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A Mini-Tour of the Mini-Mikdash

C.B. Gavant

Have you ever seen the Beis HaMikdash? Perhaps you’ve seen models or drawings of the Mishkan. If you’re very lucky, maybe you’ve even seen the Kosel. Of course, there’s no one alive today who’s merited to see the Beis HaMikdash. But if you go to the Aish HaTorah World Center, located right opposite the Kosel Plaza, and climb the stairs to the building’s roof, you’ll get to see a model of the Second Beis HaMikdash in all its glory.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Built by Michael Osnes, an artisan living in Kedumim, this model was the vision of Aish HaTorah’s rosh yeshivah, Rav Noah Weinberg ztz”l, who wanted to show people what our holy Beis HaMikdash looked like.

Our guide, Shimon, points to the Kosel Plaza below us.

“All over the world, Jews face the Beis HaMikdash when they daven. In chutz l’Aretz, we face Eretz Yisrael; in Eretz Yisrael, we face Yerushalayim; and in Yerushalayim, we assume that we’re facing the Kosel. But the Kosel is actually part of the wall that surrounded Har HaBayis — it wasn’t part of the Beis HaMikdash at all! This model shows us the entire Har HaBayis, as it looked in the days of Hordus.”

Hordus, an Edomite king who married Miriam, descendant of the Chashmonaim, wished to prove himself worthy to the Jewish People by refurbishing the Beis HaMikdash. The chachamim were worried that Hordus would take down the building (constructed by the Jews who returned from Bavel with Ezra), and then not rebuild it! So they only permitted Hordus to build around the structure that was already there. Hordus constructed a gorgeous edifice of gold, silver, and marble that shone like a beacon of light for the entire city. “Anyone who hasn’t seen the Beis HaMikdash of Hordus,” say Chazal, “never saw a beautiful building in his life.”

 

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