Shalom and best wishes for the coming New Year of 5760 from the Temple Institute in Jerusalem.
Almost twelve years have passed since the Temple Institute was established. In the course of these years, through the Institute's efforts, the subject of the Holy Temple has begun to penetrate into the collective consciousness and awareness of society. Many think that it will take nothing short of a miracle for the Holy Temple to be rebuilt within our lifetime. But the knowledge that the Holy Temple lies at the very heart of the Torah of Israel has become more widespread, and G-d's eternal commandment to "Build for Me a Sanctuary, that I will dwell among you" has once again begun to beat within the nation's heart. For this calling, itself the continuation of Jewish destiny, has not been revoked, but is alive and well and waiting to be fulfilled once again by the nation of Israel. This in itself is the beginning of the "miracle" of rebuilding the Temple! G-d makes miracles for us every day, but only after we have done all that we can for Him. Thus the sages of Israel relate that when Israel left Egypt and came face to face with the Red Sea, the waters did not split until one man, Nachson the son of Aminadav, prince of the tribe of Judah, walked into the water as far as he could...until the water came up to his nostrils. Then he could go no further, and it was then, at that moment, that the sea split. When G-d saw that we had done all that we, as ordinary human beings, can possibly do. It was then that he stepped in. For G-d makes miracles happen every day, but it is we who give those miracles the legs to stand on in this world. The is exactly what the Temple Institute hopes to accomplish through its holy work.
Some think that the Holy Temple is nothing but a dream. But the Institute's activities, which began in a modest little room in the Old City of Jerusalem, have blossomed over these twelve years into a world-renown organization that has brought a message of hope, pride, and spiritual yearning to hundreds of thousands around the globe. Since the days of that humble beginning, tens of Temple vessels have been created, educational material has been disseminated around the world, hundreds of accurate depictions and illustrations have been published in a wide variety of books and other printed material; Temple-related films and tapes have been produced and more are on the way even now, and hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Institute's exhibition have had an experience that has drawn them closer to the prophets' vision of the rebuilding of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
Now, as we approach the Jewish New Year of 5760, the Temple Institute prepares to present three precious gifts to the people of Israel...gifts that the world has been waiting nearly 2,000 to see, which will bring the reality of the Holy Temple much closer.
The Institute is about to present the three main vessels of the Holy Temple, which are being created and fashioned in accordance with Biblical law, ready to stand within the holy area of Sanctuary of G-d: The golden Temple menorah (the seven branched candelabra), the golden incense altar, and the golden table of the Showbread.
After years of research and anticipation, the golden Menorah, symbol of the Holy Temple's spiritual light, has been created (1 Biblical kikar, or "talent" - about 43 kilo of gold was used) and will be taking its place in the Temple Institute before Rosh HaShana, with G-d's help. This Menorah has been created according to all the requirements of halacha, Jewish law, and the scientific process of electro-chemical magnetic plating was utilized so that the pure, gold- plated menorah fulfills the Biblical requirement of "one piece of pure beaten gold."
Likewise, the golden incense altar, for the performance of the daily incense offering--the most beloved part of the Temple service in G-d's eyes--is nearing completion and will be available for public viewing within the coming days.
Lastly, the golden table of the Showbread, which represents the abundance of G-d's physical blessings in this world, will make up the third of the central vessels which occupy the holy area of the Temple Sanctuary.
The production of these vessels has been aided by the generous contributions of a number of individuals. The Temple Institute turns to all those to whom the promise of the Holy Temple is dear, to take part in these projects, and thus advance the process of rebuilding the Holy Temple. Our prayer is that we shall all merit to place these vessels in their proper places, within the rebuilt House of G-d, and to renew the Temple service.
May this be the year that all our prayers are answered; May this be the year of repentance; May this be the year that Israel truly becomes a light to the Nations; May this be the year of the Complete and True Redemption, May this be the year of the Rebuilding of the Holy Temple.
With all best wishes for every blessing during the coming year
Rabbi Chaim Richman