The Temple of Jerusalem: From Moses to Messiah

The Temple of Jerusalem: From Moses to Messiah
Conference at the Yeshiva University, Centre for Israel Studies, New York
May 11-12, 2008

Needless to say, I was delighted to see my “babies” (the models of the Tabernacle, Solomon’s Temple, Herod’s Temple and Herod’s Temple Mount) again, after a separation of 12 years! I was also pleased that Steven Fine organised a conference around this exhibition of models commissioned by the late Ben Adelman of Silver Spring, M.D. Mr Adelman’s estate had bequeathed the models to the Yeshiva University.

Mr. Ben Adelman and myself in 1996

Mr. Ben Adelman (right) and myself in 1996


Exhibition of models at Yeshiva University Museum, New York

My personal highlights from the two-day conference were:

• Meeting Professor Louis Feldman, who contributed to the Loeb translation of Josephus, that I use almost every day. The conference was held in his honour. He has worked at the Yeshiva University for the last 55 years.

• Hearing Lawrence Schiffman speak on the Temple Scroll. He put forward the idea that the temple design of the Temple Scroll was based on the layout of the Camp of Israel in the wilderness. The inner square court represented the Divine Presence, the middle court the Levites and the outer court all of Israel. I was particularly interested in this as I was asked by the late Professor Yigael Yadin to make a reconstruction drawing of this temple – see his book: Y. Yadin (1985), The Temple Scroll, (London).

• Discussing with Joshua Schwartz, the many problems – textual and architectural – which had to be considered in the reconstruction of the Herodian Temple and its courtyards for the UCLA virtual temple model.

• Seeing over 250 people from totally different backgrounds, ranging from Orthodox Jewish scholars and Israeli academics to Christian theologians, mingling around the Temple models and talking together when normally they would have little in common.

The exhibition, IMAGINING THE TEMPLE: THE MODELS OF LEEN RITMEYER, continues until August 31, this year. The next project of the Center for Israel Studies is the publication of the lectures in volume form.

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