Aish builds ‘Beis Hamikdash’ in Old City of Jerusalem
By Michael Orbach
Issue of August 14, 2009 / 24 Av 5769
Waiting for the Third Temple? It isn’t here yet, but thanks to Aish HaTorah, you can have what might be the next best thing: the largest scale model of the Beis Hamikdash in the world.
The model will be a part of the new Aish museum, The Exploratorium, scheduled to open later this year. Created by Russian-born engineer Michael Oznis, the 4’ by 10’ model weighs 1.2 tons, according to Ephraim Shore, director of Aish. The museum will focus on how Jewish ideas changed the world; the model will be located on the roof of the museum overlooking the Kotel.
“In order to understand the meaning of the Wall, [people] need to understand the Temple,” explained Shore. “This gives us an opportunity to give people a sense of what the Temple was and why the Temple was so central to the Jewish people; what it was supposed to accomplish and why we mourn its loss.”
Not content with just showcasing the outside of the Beis Hamikdash, Oznis equipped the model with a remote-controlled hydraulic elevator to raise the entire inner chamber of the Beis Hamikdash, including the Holy of Holies.
“Ki mi’tzion teitzei Torah” — the Torah will come out of Zion, Shore quoted. “All the great Jewish concepts were formulated in the Temple, inspired by the Jewish message of wisdom and truth: values of love thy neighbor and justice for all. This was the heart of this,” he said.
The rooftop of the Exploratorium will be open to the public in December and the museum is scheduled to fully open in 2011 . Shore expects over 300,000 people to visit the museum each year.
— All photos courtesy of Aish HaTorah