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Chareidi Rav Sends a Letter to the Pope; Give Us the Klei HaMikdash Back


In his letter to the pope, Rabbi Yonatan Shtencel points out that in year 3 תתכ”ח of the creation of the world according to the Jewish calendar the Romans entered the Temple on Har Habayis in Yerushalayim, the Kingdom of Judah in those years and led to the destruction of the Temple and took the holy vessels that were used by our people, the priests of the one and only G-d of Israel, the vessels that were in the Beis HaMikdash….and I can only appeal to you to return these vessels.

The return of these holy vessels especially by you will make amends especially in light of your position for the nations of the world and you will serve as a true pillar for Israel’s tefilla ביתי בית תפילה יקרא לכל העמים.

I therefore turn to you from the depths of my heart, first and foremost to your heart and conscience and only then to your mind and logical sense that run through all the dimensions of your knowledge and being.

Christian theological literature describes the gospel Luke…quotes Luke.

The time has come to change the status of these vessels which were taken during the difficult historical events by the Romans as war booty, found today under control of Vatican authorities.

You have the authority to take the leap to restore the honor of the holders on the one hand and the beneficiaries on the other and to benefit by returning the vessels when you come to visit the holy land.

For all of these reasons I ask that you devote some of your time to contemplate the matter, genuine introspection, the type that have directed you to your lofty position – taking advantage of this lofty position to collect and prepare them and bring them with you when you arrive in Israel, the vessels of the Temple – to return them to the Jewish People for safekeeping.

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(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

27 Responses

  1. This sounds like a publicity stunt. The last reported location was in North Africa after some “barbarians” sacked Rome and ran off with them. While their ownership of many of its Hebrew books, and much real estate, is questionable by modern standards (since for the last 60 years, its been illegal to keep war booty and dubious to keep property whose confiscation constituted a human rights violation), there really isn’t reason to believe that anything of significance from the Beis ha-Mikdash is under control of the Catholic Church.

    There is also the question of who is “us.” The Israeli government considers itself the heir of the ancient Israeli governments, so from their perspective the belong in the Israeli national museum as an archeological treasure. Given that the Israeli government is, at this point in time, more antagonistic to Torah than the Catholic Church, returning to “the Jewish people” would not be a good idea since it would mean returning it to the secular fanatics of the internationally recognized State of Israel. It should also be noted that under international law, a argument could be made they should be turned over to the Palestinians since East Jeruselem is where the Har ha-Bayis is, and most of the world regards East Jerusalem as Arab territory.

  2. And if they still exist (unlikely – they were probably melted centuries ago) and are in the Vatican (slim possibility if they do exist) what will we do with them?

    People will start to daven to them like many daven to a stone retaining wall built by a half-Roman king.

  3. who exactly would they go back to? to the zionists? which group could represent the entire Jewish People to receive these items? also, this rabbi is perhaps chardal – but a charedi rabbi would not have the chutzpah to exhibit such hisgarus b’umos to ask such a chutzpadige thing. When Moshiach comes, we will get the keilim back – until then we must be patient and humble in galus.

  4. Yasher Kochachem, Rav Shtencel LOY”T.

    As the Pope does not know Hebrew, the letter should be translated into Latin and re-sent.

  5. The Vatican no longer has the keilim from the Beis HaMikdash. The “Vandals” sacked Rome in the 5th century and took all the keilim in Rome.

  6. Since when does the Pope know Hebrew?

    Maybe it is better that he doesn’t. Experts discount the idea that the keilim are there today.

    P.S. Nachshon ben Aminadav was not from Shevet Binyamin!

  7. Firstly, many believe that they are still in the vatican. Secondly, I would say that if we could get them back and allow people to see them it would be a great chizuk to peoples emunah and it would make us appreciate the loss of the bais hamikdash as a reality not as some outdated concept from the past. How much more would people want and pray for Moshiach if they could see the beauty of the bais hamikdash before their eyes!

  8. BTW anyone that thinks that the pope cannot have this easily translated is an idiot! The pope can probably read hebrew himself, he speaks many languages fluently and studies many ancient texts…

  9. What is he going to do if they are returned? They have Kedushah. How will he avoid not making them Tamei? He will also have to be extremely careful that he does not use them in any way, to avoid the prohibition of Me’ilah. And why does he need them so desperately? There is no Mikdash to use them in. If HaShem brings the Mikdash down tomorrow, doesn’t he think HaShem will also stock it with Keilim?

  10. HaShem is waiting for US to show Him that we are not complacent and that we truely desire the return of His presence in eretz haKodesh.

    We can sit around and twiddle our thumbs and keep saying one day, one day, OR we can do our hishtadlus and show HaShem
    we are not happy in life without His presence in our Homeland and Holy City.

    The other way we can show HaShem we are ready for His return to eretz Hakodesh is to refrain from debasement, from sarcasm, from snarky comments, from being judgemental, from frum Jews acting like the mafia regarding gerus, to repair our relationships with one another, to get out of one anothers personal lives and personal business, for frum jews to stop looking at pornography and to stop visiting houses of ill repute while giving lip service to HaShem, let’s be truthful, frum behavior is not stellar, you know it, the perpetrators know it, and HaShem will never return when there are men acting in a debased manner.

    How can anyone on this blog criticise this mans heartfelt request? Let’s address and spend our energy criticising the lack of humble Jewish leadership and the lack of stellar behavior among our Jewish men.

  11. We had the Keilim for many years and they didn’t help anyone with Yiras Shomayim. Just learn some Tenaach and Yosifin to see how little Ehrlichkeit there was in all those years. It is mindbogeling to learn about all the murder and Znus that was rampant in those days.

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