Archive for July 30th, 2009

Light of the World

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16 (New International Version)

Survey: Sixty-Four Percent Want Temple Rebuilt

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

About two thirds of the public want the Temple rebuilt, including about half of secular Israelis, a new survey conducted for Ynet and the Gesher organization revealed.

The survey was held by the Panels Institute among 516 respondents that are a representative sample of the adult Jewish population. The margin of error was 4.3%.

Initially, the respondents were asked what happened on Tisha B’Av (Ninth of Av), and showed impressive knowledge. Ninety-seven percent responded that the Temple was destroyed, while only 2% said they did not know.

The second question was whether respondents wanted to see the Temple rebuilt. Sixty-four percent responded favorably, while 36% said no. An analysis of the answers showed that not only the ultra-Orthodox and the religious look forward to the rebuilding of the Temple (100% and 97% respectively), but also the traditional public (91%) and many seculars – 47%.

When asked whether it was at all justified to mark something that had happened 2,000 years ago, 80% said that it was, while 13% said only events related to the State of Israel should be commemorated.

Another 7% categorically replied with a “no.”

Here too an analysis of the answers revealed that the positions on Tisha B’Av transcended religious divisions – 74% of seculars and 100% of ultra-Orthodox responded that dates like Tisha B’Av should be commemorated.

Gesher Director General Rabbi Danny Tropper told Ynet in response to the survey results: “We are a nation with a remarkable historic affinity. The Temple was destroyed 1,942 years ago, and almost two thirds of the population want to see it rebuilt, including 47% of seculars.

“I don’t think this is a practical proposal, but it seems that Tisha B’Av really does constitute a day of meaningful memory to most of the people.”

Original Link.

Temple Institute to Build Sacrificial Altar on Tisha B’av

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

(IsraelNN.com) The Temple Institute will begin building the sacrificial altar on Thursday, Tisha B’av, a fast day when Jews mourn the destruction of the Temple some 2,000 years ago.

The sacrificial altar was located in the center of the Temple, and upon it the Kohanim (priests) offered the numerous voluntary and obligatory sacrifices commanded in the Bible.

The Temple Institute, which has already built many of the vessels for the Holy Temple, such as the ark and the menorah, has now embarked on a project to build the altar. Construction begins Thursday in Mitzpe Yericho (east of Jerusalem) at 5:30 p.m.

“Unfortunately, we cannot currently build the altar in its proper place, on the Temple Mount,” Temple Institute director Yehudah Glick said. “We are building an altar of the minimum possible size so that we will be able to transport it to the Temple when it is rebuilt.”

Even a minimum size altar will work out to be approximately 4 meters tall, 6 meters long, and 6 meters wide. Workers have collected around 10 cubic meters of rocks weighing several tons already.

The rocks were gathered from the Dead Sea area and wrapped individually to assure they remain whole and are not touched by metal, as the Bible requires.

“The Torah says that no iron tools should be used on the altar’s stones,” Glick explained. “The altar represents a connection to life and to the creation of the world. Iron is the opposite – it is used to build tools of war, death, and destruction.”

The stones will be cemented together with a mixture of sand, clay, tar, and asphalt. Researchers from the Temple Institute visited the Finish glass factory near Yerucham to learn how to create a mixture which would remain as cool as possible under the altar’s unremitting fires and protect the Kohanim, who always worked in the Temple barefoot.

Glick said that Tisha B’av, a day associated with mourning, is really the ideal time to begin to build the Temple. “People mistakenly think Tisha B’av is only a day to cry,” he explained. “It also has to be a day of action. We have the ability in our era to begin the construction of the Temple.”

“There are many positive developments recently with regard to the Temple,” Glick added. “Hundreds of Jews visited the Temple Mount this week, and more and more continue to come, after undergoing the requisite ritual immersion.”

Original Link.

Support Slips for Obama’s Health Plan

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Maybe this one will go the way of Hillarycare.

Support for President Barack Obama’s health-care effort has declined over the past five weeks, particularly among those who already have insurance, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found, amid prolonged debate over costs and quality of care.

In mid-June, respondents were evenly divided when asked whether they thought Obama’s health plan was a good or bad idea. In the new poll, conducted July 24-27, 42% called it a bad idea while 36% said it was a good idea.

Among those with private insurance, the proportion calling the plan a bad idea rose to 47% from 37%.

Declining popularity of the health-care overhaul reflects rising anxiety over the federal budget deficit and congressional debate over the most contentious aspects of the legislation, including how to pay for it. The poll also shows concern over the role of government in determining personal medical decisions.

Trying to regain momentum, Obama is shifting his pitch to new consumer-protection rules for insurance companies, part of a bid to win over Americans who already have coverage.

David Axelrod, one of the president’s top advisers, acknowledged that the White House’s months-long focus on controlling medical costs hasn’t worked. “Consumer protections are a lot more tangible,” he said.

Original Link.