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The Beit HaMikdash: The Temple & The Holy Mount
The Beit HaMikdash
The Temple & The Holy Mount
By Rabbi Zalman Menachem Koren
Published by Shaar Press / Mesorah Publications, Ltd., (2009)
In Conjunction with The Western Wall Heritage Foundation
Reviewed by Boris Segel - February 1, 2010
Destroyed by the Roman's more than 2,000 years ago, the second Holy Temple (Beit HaMikdash) was, and still remains, paramount in Jewish thought and scholarship. We are commanded, as part of our study of the Torah, to study the Beit HaMikdash as well. When the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall was liberated on June 7, 1967, Jews once again had the opportunity to visit the remnants of the Temple and to pray there. As well, we were given an unprecedented opportunity to the study the Beit HaMikdash and its environs.
To aid in the study of the Temple and the Holy Mount, the Israeli government founded, in 1988, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation. They were charged with the task of preserving the Temple mount area, doing research on the Temple, surviving tunnels and associated sites, and in providing education opportunities for anyone with an interest in the Beit HaMikdash, to learn what is known about it.
In The Beit HaMikdash: The Temple & The Holy Mount, Rabbi Zalman Menachem Koren, a preeminent researcher and expert on the Temple and the Temple Mount, offers readers an incredible look not only at what is known about the Temple, today, but also its history and how it looked in the past. This oversized, heirloom edition is filled with hundreds of exquisite illustrations and pictures. It even includes detailed views of the Temple, when it was in use, including a two-page bird's eye view of the entire structure. These views are based upon the detailed model of the Temple constructed by Rabbi Koren, and which is currently on display in the Kotel tunnels.
The information in this book is organized into three parts:
This book will impart an unprecedented understanding and appreciation of the Temple in all who read it. In addition to the historic and archeological details provided about the Temple, Rabbi Koren also describes the various parts of the Temple, and their functions and provides insights into the Temple garnered from Torah, Midrashic, and Talmudic sources. Rabbi Koren also provides intriguing insights into how Temple researched is carried out, both via onsite archeological research as well as through the study of relevant textual sources and the material remains that have been gathered throughout the ages. This book has received the approbation of Shlomo Moshe Amar, Rishon LeZion and Chief Rabbi of Israel. The book's introduction was written by Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Places.
- Part One: The Command to Build a Sanctuary: Its Location, Its Significance, and the Aspiration to See it Rebuilt. This section takes the reader from HaShem's first appearance in This World, to the events that led to the Temple being built, and how and why the Temple was destroyed. The meaning of the Western Wall in the modern age, and the history of the Kotel throughout history, is also covered in this section.
- Part Two: The composition of the Temple and the Temple Mount. This section covers how the Temple was built, the various elements of the Temple and the Temple Mount and essential elements that went into the building, including the Even Hashetiyah, the Azarah, the women's courtyard, the Cheil and the Soreg, The Lishkat Hagazit and Lishkat Hagulah, and much more. New discoveries that have recently been made near Solomon's Stables, the boundaries of the Temple Mount, and the size of a cubic are some of the other topics that are covered in this section.
- Part Three: The Model of the Temple in the Western Wall Tunnels. This final section details the history and construction of the various Temple models that are on display in the Kotel tunnels. Also discussed are how these models are not only useful in recreating the history of the Temple and the Temple Mount, and how they are being used as educational tools.
Authoritative, edifying, and magnificant to look at, The Beit HaMikdash: The Temple & The Holy Mount gives you the opportunity to delve into the history and significance of the Beit HaMikdash and the Temple Mount, and its honored place throughout Jewish history. It goes without saying that this outstanding book deserves an honored place in every Jewish home and it should be added to the collections of all public and private libraries.
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