Temple Institute

Coordinates: 31°46′31.73″N 35°13′59.16″E / 31.7754806°N 35.2331000°E / 31.7754806; 35.2331000
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Temple Institute

The Temple Institute, known in Hebrew as Machon HaMikdash (Hebrew: מכון המקדש), is an organization in Israel focusing on establishing the Third Temple. Its long-term aims are to build the third Jewish temple on the Temple Mount, on the site occupied by the Dome of the Rock, and to reinstate animal sacrificial worship. It aspires to reach this goal through the study of Temple construction and ritual and through the development of actual Temple ritual objects, garments, and building plans suitable for immediate use in the event conditions permit its reconstruction.[1] It runs a museum in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.[2] It was founded and is headed by Rabbi Yisrael Ariel.[3] Its current director general is Dovid Shvartz. New York billionaire Henry Swieca has supported the institute.[4] The Israeli government has also provided funding.[5][6]


Building of Temple ritual items[edit]

As part of its ongoing effort to prepare for a future rebuilt Temple, the Temple Institute has been preparing ritual objects suitable for Temple use. Many of the over ninety ritual items to be used in the Temple have been made by the Temple Institute.

As of June 2008, a major project of the institute was the creation of the sacred uniform of the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest, and the ordinary priests. This project, the culmination of years of study and research, had already been underway for several years. The High Priest's Hoshen (breastplate) and Ephod have been completed. The Tzitz, the golden crown of the High Priest, was completed in 2007. The Temple Institute is designing the garments for the lay priests intended for purchase by Kohanim.

Red heifer[edit]

In addition to a variety of items required for service within the Temple, the institute has attempted to locate a parah adumah (red heifer) consistent with the requirements of Numbers 19:1–22 and Mishnah Tractate Parah for purposes of taharah (purification) necessary to enter the Temple sanctuary proper in most circumstances.[7][8] Previously, the institute identified two candidates, one in 1997 and another in 2002.[9] The Temple Institute had initially declared both kosher, but later found each to be unsuitable. More recently in September 2022, 5 perfect unblemished red heifers were brought to Israel from the USA and found to meet the qualifications after being inspected by rabbis. The heifers will be fed and cared for until the time that they can be slaughtered and used to create the necessary ashes for purification.[10]


Rebuilding a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount[edit]

The model of the Temple Menorah next to the Temple Institute
the Menorah Square and viewpoint to the Temple Mount next to the Temple Institute

Although Orthodox Judaism generally agrees that the Temple in Jerusalem will and should be rebuilt, there is a substantial disagreement about whether this should occur by human or divine hands. The Temple Institute interprets the opinion of the Rambam (Maimonides) as saying that Jews should attempt to build the Temple themselves, and have a mitzvah (obligation) to do so if they can. The Rambam's opinion, however, is a controversial one and has aroused substantial opposition.

The Temple Institute's view of the Rambam's opinion is not universally accepted by Maimonides scholars. According to seventeenth-century Rabbi Yom Tov Lipman Heller in his commentary on the tractate Yoma, the Rambam did not say that any Jew can build the future Temple, only the Messiah.[11]

Ascending the Temple Mount[edit]

The rabbis associated with the Temple Institute hold (also following the Rambam) that it is, under certain conditions, permissible under Jewish law for Jews to visit parts of the Temple Mount and periodically organize groups to ascend and tour the Mount. The view that Jews may ascend the Temple is controversial among Orthodox rabbis, with many authorities completely prohibiting visiting the Mount to prevent accidental entrance into and desecration of the Holy of Holies or other sacred, off-limits areas.

The Temple Institute conducts aliyot (literally, "ascending"; "making a pilgrimage") to the Temple Mount. The institute claims that these aliyot are conducted in accordance with halachic requirements.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A House of Prayer for All Nations"[permanent dead link] Jerusalem Post, October 11, 2005
  2. ^ Wright, Lawrence. "Forcing the End: Why do Pentecostal cattle breeder from Mississippi and an Orthodox Rabbi from Jerusalem believe that a red heifer can bring change?". Frontline at PBS. Retrieved 11 July 2014. The Temple Institute operates a small museum in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City.
  3. ^ Rebuild Herod's Temple? A Few Israelis Hope The New York Times, April 9, 1989.
  4. ^ Booth, William; Eglash, Ruth (December 2, 2013). "Jewish activists want to pray on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, raising alarm in Muslim world". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 15, 2016. The project was funded by Henry Swieca, the billionaire American investor, and his wife, Estee.
  5. ^ Tobin, Andrew (August 12, 2016). "The third Jewish Temple is coming to your Facebook feed". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved August 15, 2016. The Israeli government provides some funding to the Temple Institute – though not reliably or significantly, according to its directors – as it does educational and research institutions, and allows women to do their national service as tour guides at its exhibition.
  6. ^ "Report: State funds groups that advocate building Third Temple". The Jerusalem Post. April 8, 2013. Retrieved August 15, 2016. Over the course of the last decade, the Education Ministry and the Culture and Sport Ministry have transferred between NIS 300,000 and 700,000 to a non-government organization known as The Temple Institute. Just last year, the group received NIS 282,000 from the Education Ministry and another NIS 134,000 from the Culture Ministry.
  7. ^ Temple Institute: Red Heifer at the Wayback Machine (archived 2020-02-23)
  8. ^ "Apocalypse Cow". The New York Times. March 30, 1997. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
  9. ^ Red Heifer born in Israel Archived 2020-02-23 at the Wayback Machine Temple Institute, 8 April 2002
  10. ^ "From Texas to Israel: Red heifers needed for Temple arrive". The Jerusalem Post | Jpost.com.
  11. ^ ""And they shall make Me a sanctuary." (25:8)" (PDF). Parsha Pearls (Parashat Terumah 5768 (the basis for the estimated source date February 6, 2008) ed.). Jews Against Zionism. February 6, 2008. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-09-26.

External links[edit]

31°46′31.73″N 35°13′59.16″E / 31.7754806°N 35.2331000°E / 31.7754806; 35.2331000