One of the best parts about being an activist is the people you meet and interact with. My fellow activists and the people who financially support us are truly wonderful human beings and I am honored to be a part of their lives. I am also amazed at what some of these people are able to accomplish. Think about certain individuals, who were simple people, yet who literally changed the world by themselves. They could be Rabbis, doctors, authors, inventors, activists, politicians or even musicians. This coming week, for example, is the yahrzeit of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (16th of Marcheshvan) and Rabbi Meir Kahane (18th of Marcheshvan). Focus for a moment on what these two supermen did for the Jewish nation. They did not do it for the glory or fame. They fought the battles of Am Yisrael – with either a guitar or lead pipe – and changed our history forever.
While the two Rabbis I just mentioned were game-changers, and whose teachings and influence still exist (and will continue for many years to come) they are both from the recent past. My question is; who is alive today, who fits the description of a Jewish personality, doing what he/she can – night and day – to make things better for our people, our nation and our G-d? Several names come to mind like Rabbi Grossman of Migdal Ha’Emek who single handedly built the largest Jewish institution in the world which helps orphans and kids from broken homes (over 7,000 full-time kids!), Moshe Feiglin who is working 24/7 at making Israel a strong and proud Jewish state and, of course, the wonderful people (not even sure of their names) who started – and continue to run – organizations like Hatzola, Yad Sarah, Tomche Shabbos, NCSY, Chai Lifeline and other similar chessed organizations who are on the front lines every day and night. In addition, we must never forget the incredible people who sponsor and financially support these endeavors such as Dr and Mrs Irving Moskowitz, Mr and Mrs Jay Schottenstein and hundreds of others who use their wealth to make permanent changes in the Jewish world. Where would we be today without them? Every one of these people is an individual who recognized that Hashem put them here to accomplish something great. They did not simply “take up space” in this world – they got M.A.D. which stands for “Make A Difference”!! I receive tremendous motivation when I think of these men and women and have pledged to join that list, as best as I can.
Rabbi Yehuda Glick is a proud member of that “MAD” team. He is married with children yet, instead of thinking just about his parnossa and kid’s college fund, he is a soldier for our nation. As I am sure you know by now, he is a leader in the Har Ha’Bayit movement. For many years, Yehuda was the CEO of Machon Ha’Mikdash – The Temple Institute – which is led by another member of the “MAD” team; Rabbi Yisrael Ariel. Together with Rabbi Ariel, he managed to put the issue of the Bet Ha’Mikdash back into our consciousness. Think about it for a second; all those books, games, puzzles, posters, software programs and websites that discuss and educate about the Bet Ha’Mikdash… where did they come from? They certainly weren’t around when I grew up. All we had was one sefer called “The Tabernacle” which had wonderful pictures of the Mishkan. There was literally nothing about the Bet Ha’Mikdash. The Temple Institute; founded by Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, changed all that. Together with his loyal soldiers; Rabbi Chaim Richman (who is still at his side) and Rabbi Yehuda Glick (who worked there for many years but recently moved on to more of an activist role for Har Ha’Bayit) the issue of the Bet Ha’Mikdash has returned to our lives!
Yehuda is someone who fights 24/7. He lectures extensively on the subject of Har Ha’Bayit and has led tens of thousands of Jews to ascend the Mount while observing the strictest Halachic guidelines. He sat in jail while battling this issue, has been on a two month hunger strike (when the Israeli police banned him from the Mount) and has spoken to every Israeli politician and leader who is willing to listen. Just this past Sukkot, he was one of the organizers of an event which saw Kohanim – while dressed in authentic “Bigdey Kahuna” – drawing water from the Shiloach spring to bring it to Har Ha’Bayit. Over 5,000 people attended this event called “Simchat Bet Ha’Sho’evah” – observing it the REAL way it was done, as opposed to the ones we do today with some music and cake. This was the first time in 2,000 years that this event took place! Baruch Hashem!
I know Yehuda for many years and am proud to call him my friend. I have been to Har Ha’Bayit with him and have listened to the brilliant way he describes things while on the Mount. In the last month alone, I was with him 5 times – including just a few hours before the tragic shooting – when we had lunch together in the Knesset. I was in the Knesset to attend a few meetings with Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Moshe Feiglin and Yehuda was there – you guessed it – to talk to a few Knesset Members about supporting a new initiative of his for Jewish prayer in the Halachically permitted areas of Har Ha’Bayit.
I ask that you daven for this very special Yid; Yehuda Yehoshua ben Rivka Ita Breindel so that he can return to the battlefield. Our nation does not just need him alive. We need him strong and healthy so that he can fight for what we all want; the third and final Bet Ha’Mikdash in Yerushalayim Ir Ha’Kodesh! Amen!