Jewish priests training to enter the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem for the first time in TWO THOUSAND YEARS
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For the first time in 2,000 years, Jewish priests are training to enter the Holy of Holies on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
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Kohanim preapre for the Passover sacrifice.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The Holy of Holies is the most revered and sacred site in Judaism, and in ancient times could only be accessed by the High Priest on Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. The requirements for the High Priest were also exceedingly strict.
The room was a small 20 cubit by 20 cubit space, covered by a thick veil. Before it was another, larger room, also protected by a veil called the tabernacle.
In ancient times, the Holy of Holies was where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. Inside the ark were all the pieces of the broken Ten Commandments tablets. Also inside were Aaron's rod and a pot of manna.
The Ark of the Covenant was carried away by the Babylonians and has since been lost to history.
Today, the Holy of Holies is situated on the Temple Mount, although the exact location of the original Holy of Holies is debated. Orthodox Jews do not approach the Temple Mount, lest they come near or tread on the original location, which could be anywhere nearby.
Presently, several Jewish priests are studying the Torah and preparing themselves to enter the Holy of Holies. If they do, it will be the first time in nearly 2,000 years such a priest has entered that place to perform religious rites. The ancient laws must be followed. No ritually impure people or objects may enter the room.
These special priests are called the Kohanim, and they will have to follow strict guidelines at home, in public, and before the temple. They will require a ritual bath, must wear a minimum of clothes and be barefoot. All these men are descended from the family line of Aaron.
Nobody is sure what will happen should any priest violate the law and approach the Holy of Holies, but nobody dares to find out.
Why are they doing this? The reason is shocking and heartbreaking. On July 14, terrorists attacked the Temple Mount, killing several people. There were bodies in areas where Orthodox Jews fear to tread. These priests will be trained for the purpose of retrieving these bodies without offending God, should the terrible need arise.
It is important that no bodies of the dead by left on the Temple Mount under any circumstances, and it is possible there could be bodies in or near the Holy of Holies. In such a case, only a specially trained Kohanim priest can retrieve the body.
As the Kohanim are revived in the ancient tradition, a revival of Orthodox beliefs and practices could be inspired. Sometimes, great things grow from terrible tragedies. No tragedy is ever worth the benefit, no matter how great, but if it pleases God that His chosen people should return to old ways and grow closer to Him, we cannot argue.
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