JERUSALEM – The re-established Jewish Sanhedrin is pushing the envelope on the rebuilding of the Temple next Monday, the last evening of Hanukkah, by consecrating a stone altar and reading of a declaration to all nations intended as an invitation to participate in receiving its blessings – leading to an effort to replace the United Nations with a new, God-centered organization.
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A full-dress re-enactment of the Korban Olah Tamid (the daily offering) will also take place, with Kohanim (Jewish men of the priestly caste descended from Aaron) wearing biblically mandated garb leading the ceremony.
Where the event takes place is not yet known as the city of Jerusalem is dealing with security concerns, as the ceremony could set off Muslim protests or violence if performed in view of the Temple Mount.
Whether the priests will ritually slaughter a lamb or prepared meat be used is still a question, though the Sanhedrin has received the necessary permits from government organizations. In either case, the meat will be roasted on the newly consecrated altar.
The Sanhedrin is the name given to the council of 71 Jewish sages who constituted the supreme court and legislative body in Judea during the Roman period. It continued to function for more than 400 years after the destruction of the Temple. There have been several orthodox attempts to re-establish it since that time. The current attempt to re-establish the Sanhedrin is generally referred to as the "nascent Sanhedrin," the "developing Sanhedrin," or the re-established Sanhedrin.
The altar is currently in the form of stone blocks ready to be transported to the Temple Mount and stored in a manner that will enable them to be assembled at a moment’s notice. When complete, the altar will be a square nine feet on each side and five feet high. It will include a ramp for the priests to ascend. The decision to prepare the blocks and all the details of their composition is the result of a long study performed by the members of the Sanhedrin in conjunction with the Temple Institute. The stones are made of aerated concrete and are fit for use in the Temple. There are plans underway to prepare a new set made of actual stones which are considered a more ideal material from which to build the altar.
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A large menorah will be lit as part of the ceremony.
“According to Jewish tradition, the tabernacle and Aaron the Priest were consecrated for service on the last day of Hanukkah,” explained Rabbi Hillel Weiss to Breaking Israel News. “It is fitting that we should invite the nations to the ceremony since Hanukkah is about bringing light to the darkness. The Jews were meant to do this for the entire world,” he said, quoting Isaiah 49:6.
The King James version of the Scripture reads: “And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.”
“The Jews were brought back to Israel for the purpose of spreading the light to the nations,” the rabbi said. “As the sages instructed the Jews to pray every day, ‘A new light will shine upon Zion, and we should all merit to this light very soon.’ This light is Torah, the light of Torah which comes from Zion, which reveals the hidden aspects of God.”
The ceremony will also be part of the Sanhedrin’s ongoing effort to establish a Bible-based international organization to replace the United Nations.
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Rabbi Yoel Schwartz, president of the Sanhedrin’s Court for the Noahides, has been charged with preparing the declaration, called “The Song of Israel and the World,” that would describe the spiritual basis for the organization.
“The name Yisrael, by which Jacob was called and all of his descendants after him, indicates the connection of the people of Israel to the Creator, and this connection is also strengthened through the singing of the Song of God, which is achieved through the Book of Psalms. The highest purpose of song is to praise the Creator.
“It is for this purpose that on the 25th of Elul (Sept. 3), the Sanhedrin and the Mikdash Educational Center hosted the World Creation Concert as a musical gathering for all nations to give thanksgiving to the creator, to share with all mankind the gratitude for His mercies that fill creation. All of humanity needs to prepare for the day that the Lord will reign in Zion, when they too will make pilgrimage to Jerusalem to take their part in the Temple service.
“The sages teach us that the world stands on three things: on Torah, on the Temple Service, and on acts of loving-kindness. Lacking the Temple service the world is like a throne that stands on two legs.
“We are very close to the time about which the prophets of Israel prophesied that the God of the world who created everything will be called by the world in the name of the God of Israel, for only the people of Israel remained attached to Him.
“Humanity created religions such as Christianity and Islam that served as instruments throughout history to bring humanity closer to this great day, when everyone would recognize the God of the world that was revealed on Mount Sinai in a desert that belongs to no people. It should be emphasized that the Ten Commandments that were given at that time belong to all the nations. They were heard all over the world in 70 languages so that every nation would hear these things in their own language, the echo of things. This is as witnessed by the reality that it is the only book in the world printed in every language that has a printed book and was hinted at by the Prophet Zephaniah.
“For then I will make the peoples pure of speech, So that they all invoke Hashem by name And serve Him with one accord. (Zephaniah 3:9)
“At that time, we will all serve the one Creator and fulfill the moral obligations incumbent on all mankind. This was the case since the beginning of creation, when he charged Adam with these obligations, and once again he charged those who left the ark after the Flood and Noah with his sons, and again at Mount Sinai, giving to humanity seven ironclad rules.
“These are the seven messages of the Creator of the world to humanity known as the Seven Noahide Laws:
“Belief in God: He who created everything. There is none besides Him and no one should turn away from Him.
“Blessing Hashem (God, literally ‘the name’): Respecting the Creator and the sages who are familiar with His Torah, and respecting the places of worship where the Torah is learned and prayers are recited to him. It is forbidden, God forbid, to speak harshly against them or to curse them.
“Stealing: The preservation of the rights of others to property and honor and body and not to desire to take anything belonging to others that is not for sale.
“Laws: To establish courts to judge justice and to direct society and obey the orders and decisions of the courts.
“Killing: Do not shorten the lives of people, including the lives of the terminally ill. The opposite is also true; to invest efforts to heal diseases and maintain health.
“Have mercy on creatures: Not to be cruel to animals. One of the most forbidden acts is eating the organ or limb from a live animal. The animal must first be killed in a way that is less distressing such as cutting the neck.
“Prohibition of prostitution: The mitzvah (Bible commandment) to build a proper family life. It is a severe prohibition to commit adultery with a married woman. It is also forbidden to perform a same-sex marriage. Also forbidden is sexual intercourse with animals and homosexuality.
“Therefore, anyone who receives upon himself all of these seven rules in front of a rabbinic court has a special status in Judaism. Even though they are not Jewish, they have entered into a full partnership in the service of God.
“God’s call to return his people to his land will show that the belief of some nations that Israel was in exile as a punishment was a mistaken belief. The exile was only in order for Israel to serve as an example to the nations for serving God. Were it not for the exile, Muhammad would not have known God and would have been idolatrous like his other brothers. Were the Jews not in Rome, the idolaters would have remained to this day. The Torah was translated into Greek, and the nations copied the word of God because there were Jews in the Egyptian exile.
“Now, it is time for the Creator’s people to return to their land, and from here light will come forth to the world. And when we merit it, and the Temple will be restored and built on its place, then even more will all the nations realize that the time has come to worship God. The crisis of religion today is a preparation for the true worship of the Lord.
“In conclusion: Anyone who wants to accompany us, to be a partner in serving God, and to connect with his people, must be a believer in the God who was revealed at Sinai, and to be as the people of Israel who were present there and preserved this status to this day.
“We see God’s hand clearly in the miracle of the Jewish state that arose again two thousand years after its destruction. It is incumbent upon all those who accompany us to try as much as possible to spread the belief according to the prophets, just as the Jews guarded and observed their words and to prevent, God forbid, the spread of man-made religions. Those who do so must also aid the Jews in observing what God commanded them. God required of the Jews an additional amount, more than he required from the other nations, since the Jews will serve as the priests of the mankind. And the other nations should not, God forbid, try to influence his people to join their religions.”
Rabbi Dov Stein, secretary of the Sanhedrin, described the need to replace the United Nations: “We now live in an era when threats are global and not limited to one country. This is true of weapons, environmental issues, and even social issues. The solutions must come from a universal effort. The United Nations has failed in its mandate by rejecting God as the creator and the Noahide Laws common to all of mankind.”
As an example, Rabbi Stein described the resolution being drafted to make abortions and assisted suicides a “universal human right” which the rabbi said violated the Noahide law prohibiting murder.
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“They have rejected the basics of humanity that were given at Sinai,” he said. “We have to re-educate the world in order to address these issues. We need a universal organization that will return to the Bible, re-educate the world. This is not a religious initiative. This is a national initiative with each nation bringing its special aspect, all nations joining together in Jerusalem, where the world was created.”
The word “Sanhedrin” comes from the Greek origin “synedrion,” meaning “sitting together” as a legislative assembly or Senate. It has been noted that several aspects of the U.S. Senate’s tradition, including the semi-circle seating of the senators, were derived by the founding fathers from the Jewish Sanhedrin. The Jewish Sanhedrin is a governmental body that resembles aspects of both the U.S. Senate and the Supreme Court.