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Three pictures showing (1) Rav Yisrael Ariel, founder of The Temple Institute meeting with Rishon Letzion, HaRav Ovadiah Yossef, (2), shaking hands, and (3), HaRav Ovadiah Yossef giving a bracha to Rav Ariel. The Encyclopedia of The Holy Temple in Jerusalem is on the desk.

English translation of the above letter:



20 Elul, 5765

Rav Ariel Yisrael and the general manager of The Temple Institute have come before me, and have presented me with the book, The Holy Temple in Jerusalem, an illustrated encyclopedia containing explanations of the Holy Temple and the Divine service. To our regret, the study of the Holy Temple and the Divine service have been neglected during the exile, and as the Rambam wrote in the preface to his commentary on the Mishnah tractate Kedoshim, that this matter, that is, the offerings, were lost in our great iniquity, and presently very few people show interest in the matter...

And so wrote Maran in the Beit Yosef, (Orach Chaim, se'if 3), that the world "shows no interest in the words of the Rambam concerning the laws of the Holy Temple, (Hilchot Beit Habechira), but for one or two in each generation. As the Chafetz Chaim surmised in his book Likutei Halachot about the orders of Kedoshim.

Therefore it is a good thing that the rabbis of The Temple Institute have published enlightening books, containing facile explanations of difficult concepts concerning the Holy Temple and the Divine service. I therefore call upon the teachers of our tender youth to introduce instruction concerning the offerings already at an early age, as our rabbis have so done throughout the generations, as it is brought forth in Tanchuma: "Why do they initiate the education of our youngsters with the learning of the book of Vayikra? Because it contains descriptions of all the offerings, and because the children are pure and have not been exposed to sin or iniquity. Therefore the Holy Blessed One said, 'They should begin their instruction with the order of the offerings: pure ones should be occupied with the learning of pure matters. It is as if if they are standing and offering sacrifices. Know that even though the Holy Temple has been destroyed, and offerings are not longer presented - it is by the virtue of the youngsters who learn the order of the offerings that the world stands!'"

Now we have witnessed with our own eyes the destruction of communities and households of righteous people in the land of Israel, [referring to the communities of Gush Katif and the northern Shomron],as described in Brachot 58:2, "Since the day the Holy Temple was destroyed, a decree has been decreed that the houses of the righteous shall be destroyed... it shall be with the servant as it was with his Master." Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to double and redouble our efforts in performing the commandment to occupy ourselves with the study of the Holy Temple, and great is the student who does so.

May we merit through the study of the Holy Temple and the Divine service, that our eyes should see the arrival of a redeemer in Tzion, and that the land shall be filled with the knowledge of HaShem, as the sea is filled with water, speedily in our days, amen.



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