THE TEMPLE INSTITUTE RESPONDS TO WIDESPREAD REPORTS OF WATER FLOWING UNDERNEATH THE TEMPLE MOUNT
For the last several weeks, rumors have spread regarding an unusual phenomenon on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. According to reports, water has begun flowing underneath the Dome of the Rock. These reports maintain that in the course of the illegal construction being carried out by the Islamic trust, a source of water was struck, and has been flowing since.
In Islamic sources as well, there appears to be a tradition which foretells of this event, and describes it as being a propitious sign for the Jewish people.
It is the position of the Temple Institute that in matters such as this, it is important to seek as much clarification as possible. While this news is most certainly a great source of encouragement and inspiration for many people, all of our efforts to ascertain the validity of these reports have been unsuccessful. We have been able to trace the origin of these reports to their original source; we have also managed to monitor the story's development, expansion and embellishment from its period of inception, through and including the day of this writing. However, it is precisely the most crucial aspect that is missing: eyewitnesses, or even authoritative second-hand sources, who can substantiate beyond any doubt that such an occurrence is indeed underway. Our most thorough and comprehensive contacts with those who are in the best position to verify the integrity of these reports have yielded no information. In short, despite the intensity of the rumors and the enthusiasm they have generated, there is no tangible proof or evidence at all that water is flowing under the Foundation Stone, or anywhere under the Temple Mount, at this moment.
We do not wish this clarification to dampen the enthusiasm of those who are in anticipation of the Holy Temple; nor should this lack of evidence cause discouragement. On the contrary: by insistence upon tangible proof, we seek to reaffirm our belief that the Holy Temple is not mythical or supernatural...it is a reality which we are commanded to bring about.
One of the most fundamental Jewish beliefs is that the Torah "is not in Heaven" (Deut. 30:11); the commandments were given to Israel to perform in this world. The movement to rebuild the Third Temple began almost 2,000 years ago, the moment the Second Temple was destroyed by Roman legionnaires in the year 70 CE. The Torah teaches that the Holy Temple is central to the life of man, and thus, we must not wait for directional signals or signs and wonders. The commandment to rebuild the Holy Temple is an integral portion of the Torah of Israel, and is not contingent upon Heavenly orchestration. Thus, regardless of whether or not water has begun to flow under the Temple Mount...we can and must seek to make the time of the Holy Temple a reality. We must not be satisfied with rumors; we must not be satisfied with the possibility of Divine intervention. We must seek to fulfill the Divine commandment to rebuild the Holy Temple to the best of our ability, here and now.
Rabbi Chaim Richman