While most Israelis were celebrating Independence Day by having family barbecues, a small group gathered in the Old City of Jerusalem and began chipping away at stones, preparing them to be used to build the prophesied Third Temple.
The event was organized by Rabbi Aryeh Lipo who envisioned it while on his way to the funeral of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky in March. Lipo ascends to the Temple Mount on a daily basis (when the Israeli police permit Jews to enter) but was deliberating with a friend which was more important: to attend the funeral of a tzaddik (righteous Jew) or to ascend to the Temple Mount.
“Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.” Daniel 9:27
To honor Rabbi Kanievsky, he and a friend were learning a halachic (Torah law) ruling written by Rabbi Kanievsky in which he stated that the stones for the Temple had to be cut by Jews with the intention of honoring God’s name.
“We have a mitzvah (Torah commandment) to build the Temple. This mitzvah is not conditional or time-bound. We have this requirement at all times. So it is a pity that we are not actively engaged in it. Right now, it is politically complicated for us to begin building on the Temple Mount but that does not exempt us from this mitzvah.”
Rabbi Lipo realized that it was possible to begin to actually perform this mitzvah by preparing the stones that will be used to build the Third Temple.
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