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Ner Tamid. In Search Of Eternal Light

28.06.2021 - 16:00 / Festival Tent, ul. Józefa 36 | live: 30.jewishfestival.pl

The last of the lectures in the series is devoted to what is perhaps the most mysterious of the four elements. To this day, no trace of the Temple has been found, and yet it has always been a model for both Jewish and Christian religious architecture.

The Tanakh, or the Hebrew Bible, tells many stories and parables about fire, indicating a multitude of meanings, functions and its mystical symbolism. Following fire which burns but never burns out, we will make our journey together from the gates of the Garden of Eden, through both deserts, Mount Moriah, Mount Sinai, to where most likely in 959 B.C. King Solomon began to build a temple for G-d. I am fascinated by the Temple of Solomon. Whenever I am in Yerushalayim on Temple Mount, it is what I mainly think about. Standing in front of the Dome of the Rock, I reconstruct the shape and interior of the Temple in my mind. I see burning offerings outside on the altar and burning menorahs inside the holy place. And incense on the altar just in front of the veil hiding the most holy of all – Kodesh Ha-Kodashim, where in the darkness, under the cover of two golden cherubs, rests the Ark of the Covenant. I am fascinated by the attempt to understand various meanings of the fire that lights up paradise and burns in hell. It separates or connects what is good from what is bad. I will talk about the fire which defines sacred places, the purest essence of which was once expressed in the temple liturgy and which over the course of nearly three thousand years penetrated deeply into my understanding of the essence of sacrifice, purification and eternity. About the Temple as a metaphor for the world I miss.

Janusz Makuch

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