed in about A.D. 709 to serve as a shrine near another shrine, the Dome of the Rock, which was built by an Islamic caliph. Al Aqsa was meant to mark what Muslims came to believe was the place at which Muhammad, the founder of Islam, ascended to heaven to receive revelations from Allah.

Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran. It is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible 656 times.

Islamic tradition states Muhammad took a journey in a single night on a horse from "a sacred mosque" – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to "the farthest mosque" and from a rock there ascended to heaven. The farthest mosque became associated withJerusalem about 120 years ago.

According to research by Israeli Author Shmuel Berkovits, Islam historically disregarded Jerusalem as being holy. Berkovits points out in his new book, "How Dreadful Is this Place!" that Muhammad was said to loathe Jerusalem and what it stood for. He wrote Muhammad made a point of eliminating pagan sites of worship and sanctifying only one place – the Kaaba in Mecca – to signify the unity of God.

As late as the 14th century, Islamic scholar Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyya, whose writings influenced the Wahhabi movement in Arabia, ruled that sacred Islamic sites are to be found only in the Arabian Peninsula and that "inJerusalem, there is not a place one calls sacred, and the same holds true for the tombs of Hebron."

A guide to the Temple Mount by the Supreme Muslim Council in Jerusalem published in 1925 listed the Mount as Jewish and as the site of Solomon's Temple. The Temple Institute acquired a copy of the official 1925 "Guide Book to Al-Haram Al-Sharif," which states on page 4, "Its identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according touniversal belief, on which 'David built there an altar unto the Lord.'"

No prayer zone

The Temple Mount was opened to the general public until September 2000, when the Palestinians started their intifada by throwing stones at Jewish worshipers after then-candidate for prime minister Ariel Sharon visited the area.

Following the onset of violence, the new Sharon government closed the Mount to non-Muslims, using checkpoints to control all pedestrian traffic for fear of further clashes with the Palestinians.

The Temple Mount was reopened to non-Muslims in August 2003. It still is open but only Sundays through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., and not on any Christian, Jewish or Muslim holidays or other days considered "sensitive" by the Waqf. During "open" days, Jews and Christian are allowed to ascend the Mount, usually through organized tours and only if they conform first to a strict set of guidelines, which includes demands that they not pray or bring any "holy objects" to the site. Visitors are banned from entering any of the mosques without direct Waqf permission. Rules are enforced by Waqf agents, who watch tours closely and alert nearby Israeli police to any breaking of their guidelines.

 

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