It was July of 1967 and I was in Oklahoma staying with my cousin. She’d just celebrated her fourteenth birthday. I still had almost four months to wait for mine. The days were lazy but we were never bored. There were books to read, cousins to see, soap operas to watch, daily visits to my grandmother, outings to the municipal swimming pool, weekly excursion to the town’s one movie theatre, shopping in our great-uncle’s department store located in the one-block downtown, walks in the cow pasture, and endless conversations about almost everything. One afternoon an unexpected phone call caused an interesting stir.
The caller had been my cousin’s teacher in junior high school. Apparently, he’d noticed the Star of David necklace she wore around her neck and realized she was Jewish. It was important to him to speak to someone Jewish. He wanted to know where he could send money to help rebuild Solomon’s Holy Temple.
My cousin didn’t have a clue how to answer him and I was totally at a loss as to how to advise her. We did know that Israel had won the breathtaking Six Day War a month earlier. We understood that Jerusalem had been reunited and the Wailing Wall, as the Kotel was then called, had been liberated. More than that we were sadly ignorant.
I believe my cousin told the caller she’d get back to him. I don’t know if she ever did. What would she have told him? That even though the Israeli army had had the Temple Mount, the foundation of the Holy Temple, in their hands, a political decision had been made to turn the control of it over to the Arab Waaf. The Muslims has taken the site where our Holy Temple had stood and built their Al-Aqsa Mosque atop it. The powers-in-charge at that time were convinced touching any part of that Mosque would bring a bloodbath to the area.
Now, fifty years later, I wonder if that teacher is still alive. I wonder what he thinks of all the news stories centering on Jerusalem. Has he bought into the lies that want to deny that there was ever a Jewish presence in the Holy Land? Does he think the Israelis are fools for giving in to Arab blackmail? What’s his reaction to the arrest of so many Jews who have the audacity to move their lips, as if in prayer, while visiting the Temple Mount? Has he heard about The Temple Institute?
Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, not far from the Kotel, The Temple Institute began its work twenty years after the reunification of Jerusalem. Founded and administrated by Rabbi Yisroel Ariel, it’s dedicated to educating the public and preparing the way for The Holy Temple to be rebuilt. Now more and more Jews understand the significance of The Temple Mount. Had only The Temple Institute existed fifty years earlier! Then perhaps two ignorant teenagers could have given an intelligent reply to a caring non-Jew.
However, it’s never too late. We all need to know the history of our people. We all need to understand the story of Jerusalem. We all need to be ambassadors of truth to the world.
|courtesy of en.wikipedia.org|