Monday, January 4, 2010

Collecting Stones for the Mizbeach (Temple Altar)

Below are two short videos of the Temple Academy preparing stones to build the Mizbei'ach or altar. The Torah teaches that no iron implements may be used in preparing the altar:

"There you shall build an altar to God your Lord. It shall be a stone altar, and you shall not lift up any iron to it." (Deut. 27:5)
Rav Kook explained that the essential nature of the Temple is the exact opposite of iron. Iron represents war and destruction. Implements of death and slaughter are wrought from metal and iron. Iron, the Sages taught, is a material used to shorten life. 

The Temple, on the other hand, lengthens life. Its purpose is to spread harmony, unity, and enlightenment. The dissonance between iron and the Temple is so great, that the stones used to construct the Temple could not be hewed with iron implements (Middot 3:4).  


In order to find stones that had never come in contact with iron implements, the team went to the Dead Sea and took out pristine stones from the water. These stones were then carefully placed in plastic bubble wrap, so they would not touch any metal.

Here is the continuation of the project, as the stones were wrapped in bubble wrap and transported to the site in Mitzpe Yericho:


  1. Maybe, then again maybe the iron is an example of human effort trying to win G-d's salvation through your own works like Cain did. Salvation is through G-d alone and His alter is not built by human hands.

  2. P.S. thank you so much for this blog and sharing as a light for the world.