Activists practice ritual closer to Temple Mount than ever before

Before the "Water Libation" ritual took place, the attendees marched from the the Dung Gate through the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ir David, to the Shiloah spring.

October 8, 2017 21:54
2 minute read.
Activists practice ritual closer to Temple Mount than ever before

Cohanim holding the water libation instrument during the march in Ir David.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


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Some 500 people participated in the “Water Libation” ritual practice on Sunday, that was conducted next to the Southern Wall, at the foot of Temple Mount.

In the past, the event has taken place in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, and this is the first year that the ceremony was carried out so close to the Temple Mount.

Before the ritual took place, the attendees marched from the Dung Gate through the City of David in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, to the Shiloah Pool, where they took water for the ritual. During the march, kohanim (members of the priestly line) wearing traditional clothing played the trumpet and others were playing in violins.

The crowd also sang songs such as “Joyfully shall you draw water from the fountains of triumph,” and “The Temple will be rebuilt; the City of Zion will be restored. And there we will sing a new song and journey up.”

During the ceremony – which simulated the ritual from the days of the Temple – the kohanim poured water and wine into a bowl in a bid to ask for rain.

No politicians or notable figures attended the event, but organizers say that it got the blessing of known rabbis such as Dov Lior, Jerusalem’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Aryeh Stern, and Safed’s Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu.

Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, president of the Temple Institute, told The Jerusalem Post during the march that he is satisfied with the ongoing trend of practicing Temple rituals, and of growing interest in Temple Mount.

“In the past, everyone was saying ‘the Kotel here’ and ‘the Kotel there.’ The people here, attending the ceremony, feel that the Kotel is another stop on the way – the main goal is the Temple,” he said.

“It might take time, but it’s a fact now and no one can stop it,” he added.

Ariel also stressed that as he sees it, there is a great importance in practicing the Temple rituals now.

“It is like a war – you cannot go to the battlefield without training your soldiers. You must teach them the combat doctrine or else they will lose the battle,” he said.

“Without learning the rules of the Temple, the halachot (Jewish laws), we couldn’t move it forward.”

According to the Temple Organizations Association, some 530 Jews visited Temple Mount on Sunday.

Ariel stated that this trend indicates the people’s longing to rebuild the Temple.

“During Sukkot in the past, three people, maybe five, would ascend Temple Mount. Today – more than 500,” he said.

“Something is changing,” Ariel added.

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