For the first time in approximately 2,000 years, since the time of the Second Temple, plans are being formed by the Israeli government to build an effective infrastructure for Jews to make their obligatory pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.
God commands in the Bible that all Jews make their way to the Temple three times a year.
Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before Hashem thy God in the place which He shall choose; on the feast of unleavened bread, and on the Shavuot, and on the Sukkot; and they shall not appear before Hashem empty. Deuteronomy 16:16
The Third Temple will require a functional infrastructure that could facilitate the transportation of millions of Jews to Jerusalem during and after these festivals. Israel’s Minister of Transportation, Yisroel Katz, has publicly stated that facilitating this was his intention when planning the line of the fast train currently under construction between the airport in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
In a meeting with Temple Movement representatives in February, the minister explained, “As a Kohen (Jew of the priestly caste) I have a special connection to the holy site. In front of my eyes I constantly see the words ‘Prepare the way, prepare the way…’”
Katz is planning on extending the line of the fast train to transport people from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem directly to the Western Wall. The final stop will be the “Kotel/Har Habayit Stop” (Western Wall/Temple Mount Stop).
Yaakov Hayman, Chairman of the Friends of the the Temple Organization, noted that the Ministry of Transportation’s involvement was a necessary first step.
“We expect millions of Jews coming to the Temple Mount even before the Temple is built, so transportation is a potential bottleneck,” Hayman explained to Breaking Israel News. “We need to open up more entrances to the Temple Mount, since there is currently only one entrance available to the Jews.”
In a similar vein, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has recently announced plans to build a cable car system that will be capable of transporting thousands of people per hour to the area of the Western Wall and Temple Mount. The Israeli government ministers just recently approved this plan during a cabinet meeting held inside the Western Wall Tunnels.
The stated purpose of all of these plans is to modernize the capital city, making it easier for both residents and tourists to navigate its increasing traffic. But it is abundantly clear that all of these upgrades will soon be used for the purpose of allowing millions of Jews from around the globe to quickly and easily visit the Temple and to fulfill their Biblical obligation.
“We need to establish express service bus transportation to the Temple Mount from all parts of the country,” Hayman said. “The Temple Mount Express bus lines will have special blue and white bus stops enabling Jews to regularly travel directly to the Temple Mount, pray and return home.”
Since the Modern State of Israel was created in 1948, and even to a greater extent, since the liberation and reunification of Jerusalem in 1967, building has been non-stop in the capital city. Nonetheless, all this progress is only the first step.
Many new hotels will need to be built and upgraded. Roads will need to be widened and extended. Utilities will need to be improved and upgraded. And new methods of transportation will need to be implemented.
“What we are seeing is to prepare the way for Jews to go up to the Temple Mount,” Hayman said. “When the Temple is built, the changes will be even greater.”
One of the principles of the final redemption is that it will come about through a series of processes that will seem to most to be no more than natural evolution. For those that have a better understanding and knowledge of these processes it is clear that in order to accommodate the masses that will need to come to Jerusalem three times a year, a massive upgrade to the current Jerusalem infrastructures is required.
With additional reporting by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz