We are pleased to work with CoreWeb on this project, which employs state-of-the-art technology to enable visitors to its Web site to perform a higher level of the Mitzvah 1 “VeAsu Li Mikdash” (the commandment “And they shall build me a Sanctuary”).

We have been told by CHAZAL (our Sages) that learning about Korbanos (sacrifices), or reciting the Torah passages describing them, is equivalent to performing them 2. Similarly, in the absence of a Bais HaMikdash (Jerusalem Temple), study of any of the following appears to be an appropriate way of fulfilling our obligation to build a Sanctuary:

  • The Mishkan (Tabernacle) in Terumah, Tezaveh, Ki Sisa, VaYakhel, and Pekudei
  • The Second Temple in Mishnayos Middos
  • The Third Temple in Ezekiel, Chapters 40-43.

However, there is also a higher form of this Mitzvah. According to the Tosafos Yom Tov3, one is obligated to make and/or study physical models (Tzurah HaMucheshes) in order to better understand the various parts of the Mikdash and the Mishkan and their relationships. The Tosafos Yom Tov cites the Abarbanel4 as the source for this view.
Because of the difficulties associated with the Bais HaMikdash HaShlishi (the Third Temple), a physical model seems especially appropriate to clarify matters:

  • The vagueness of the poetic language used by Ezekiel to describe his vision has caused the leading Commentators to leave many unanswered questions.
  • Although RASHI admits several times that “I do not know” it is clear that he understood nearly every detail. But the text of RASHI we have in our Ezekiel books has been corrupted by errors and insertions from the early scribes (before the invention of printing), who did not understand what the master was saying.
  • Thank G-d for HaRav Yom Tov Lipman Heller (known as the Tosafos Yom Tov) who, in 5362, completed the Sefer “Tzuras HaBayis” a detailed explanation of RASHI’s view of the Ezekiel Temple.
  • We also thank G-d for HaRav Moshe Ashkenazi of Ivia (known as HaRav Moshe Ivier) whose 11-page summary and Tziur (drawing) were appended to the 5548 edition of “Tzuras HaBayis”.

Tziur- Drawing

Utilizing two modern technologies, CAD (computer-aided design) and the Internet, we have taken the scholarship of RASHI and the Tosafos Yom Tov, developed a computer model, and are sharing the results with the public. A detailed three-dimensional CAD model of the entire Third Temple (the Sanctuary and the courtyards) was developed with professional Autodesk software. Materials were assigned appropriate colors and textures. Using the camera and lighting features of the software, 43 views of the model were selected and rendered. Our daughter-in-law Chava Rokach and her associates at CoreWeb have applied their Web site design expertise to provide a beautiful home for this work and a similar earlier Mishkan project of ours. We sincerely appreciate their efforts.

According to the Talmud5: “He who has not seen the Bais HaMikdash (specifically, the Second Temple built by Herod) has not seen a beautiful building.” Even more beautiful will be the future Third Temple, of which the Torah6 says “Mikdash HaShem Konenu Yadecha,” which RASHI there and elsewhere7 interprets to mean that HASHEM Himself has created the Bais HaMikdash HaShlishi and will send it down to us when He deems it appropriate.

We hope and pray that our participation with Klal Yisrael in achieving a higher level of the Mitzvah “VeAsu Li Mikdash” (i.e., the study of computer models) will merit for us the coming of Mashiach and the actual Bais HaMikdash HaShlishi, BiMeherah VeYamemu (speedily in our days) Amen.

Avraham Yaakov (Abraham J.) Rokach

1. Exodus 25: 8.
2. Hosea 14: 3.
3. Introduction to Sefer “Tzuras HaBayis”.
4. Ezekiel 43.
5. Succah 51b.
6. Exodus 15: 17.
7. RASHI on Succah 41a and Rosh HaShanah 30a; also Tosafos on Shevuos 15b.