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Guest Rabbi Chaim Richman

120 Sets of Linen Garments for Rebuilding of Holy Temple

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Guest Rabbi Chaim Richman   
Guest Rabbi Chaim Richman

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 1,938 years the linen garments of the lay priests are being produced in preparation for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple and the renewal of the Divine service. The last priestly garments to have been worn were those worn by the priests who were martyred by the Roman legions who brutally invaded and destroyed the Holy Temple on the ninth day of the month of Av, in the year 70 CE.

THE TEMPLE INSTITUTE HAS SPARED NO EFFORT in procuring the necessary materials for the performing of this Torah commandment, and once again has enlisted 21st century technology in order to do so in a manner befitting the Torah injunction that these priestly garments be "both dignified and beautiful". (Exodus 28:40)

 

SPECIALLY PREPARED FLAXEN THREAD, wound into six-ply strands, according to the Torah prescribed requirement, ("twined linen - shesh mushzar"), has been imported from India. These individual spools of thread are presently being spun into larger 1.7 meter long spindles in order to accomodate the next step: the weaving of bolts of fabric 1.7 meters wide. Before commencing this process, (known in Hebrew as hashtayah), of creating the 1.7 meter spindles, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, founder of the Temple Institute made the traditional shechechiyanu blessing expressing gratitute to G-d " ...for keeping us alive and preserving us and permitting us to behold this day." In addition, before every step of the manufacturing process, a special statement of intent must be uttered in Hebrew: "L'shem mitzvat assei assiyat bigdei hakehuna: for the sake of the positive commandment to make the priestly garments."

 

THE PREPARED SPINDLES are then being transported from the textile factory in the town of Gedera to a second factory in the city of Tel Aviv. There they will be woven into kilometer (3,280 foot) long bolts. The weaving process, (known in Hebrew as arigah), creates the checkerboard pattern described in Torah, (ibid 28:39).

 

THE FINAL STAGES of the manufacture of the garments involves the cutting, sewing and embroidering of the woven fabric, creating the tunic (ketonet), pants (michnasayim), turban (mitznefet) and belt (avnet). The turban (mitznefet) is eight meters (26 feet) in length, and is wrapped around the priest's head. Each belt (avnet) requires a sixteen meter (52 feet) length of linen, which is wrapped around the priest's waist. (During the time of the Second Temple, when preparing to serve in the Holy Temple, the priests dressed in the chamber known as the chamber of Pinchas the Wardrober, and each priest was assisted by a fellow priest with the turban and belt.)

 

AS ALWAYS, IN RECREATING TEMPLE-READY VESSELS AND GARMENTS, the Temple Institute research department initiates the process with intensive research, assuring in this case that the priestly garments will be created in strict accordance to the halachic requirements as described in Torah and in the unbroken oral tradition received at Sinai and preserved by Jewish sages throughout the generations.

 

EACH SET OF PRIESTLY GARMENTS will be tailored to fit its individual purchaser. The garments being created are not museum pieces or collector's items. Their cost is 2,500 shekel, (approximately $695). They will be sold only to true decendants of the High Priest Aharon, who aspire to be fully prepared for the day when they can once again perform the Divine service in the Holy Temple, may we merit to rebuild it soon!

 

INCREDIBLY, this is our first public announcement of the production of the priestly garments and we have already registered our first orders. A second production run is already being planned to accomodate the anticipated demand. In these very difficult and trying times we witness the enemies of the G-d of Israel arrayed to the north and to the south and to the east and to the west of the land of Israel, shamelessly boasting of their wicked intentions, and even Israel's friends are calling upon her to relinquish control over the Temple Mount, the one place chosen on earth by G-d for His presence to dwell, and for all mankind to be seen in His service. The demand by the descendents of Aharon for the garments that they will wear while tending to their daily responsibilites in the Holy Temple can only be understood as an expression of unshakable faith in the unfolding trajectory of Jewish history and in G-d's promise for all mankind: "And My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations." (Isaiah 56:7)

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