Sunday, February 16, 2014

#210 - My Experience on THE Mountain

Many people, including myself, can relate to mountains, at least in name.  You see, I was born in a hospital named Mt. Sinai. In fact, there are quite a few hospitals in the States with this name.  I once heard that the reason for this given name for a hospital is because as our rabbis tell us, when the Torah was given on Mt. Sinai, everyone was healed of their bodily deficiencies, so everyone would be able to see, hear, and speak in time for the Giving of the Torah.  Hence, the name Mt. Sinai would be most appropriate for a hospital which has the purpose of healing people.

But buildings and places that are named after mountains aren't limited to hospitals.  There is a cemetery in Miami that is called Mt. Nebo, the name of the mountain upon which Moses passed away.  And of course, one of the states in the continental United States is called Montana, which is based on the word mountain.

However, regardless of the Jewish history of these mountains, there is no special holiness attached to them. It may seem paradoxical that Mt. Sinai, the very place on which Hashem began giving the Torah to us with the Ten Commandments, the moment in time which was the cause for the world to remain in existence since it only exists in the merit of Torah learning, should have no more holiness attached to it today than any other mountains, at least outside of Israel.  But then again, this is not so new.  You see, the site of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) that we learn about in this week's Parshat Vayakheil (as well as detailed in Parshat Terumah) which was located for hundreds of years in the city of Shilo in Israel, does not have any more special holiness on its grounds than other places in Israel today, since, just like the location of Mt. Sinai, it only served its purpose for a period of time, but now it doesn't serve this purpose anymore.  Imagine, there was a time that all Jews, our ancestors were all in this town of Shilo to worship and offer sacrifices on the Shalosh Regalim (Three Pilgrimage Festivals), but today, it's a ghost town with perhaps a thousand residents in stark contrast to what it was at one time housing the greatest spot of holiness in this world.

However, there is one mountain that is given attention by the Torah early on - Mt. Moriah.  In fact, the Torah doesn't introduce us to this mountain as Mt. Moriah per se, but rather as "the land of Moriah" where there was "one of the mountains" at which Abraham was to bring up his son Isaac on an altar upon Hashem's commands.

As it turns out, this was not the first time in history that sacrifices were offered at this part of the world.  The Midrash tells us that both Adam and Noah offered sacrifices, and it was the same place at which Jacob stopped by after he left his parents' home before he proceeded to Haran where his uncle Laban lived.

In any case, it was only after nearly three millenium since Creation that the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) was built in this part of the world.  But once this happened, there was no turning back - this remained the holiest spot in the world, even after the Temple would be destroyed.  In fact, as we learn in the final chapter of the Mishnaic Tractate Zevachim (Offerings) Chapter 14, unlike in the past when private altars were permitted to be built and certain sacrifices were able to be offered at them, at least in the absence of the Mishkan; once the Temple was built, never again would private altars be allowed to be built, regardless of whether the Temple would be in existance or not in the future.

Now, a question can be asked, what is the practical difference here between the times following the destructions of the Tabernacle in Shilo and the Temple on Mt. Moriah in terms of private altars?  We can't offer sacrifices on the grounds of the past Temples anyways.  In fact, we are not even allowed to go up to Mt. Moriah, which will be called henceforth in this post by its popular name of Har HaBayit (Temple Mount).

Actually, I just wrote two myths here.  First, unlike the political opinion of some rabbis, including the Chief Rabbinate in Israel which in recent times has been used more for politics than for the right causes, there are some areas on the Temple Mount that are permitted to be tread upon, and we know this for a fact, because the Rambam (Maimonides), when he visited the Temple Mount, declared the date that he visited as an annual day of personal celebration, having been at the greatest area of holiness in the world.  So long as one goes to the Mikva (ritualarium) beforehand, and goes up with a religious group in which one will be led only at the areas that are permitted to be walked on, excluding the most holy areas that we are presently not permitted to enter because of our spiritual impurity of contact with the dead that can only be rid of from the ashes of the Para Aduma (Red Heifer), not only does one not have a sin for treading on this part of the Temple Mount, but one actually fulfills the Mitzva of Mora Mikdash, having awe of Hashem Who commanded us about respect in this holy area (some of today's rabbis will claim that this Mitzva applies to our synagogues and Torah study halls, but the main part of this commandment refers SPECIFICALLY to the Temple Mount that many of not most of them will claim that going up on any part of the Temple Mount is committing a grave sin).  In fact, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi (Judah the Prince) could not be more clear about this in his compilation of the Mishna, mentioning near the end of the final chapter of the first tractate of the Mishna - Berachot - which is about the Shema, prayers, and blessings - the guidelines of being on the Temple Mount, including not entering with certain items to avoid showing disrespect at this most holy place. Now mind you, when the Mishna as we know it today was composed, this was already after the destruction of the Second Temple, so if it would be totally forbidden to be present even at a part of the Temple Mount, the Mishna would not been worded as such to give us a misimpression to make us think that there would be no prohibition today.

How unfortuante that so many observant Jews, who sincerely want to fulfill all of the Torah's commands that are able to be fulfilled today, noting that we presently don't offer sacrifices in absence of the Temple, are misled to think that it is forbidden to ascend even the part of the Temple Mount that is permitted to be walked upon, missing out on the MAIN part of the Mitzva of Mora Mikdash, even as they led to believe that it is the Western Wall that has all this special holiness.  Well, as Rabbi Chaim Richman, Shlita of the Temple Mount Institute,, puts it, that while the Western Wall is very holy, it had absolutely no significance at the time of the existance of the Temple, other than of course, being the western wall of the grounds of the Temple Mount, as its name implies, but at the time of the Temple, no one came to pray and bow down at this wall.

Oh, the second myth, that sacrifices are forbidden to be offered on the Temple Mount. While we are restricted as to certain areas on the Mount due to impurity of the dead, there is a certain area in the permitted area where we can build an altar and offer sacrifices - most especially, the Korban Pesach, the Pascal Sacrifice, which is the most single important sacrifice that we are obligated to offer, one of the two Positive or Active Commandments that one incurs the penalty of Karet (spiritual extinction) for violation thereof (the other such commandment being circumcision); quite contrary to the claim of certain rabbis that one incurs Karet for entering even on part of the Temple Mount, or that we may "accidentally" enter a part of the Mount that is forbidden to enter since today, "we don't know where the boundaries of the differences lie", which is a lie, since it is clearly laid out in the Talmud and Halacha that clearly matches what is seen on the Mount (while in Temple times, individuals were forbidden to offer or eat of the Korban Pesach in an impure state, the rule is that where the majority of Jews are impure, then the condition of being in a pure state is waived).  Moreover, contrary to what some want us to believe, we don't need to wait for Moshiach to come before building the Temple. If there is any question as per building the Temple, the only question is pertaining to the exact spots that everything is supposed to be built upon.  And by the way, today's Sanhedrin, which was formed some nine years ago, ascended the Temple Mount once as a group; bearing in mind that this rabbinical court consists of some of the most brilliant Torah scholars of today, who not only aren't paid by this pro-Arab Jewish government, unlike the Chief Rabbinate as well as other appointed rabbinical positions, but even one of its members, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, Shlita, who heads the Temple Institute and a former paratrooper who had the great merit to be among those who liberated the Temple Mount, was arrested at one point and interrogated for his strict right wing beliefs, including recently for the great "crime" of bowing on the Temple Mount, noting that he was the second on the Kach party list which was headed by Rabbi Meir Kahane, may Hashem avenge his blood.

However, there are other questions to be asked here.  What are the politics involved here that gets rabbis to say things that are clearly against what the Torah says?  And, why aren't Jews offering even the Korban Pesach when the Supreme Court in Israel issued a ruling that allows us to do so - not that we need the Supreme Court's approval for a commandment in the Torah, but that we have been given the green light to do so without being allowed to be hindered even according to Israeli secular law?

You see, so long as the Al Aksa mosque, which houses the grounds of the Kodesh Kodoshim (Holy of Holies), the holiest room in the world, is in existance, many rabbis don't want to appear that they are making trouble, especially since many if not most of them in Israel are paid by the pro-Arab, anti-Jewish Israeli government, and so, it is easy for them to make these types of claims.  A case in point - when Rabbi Meir Kahane, was a Knesset member, another Knesset member who was a rabbi, a member of the Ultra-Orthodox community, was attemping to downplay the problem of the Moslem Arabs occupying the Temple Mount with their mosque.  Upon this, Rabbi Kahane told him that he was saying this because he was afraid. The rabbi, in defense, was claiming that we Jews are forbidden to ascend the Temple Mount.  "In that case" exlaimed Rabbi Kahane, "neither of us will ascend the Mount; but for that matter, neither should we allow the Chillul Hashem (Desecration of G-d's Name) of these Arabs being on the Mount".  And as for the Supreme Court ruling allowing the Korban Pesach to be offered here, the police pretend to be using a loophole in the law claiming that they can not allow this taking place due to "security reasons".  So much for the secular laws promoting religious rights of Jews in Israel!

However, the above rabbinal rhetoric didn't stop me from ascending the Mountain of Hashem (phrase from Psalms 24:3 which refers to the Temple Mount) a couple weeks ago on 5 Adar I, a Wednesday morning. The truth is that I did attempt once before to ascend the Temple Mount several years ago, but despite the fact that some were waiting an hour and a half to ascend, the police stopped the visit short in appeasement of the Arabs, in order to discourage Jewish visitors from coming in the future.  For me, it was far easier in the past to come to the Western Wall, pending only a quick security search, and then no problem.  But to come to the Mount, which has FAR LESS people visiting than the grounds of the Western Wall, there is FAR MORE security, restrictions, and chances of being turned away, despite spending time with the spiritual preparations of going to the Mikva and making the trip.

As it turned out, I joined several others from the town that I reside in that early morning which began for me outdoors at 5:00 AM when it was still night out, being well dressed with my backpack in the cool weather, walking for a good 40 minutes to where I was going to join others in this van.  The funny thing is that it was less than 48 hours before on that past Monday that I saw a flyer about this intended trip, which there have been many of like this one since I first moved to the town that I reside in some three and a half years ago; but this time, something inside of me told me that it is about time that I get out of my comfort zone, and make that call (to reserve a spot not only in the van, but typically, there is a group restriction of how many can join together ascending the Mount).

But this time, I was in good company.  In fact, the leader of our group, who visits the Mount on a weekly basis, was even having a nice chat with one of the policemen in front of the security area while we were waiting our turn to enter.  To note, under this Israeli government dictatorship, an observant Jew who dares opens his lips in prayer or bows down can immediately get arrested for "disturbing the religious rights of the Moslem Arabs" at the site that all praying Jews, wherever they are in this universe, turn to when speaking to the King of Kings.  Accordingly, no holy books or religious effects are allowed entry.  Fortunately, this is not only applicable for Jews, but even for Christians, as I witnessed while awaiting; and I say this, not only because Christian idolatry isn't allowed in this most holy area, but perhaps ultimately most importantly, everyone can see the great prejudice and misjustice of allowing these Moslem Arabs free reign OCCUPYING THE HOLIEST PLACE IN THE WORLD THAT BELONGS TO US.  You see, any honest Christian who knows the Bible well, especially after visiting the Temple Mount, can only wonder why Moslem Arabs have more rights to this place than Jews.  Of course, Christians being challenged with entry to holy places in Israel is nothing new - we can go back in time to nearly one thousand years ago in the time of the Crusades when Christians came to the Holy Land to fight the Moslems to claim title to the land that the Christian false god was born and lived in; and this is bearing in mind that the Koran admits to this Christian god being a prophet (though not a god or Messiah in their book).

Anyways, getting back to our trip, when we first arrived, I noticed a sign in front from the Chief Rabbinate claiming that it is forbidden to visit the Temple Mount, which bothered me not so much because it is their opinion, but that it makes it look like that this is the viewpoint of the Torah without even suggesting that there could be a difference of opinion in the context of Halacha, which the police of course have no problem allowing to be displayed, hoping that less Jews will visit the Mount.  Anyways, after waiting for like an hour, we were finally allowed through, but not before our outer coats were throughly examined - both in the security machine and manually, and I had to leave my backpack which contained by prayer effects and holy books at a corner right outside of the security area, and the police gave instructions - mostly about what we are not allowed to do.  We then proceeded towards the Temple Mount area, with some in the group reciting a couple of psalms beforehand.  And then, at last - my breathtaking moment of entering the same holy spot that my ancestors of thousands of years ago entered during Temple times.  Time to say the special blessing of Shehecheyanu that is customarily recited on special occasions when we are about to perform a special commandment or ready to eat a new fruit or wear a new garment. Only kidding, though technically, I could be halachicly correct, but it wouldn't make any practical difference here, because moving our lips in prayer could mean an immediate arrest, unless I would be willing to risk my freedom and face grueling questioning for the next many hours, which friends of mine dealt with not long earlier.

But today, I wasn't ready to take chances, being first of all, I am no longer single and so I didn't want to have to deal with upsetting my wife, and secondly, this was my first time on the Mount after all; and so. I just wanted to enjoy my time here and soak up what I was seeing, accompanied with a tour guide, freely quoting the Talmudic and Halachic texts describing the various parts of the Temple and areas of the Temple Mount, part of which being occupied with shouting Moslem Arab women, about which my wife told me later that they are paid to be there to make disturbances for us Jews, along with a few policemen and Arabs following us to make sure that we wouldn't dare violate the rules, or else.  In the midst of this, the tour guide pointed to the area where the Israeli army, which liberated parts of Israel, including the holiest area in the world, entered on the Temple Mount during the Six Day War to declare this to be our land once more.  Finally, after nearly circling the whole general area (the holiest area that we are forbidden today to enter is more like in the center in the elevated areas which are led up to with steps), we were bidden by police to exit through a different way than where we entered, being that it was close to 10:00 AM when the occupying Moslem Arabs want the place to be only for themselves (actually, they want it all the time like this, but let tourists visit for a set period of time, though at times, they will riot or use other attempts once in a while not to let others visit, who are usually listened to by the Israeli Jewish police who show an obvious weakness when it comes to these matters).  Once outside of the Temple Mount grounds, we danced and sang a couple of minutes, singing the prayer that the Temple should be rebuilt speedily in our days.

Now, this is all nice, but what does this have to do with Gematriot?  You see, the Hebrew word HaHar - THE Mountain, is the Gematria of 210, the number of this post.  And as I mentioned myself going on the Temple Mount for the first time, the words Har (mountain) and Adar, the name of this month, have the same Gematria of 205.

However, it doesn't end here, at least in terms of the number 210.  In fact, Rashi, who especially focuses on Peshat, the simple meaning of the text, makes an obvious exception in the story of Jacob's children going to Egypt for the first time to purchase food in the beginning of a famine, when Jacob told them - REDU Shama "Go down there" (Genesis 42:2).  On this, Rashi asks why Jacob didn't use the more common wording of Lechu Shama, "Go there" without mentioning the dirction, as the grownup brothers certainly knew in what direction Egypt was.  Rashi answers that the word Redu is the Gematria of 210 corresponding to the 210 years that the Jews were enslaved in Egypt.

However, a red flag should go up here.  How could Rashi say that the Jews were enslaved for 210 years when this is only how long they spent living in Egypt, but the slavery actually lasted for only 116 years following the passing of the last of the Tribes (sons of Jacob)?  But no doubtedly, this slavery is refering to the most significant part of it - the spirituality decline while sojouring for this period of time.  And the proof is what lead to the physical slavery; for it was only after King Pharoh himself participated in building to get the Jews working and then have them be slaves, since instead of learning the Torah as the Tribe of Levi sid who was spared the physical slavery, these Jews were looking to enjoy themselves and feel part of the culture that they were presently l;ivijng up.  And of course, this resulted from a spiritual DECLINE on their part.

In stark contrast, the ultimate spiritual ascent in terms of physicality is GOING UP on THE MOUNT, the Temple Mount, and as we mention in the Haggada of Passover in which we recount our freedom from our slavery in Egypt, we mention a list of 15 different favors that Hashem did for us, the final one being granting us the Holy Temple.

There is one important point that I want to note here.  Especially today, with the Moslem Arabs' claim of the Temple Mount being their "third holiest spot", even though the Koran doesn't mention Jerusalem even once, it is crucial that we Jews make a difference, showing our support of OUR ownership to our Land, and MOST ESPECIALLY, THE HOLIEST PLACE ON THIS EARTH THAT HASHEM HAS GRANTED TO US, which was returned to us in the Six Day War, except that the evil Moshe Dayan who despised Judaism gave over the key of the Temple Mount to the Wakf, without even any pressure to give it away. And so, we must make a supreme effort that at least if we are not going to defy the dictatorship of the Israeli government and police by praying and bowing on the Temple Mount, that we at make a showing which will assert OUR ownership to the place, and all the Barack Obamas and John Kerrys in the world cannot change that or will be able to stop this.  True, it is only at the Western Wall that we are not forbidden by the government to pray at, but it is about time that especially observant Jews stop using the WALL as a coverup for claiming that it is forbidden to ascend the Temple Mount at all, which is tantamount to denying a holy piece of the Torah, which in effect is denying a Mitzva of the Torah that still exists to this day which is called Mora Mikdash, that refers SPECIFICALLY to this most holy spot, and has not ceased with the destruction of the Temple.


What kind of connection could there be between the Temple Mount and Purim, let alone Purim Katan, naming the date of 14 Adar I, a few days ago, being that it is not on this first 14th of Adar that we read the Megilla on (as well as the other Mitzvot of Purim), but on the second 14th of Adar, and so, this first 14th Adar is called the "Small Purim"?  At least Halachicly, fasting and eulogies are forbidden on the 14th and 15th of the first Adar, as is the case on the second Adar, or on Adar in a regular non-leap Jewish year.   The only question that is asked about Purim Katan, at least on 14 Adar I, is if we celebrate this date by eating delicious food as we do on a regular Purim.  While there are those Halachic authorities who state that this is the case, while the Rama, the Ashkenazic viewpoint on the Shulchan Aruch that is composed by Rabbi Joseph Karo who was Sephardic, states that there is no Mitzva to have a festive meal per se, he does note that it is customary to add something to one's regular meal in commemoration of this once in two or three years occasion.

Now note, the laws of Purim Katan is the very last chapter of the Orach Chaim section of the Shulchan Aruch (Siman or Chapter 697).  This year, I made sure to learn the various commentaries on this chapter in my Mishna Berura set. And let me tell you what I discovered - the Temple Mount.

No kidding.  You see, one of the Halachic commentators, known as the Ba'er Heiteiv, authored by Rabbi Yehuda Ashkenazi, in his very last note on this part of the Shulchan Aruch, on the final word of this Shulchan Aruch - in the followup words of the Rama - which is the word Tamid (always), writes a wish that "Our House of Beauty should speedily arise, we will serve Him in fear of Him, the HAR HABAYIT (Temple Mount) will be positioned on the top of mountains forevermore."

Now, this is a most beautiful wish/prayer, using nice poetry language.  But, what does Purim have to do with the Temple or Temple Mount for that matter?  After all, the holiday of Purim evolved specifically outside of Israel where the miracles that led to this holiday took place; while ironically, the holiday of Chanuka, which came about a nice couple hundred of centuries later, took place not just anywhere in Israel, but on the very grounds of the Temple Mount pertaining to the lights of the Menorah in the Temple lasting for eight days instead of just one day until new pure olive oil that wasn't spiritually contaminated by the Syrian Greeks was able to be made available.

Well first, as I had mentioned in a recent post, in the Purim story, King Achashveirosh, who was a rotten anti-Semite from beginning to end, offered his queen Esther any part of his 127 country kingdom - except for the middle part which was the very site of the Holy Temple.  And so, it makes only sense that since at that time, at least as long as this king was alive, when construction on the Temple which began a little before his reign was halted thanks to the "good Samaritans" (dubbed by the Christian Bible which is full of anti-Semitic statements and implications), one could only wish for the Temple to be rebuilt "speedily in our days".

And  we can certainly use this wish/blessing now, more than ever.  In fact, the final words used in this Ba'er Heiteiv are Adei Ad, loosely translated as forevermore.  Both of this words are using the letters Ayin and Dalet - the final two letters of our Jewish year 5774 - which consists of the letters Hei, Tav, Shin, Ayin, Dalet.  And this thing about the phrase Adei Ad is most significant for another reason, because in the opening verse of the Shema - Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad "Hear O Israel, Hashem is our G-d, Hashem is One" (Deutronomy 6:4), the last letters of the first word Shema and the last word Echad - Ayin and Dalet - are written extra large in the Sefer Torah (Torah Scroll), howbeit in a different context of these two letters as a word reading Eid (instead of Ad) meaning witness, as in the Shema, we bear witness to Hashem being One, Who by the way, will be in existence forevermore (Adei Ad) just as He was always in existence before the creation of time (hard to understand how time can be a creation, but this is beyond human comprehension).

With this said, Purim corresponds to the Sephira of Netzach, which means both eternity and victory.  In terms of eternity, our rabbis tell us that in the future, when all the other Jewish holidays will be nullifed (may not necessarily mean that they will be abolished, but that they will pale in significance to other holidays), the holiday of Purim will never be nullifed.  And in other contexts, this is similarly stated in terms of Megillat Esther (Book of Esther), that while in the future, the other books of the Nach (Nevi'im - Prophets and Ketuvim - Writings) will be nullified, Megillat Esther will never be nullified.  And in terms of victory, the Jews won wars against their enemies that led to this holiday of Purim.  However, this was not a complete victory, because Israel was still under Persian rule when at that time, the ban on Temple construction wasn't lifted followed lies from the "Good Samaritans" about the Jews, and so in a sense, it can be said that Purim should be called Purim Katan "Small Purim", for it was a small victory in terms of the Jews' spirituality in terms of what the Jews were able to accomplish.  Hence, this could well explain the connection between what is in actuality Purim Katan as in the context of the last chapter of the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim and the Temple Mount, the grounds of the Temple.

Also, just as the Sephira of Netzach is the middle of the seven active Sephirot (Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod, Malchut), so in certain leap years in which there are the maximum 385 days a year, as it is this year, Purim is the middle day of the year, which I have touched upon in the post in this Gematria blogspot, and will be expounding into greater depth, G-d willing, before Purim in the next month of Adar II. And in relationship to this concept of the middle, noting that the Talmud states (Berachot 58a) quoting Rabbi Akiva that in the context of a verse, Netzach refers to Jerusalem, this is the part of the world that King Achashveirosh was avoiding to give to Queen Esther "I will give you up UNTIL HALF of the kingdom", noting that Israel, or more specifically Jerusalem, home to the grounds of the Temple, would not be granted to her people, the Jewish people (While King Achashveirosh did not technically know yet of Esther's Jewish origins; subconsciously, he was such an anti-Semite, that he automatically said this).

And before conclusion on this post, in the series of the combinations of the Sephirot, we are up to the 19th Sephira - Hod She'B'Tiferet.  As per this post, Hod refers to the Beit HaMikdash and as I quoted earlier from the Ba'er Heitev commentary on the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim, he refers to the Temple as Beit Tifarteinu, "Our House of BEAUTY".  So basically, this Sephira combination focuses on the Temple being the aspect of Tiferet.

Oh yes, there is one more connection of the number 210 to Purim or Purim Katan.  You see, the date of Purim - 14 Adar - is the Yarhzeit of Dr. Baruch Goldstein, may Hashem avenge his blood.  In a leap year, according to Ashkenazic customs, as he was an Ashkenazi, the Yarhzeit is supposed to be observed on the first of the two Adars; and hence this year, his Yarhzeit was on Purim Katan.  This year marks 20 years since he was the Purim hero of the day having shot 29 Moslem Arabs as the Mearat HaMachpela, the burial place of Adam, Eve, the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron, who were among many planning to murder Jews on that fateful Purim which fell out on the Moslem Sabbath (Friday) in the month of Ramadan - hence a most "holy" time for these beasts to pick to murder Jews, which was well known by the Israeli government beforehand, including the fact that the Arabs posted fliers telling everyone to stock up for an upcoming curfew which they felt would be imposed on them by the Israeli government following their planned attack.  More on this in my upcoming post, but the point here is that since the murder of Dr. Goldstein, a Sefer was published about his life and Torah on themes of Kiddush Hashem (Sanctification of Hashem's name) and Mesirut Nefesh (giving up of oneself) called Baruch HaGever, which means "Blessed is the man", or "Blessed is the strong one", and the word HaGever is the Gematria of 210.  So, stay tuned for this upcoming post commemorating 20 years from the murder of this most special Jew who had everything to live for, but gave up his life to save many other Jews' lives.

17 Adar I, 5774

P.S.  It is with great sadness to note the passing of another very special Jew that just happened today on this Hebrew date - Rabbi Meir Tzvi Schuster, ZT'L, may the memory of the righteous be for a blessing. Known as the "Man of the Wall", he spent some 40 years on a daily basis at the Western Wall attracting young Jews visiting to the beauty of Judaism, bringing them to their first class on Judaism or arranging for their first Shabbat meal, having literally brought thousands to the fold of Judaism, including some who are today noted rabbis.  While this post focused on the Temple Mount in start contrast to the Wall, it was this rabbi's exceptional good deeds at the Wall, among others who have also done outreach at the Wall, that made a huge impact on the Jewish people for eternity.  There is perhaps no one today who has done as much Jewish outreach with the accomplishments that Rabbi Schuster had performed.  For more information on his incredible life, especially as testified by many who were brought back to the fold of Judaism, you can refer to

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