Israel Forever

For the week ending 1 March 2003 / 27 Adar I 5763

Who Needs Proof?

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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The recent excitement in Israel over the discovery of a stone tablet almost three thousand years old focused on the brazen claim of leading members of the Islamic Wakf who deny that the Beit Hamikdash ever stood on the Temple Mount.

The ten lines inscribed on this tablet in an ancient Phoenician script closely parallel the description of Temple house repairs which will be read this Shabbat Parshat Shekalim in the special haftarah of the day. While experts in the Israel Geological Institute and the Israel Museum debate the authenticity of the stone found during Temple Mount excavations over a year ago, the Jewish community is hardly holding its breath in anticipation of conclusive evidence to whom the Temple Mount really belongs. For Jews everywhere there is not a shred of doubt that this is where our holiest site once stood.

Parshat Shekalim, which recalls the practice during Temple times of all Jews donating a half shekel each year to finance the purchase of animals for communal sacrifices, is an outstanding proof that Jews have never forgotten the Beit Hamikdash, nor where it stood and where it will once again stand with the arrival of Moshiach.

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