GOD BLESS ISRAEL

He was A Great Rabbi, A Soldier & He Liberated Jerusalem!

As I have done for the past 25 years, I spent the holiest day of the year in the holiest place in the world. 

In 1989 my father took me up to pray with a small group of men and women who got together on Yom Kippur. At first I was not very impressed, as the room we were praying in seemed to actually be a makeshift synagogue with a small ark and an even smaller Torah scroll. Everything looked quite bland and even the Rabbi leading the prayer looked like your average Hassidic Rabbi with a long grey beard and a big black hat. 



It was only after my father told me to go look out the window did I grasp the uniqueness of where I was. Below is the view from the side room of what is known as the "Machkame". 

It is ABOVE the Western Wall!




The "Machkame" was built during the Mamluk Kingdom (1329). The building held a synagogue and a Jewish study hall that looked over the Temple Mount. Later, during the Islamic occupation of the the Land of Israel, Jews
were prohibited from praying or studying there and that prohibition lasted till 1967. 

The Western Wall is holy to Jews only because it is the last remaining wall that surrounded the Temple. 



It is what's on the other side of the Western Wall that is really holy and where the Jewish Temple once stood. 
It is no coincidence that the famous Mosque in Jerusalem with the gold dome is also called Bayit-AL-Muqqadas, which in Hebrew means a house built on the Temple!

This was the view from the "Machkame" window.




Once I understood where I was standing, a feeling of total awe took over. The total jubilation and happiness was then over-shadowed by sadness as I watched Muslims kick around a soccer ball in an area that is so sacred to the Jewish people that only the Jewish High Priest was allowed to enter and only on Yom Kippur - and now Muslims are playing soccer there?  

As I stood staring, my father gently moved my head to look at the "average" looking Rabbi who was leading the Yom Kippur prayer. "The Rabbi's name is Rabbi Shlomo Goren", my father explained, "he is one of the giants of the Torah world in Israel and one of the heroes of the 1967 Six Day War."

The truth is, Rabbi Goren was NOT your average person or in fact not even your average Rabbi! He was an IDF paratrooper who fought in three wars and was the Rabbi who liberated the Old City of Jerusalem, Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) as well as the burial site of Rachel (wife of Jacob).

Rabbi Goren Blowing The Shofar for the first time At The Kotel in '67
Muslims prohibited Jews from blowing the Shofar


Rabbi Goren with the IDF Paratroopers who liberated Jerusalem in '67


Rabbi Goren after liberating the Temple Mount in '67


It was then that my awe and admiration was turbo boosted into a whole other dimension! For the first time in 2,000 years a Jew sounded the Shofar on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. If this is not prophecy in our days, I don't know what is! 

Then there was that little Torah we read from. As I put my arms around it, I felt a bolt of spiritual lighting pierce the deepest part of my soul. It was as if I was transported back in time and could actually see and feel where this Torah has been.
The "tiny" Torah from the tiny ark was the one that Rabbi Goren carried with him during all the wars. It was the first Torah to enter the Temple Mount in 2,000 years and the first to enter the Machpela Cave in Hebron, where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebbecca, Jacob and Leah are buried and the first to enter the burial place of Rachel. 


So what does the little room I pray in on Yom Kippur have to do with Rabbi Goren? 



As the IDF paratroopers were entering the Old City of Jerusalem in 1967, Rabbi Goren found the Arab who was the owner of the "Machkame"and offered to buy the building. After a short delegation, the Arab was happy to sell the building to the Rabbi and after the Six Day War was over, Rabbi Goren gave ownership of the building over to the State of Israel on one condition. Twice a year (Yom Kippur and the 9th of Av) this small room that overlooks the Temple Mount will be used as a synagogue for Jews to come and pray. 

For the past 25 years I have been coming to the same small room, with the same small congregation and reading from the same small Torah scroll. What did I pray for on Yom Kippur? I prayed for the peace of Jerusalem and that may we merit to witness the rebuilding of the Bet Hamikdash in our days. May we all merit to witness the prophecy of Isaiah 56:7 

"Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon Mine altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples."


Watch the whole video or start from 3:28


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Sponsors of 5 packs or more will receive an official IDF beret! 

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