On Jewish Valentines Day
Wed, 5 August 2009 = 15th of Av, 5769
ט״ו בְּאָב תשס״ט
Parashat Eikev (in Diaspora)
Aish HaTorah Installs Second Temple Model Opposite Western Wall
by Jonah Newman
Jerusalem Post - August 5, 2009
With the Dome of the Rock and the Aksa Mosque standing conspicuously in the background, a crane lowered the 1.2-ton model onto the roof.
It took about a year for Michael Osanis, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union who has built a number of other Temple models, including one in the Temple Institute, also in the capital's Jewish Quarter, to complete this model, which is made from gold, silver, wood and Jerusalem stone.
The model will sit on a new educational building for Aish HaTorah's short-term outreach programs, which is set to open in December. Aish, which provides a network of educational programs for Jews around the world, is also building a new "Explorium" - an interactive museum on Jewish history, which it expects will host 300,000 visitors annually after it opens in two years.
"What could be more appropriate than to have here, as people are standing looking out over our holiest place, the Temple Mount, a sense of what it was really like to have the Temple here?" asked Ephraim Shore, director of Aish's programs in Jerusalem.
Aish hopes that this model will help people to visualize the Temple and therefore forge a stronger connection with Judaism and Jewish history.
"It is hard for us to imagine a Temple and to feel that we are praying inside the Temple," said Rabbi Hillel Weinberg, the head of Aish's Jerusalem yeshiva.
"But now, everyone who comes and sees this Temple model, it will be much easier for them to connect to the Temple and to direct their prayers to the Holy of Holies."