Some nationalist Jews want to restore their temple in Jerusalem’s Old City, at a location at the center of Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, with imported sacrificial cows, antiquated hymns, and growing support.
A group of choristers were preparing for the moment they will celebrate the rebuilding of the Jewish temple, which will, in their opinion, hasten the advent of the messiah, some 2,000 years after it was destroyed, in a Tel Aviv suburb.
However, for others, achieving their objective would greatly exacerbate tensions in the area of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in east Jerusalem, which Israel has seized.
Jews have been “waiting” for the restoration of the temple for two millennia, according to chorister Shmuel Kam.
Members of the Orthodox Jewish group claim to be descendants of the biblical Tribe of Levi, which performed hymns and music at the holy site.
“When the temple will be built, we will ask the Levites to come sing and they won’t know. They have to learn,” said Menahem Rozenthal, director of the men-only choir created a few months ago by the Temple Institute.
The institute was established in 1987 with the purpose of rebuilding the temple. It also creates items for use in religious rituals and trains choirs and clergy.
The Temple Institute has created all the items deemed required for Jewish rites in accordance with rabbinical guidelines, while apprentice choristers travel from all across Israel to study the collection of ancient hymns.
These consist of musical instruments, incense burners, bread baking molds, and priestly garments.