Thursday, April 07, 2016

Sanctity of Time from the Temple Mount

A Torah Thought for Parashat Hachodesh 
By Moshe Feiglin

Illustration courtesy of The Temple Institute

Beside the regular Torah reading this Shabbat, we also have a special reading : Parashat Hachodesh, always read in proximity to the beginning of the month of Nissan, tells of G-d’s directive to Moses to sanctify the new month with the new moon. Even before they left Egypt, G-d taught Moses the secret of the lunar cycle and gave Israel the commandment to sanctify the new month by using this hidden knowledge to determine exactly when it begins.

From that moment on, the Nation of Israel became a nation that conducts itself outside the dimension of time. Different than any other nation, the Jewish People are not a temporary phenomenon, enslaved to eternal, fixed time that controls us. On the contrary; we are eternal and we control time. Those who search for proof that G-d is real find it – first and foremost – in the meta-historic existence of the Nation of Israel. Its existence contradicts all the laws of nature, time and history.

The meta-physical super-time status of the Nation of Israel flows forth from the Land of Israel and the Temple Mount. In order to sanctify the month, the witnesses of the new moon had to travel to the court on the Temple Mount, submit testimony that they saw the new moon before the tribunal and from there – from the court of law on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in the Land of Israel – the new month was sanctified and announced to the public.

All the Jewish courts in the Diaspora could not sanctify the new month, the Talmud explains. The physical and metaphysical, body and soul connect only here, on the Holy Mount in Jerusalem.

All the Jewish houses of study in Sura and Pombedita, in Warsaw and Vilna , in New York and London are of no avail. But, the Talmud continues, three shepherds, the most simple of Jews to be found in the Land of Israel – can come together as a Jewish Court of Law on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and sanctify the new month.

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov.

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