Third Tem­ple reverie finds crowd­fund­ing

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY IS­ABEL DE BER­TO­DANO

A GROUP with am­bi­tions to build the Third Tem­ple in Jerusalem has turned to in­ter­net crowd­fund­ing to raise cap­i­tal for the project.

The Tem­ple In­sti­tute hopes to raise $100,000 (£59k) on the Indiegogo web­site, where small amounts of money can be in­vested by mem­bers of the pub­lic into projects they be­lieve have po­ten­tial or value.

Al­most$20,000(£11k)has­been­raised since the cam­paign’s launch on 27 July, and con­tri­bu­tions will go to­wards pay­ing a firm of ar­chi­tects that has al­ready be­gun work on plans for the build­ing on Tem­ple Mount. The es­ti­mated cost of pro­duc­ing de­tailed plans of the com­plex is $300,000 (£178k).

The in­sti­tute, which is run by Rabbi Chaim Rich­man, of­fers in­cen­tives to those who con­trib­ute dur­ing the six- week fundrais­ing cam­paign. For ex­am­ple, a mod­est do­na­tion of $54 (£32) is re­warded with pho­to­graphs of the gar­ments of the high priest, and has cur­rently at­tracted 25 donors. A top do­na­tion of $50,000 (£29k) of­fers a pre­view of the ar­chi­tec­tural plans as a (so far un­claimed) re­ward.

The­new­buildingisen­vis­aged as a re­place­ment for theSec­ond Tem­ple, torn down 2,000 years ago, which in turn was built on the site of Solomon’s Tem­ple. The in­sti­tute says it aims to “usher in a new era of uni­ver­sal har­mony and peace” by build­ing “a house of prayer for all na­tions” on Tem­ple Mount.

How­ever,the scheme­has­not met with uni- ver­sal ap­proval. In order for build­ing to be­gin, the Dome of the Rock, Dome of the Chain and the al-Aqsa mosque would­need­to­ber­e­moved­from Tem­ple Mount.

Ac­cord­ing to the Tem­ple In­sti­tute “the most promis­ing, and not nec­es­sar­ily the most far-fetched [sce­nario] would en­tail Mus­lim recog­ni­tion of the Mount as the in­tended lo­ca­tion for the re­built Tem­ple.” It added that the ex­ist­ing struc­tures would be re­assem­bled in an al­ter­na­tive lo­ca­tion.

H o w e v e r, t h e Arab Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Hu­man Rights in the UK said the plans “will have se­ri­ous reper­cus­sions and could lead to a re­gional war”.

PHOTO: EMIL SAL­MAN

Rabbi Rich­man

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