Temple Mount Faithful Hanukkah March - 5765

[Gershon Salomon, Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement]

Summary ... Two thousand, one hundred and seventy two years after the great uprising of the Maccabees against the Hellenistic Seleucid empire, the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement came again to Modi'in, the town of the Maccabees, to swear faithfulness to the Gd of Israel and His eternal covenant; the covenant He made with the people of Israel when He gave them the land of Israel more than 4,000 years ago.

One of the goals of this unique event was to carry the spiritual, moral, and national heritage of the Maccabees to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. This event took place at a very critical time in the history of Israel when, in the midst of the great time of the redemption of people and land of Israel, pagan worship by the Moslems still continues on the Temple Mount.

This important event took place 37 years after the Six Day War of 1967. In that war, the G-d of Israel gave a great victory to the Israeli forces. The Temple Mount — the location of the First, Second, and Third Temples — was liberated from the hands of G-d's enemies. The Arabs who controlled the Temple Mount fled but due to the weakness of the Israeli leadership, they were allowed to continue their pagan worship. This godly war was not an accident. G-d expected His people to rebuild His house, beginning a new godly age in the history of Israel and all the world. G-d's vision for this time, which He shared through the prophet Isaiah, was tragically delayed. When Isaiah gave his exciting prophesy of the establishment of the Lord's house on the Temple Mount in the last days (Isaiah 2:2-5), his eyes were lifted to the Six Day War which would begin the fulfilment of this vision.

For many years, during the festival of Hanukkah, the Temple Mount Faithful Movement has gathered at the tombs of the Maccabees to swear faithfulness to Isaiah's vision. We announced to the people of Israel and to all the world that we shall never rest until this vision becomes a reality. We have dedicated our lives to making this vision a reality in our lifetime as G-d expects of us. We also announced that we shall never rest until the land which G-d gave to Abraham and his seed — within the boundaries that He promised (Exodus 23.31) — becomes the land of His people and the place of His renewed Kingdom. We also came to say that we shall do everything to fulfil the expectations of the G-d of Israel for His people: to be a holy nation, a kingdom of priests, and His treasure among the nations (Exodus 19:5-6).

On the first day of Hanukkah 5765 (25 Kislev/December 8 2004), the Temple Mount Faithful Movement gathered in Jerusalem to begin their march. We then traveled to Modi'in, praying that this year the miracle that G-d performed for the Maccabees He would again perform for Israel. We marched in order to open the door for the fulfilment of the vision of Isaiah and of the Maccabees; we came to begin again the godly revolution of the Maccabees; to liberate the Temple Mount from the pagan Islamic occupation; to purify the Temple Mount; to rebuild the Temple; to remove the Islamic enemies of Israel from the holy land; to defeat their terror against the people of G-d; and to ignore the political and cultural pressure that comes against Israel from almost all the world.

When we came to Modi'in, the holy atmosphere of the place was filled with the history of the Maccabees and their heroic struggle against the greatest empire of their time. The uprising of the Maccabees began in 172 BCE. On their way to Jerusalem, the soldiers of Antiochus Epiphanes killed many Jews. They entered the Temple, stole many of the Temple vessels, and made it a temple for their pagan worship of Zeus. They stopped all Jewish worship in the Temple. They killed everyone who was caught observing the Sabbath, Rosh Chodesh, and circumcision. The Jews in Judaea were commanded to participate in the pagan worship and to sacrifice pigs to the pagan idol. There was a great danger of the Jews losing their Jewish identity under the strong pressure of Hellenism.

In those critical times, the G-d of Israel raised up the high priest Mattitiyahu who — together with his five sons Yochanan, Shimon, Yehuda (Judas), Elazar, and Yohonatan — forever changed the history of Israel. An officer of Antiochus came to Modi'in and built a pagan altar in the middle of the town. He commanded Mattitiyahu to sacrifice a pig to the idol. Mattitiyahu immediately swore faithfulness to the G-d of Israel, killed the officer, and called to the Jews: "He who is with G-d will come with me." They then killed the soldiers and began the great uprising against the foreign pagan emperor. This uprising was initially directed to the Temple Mount and Jerusalem. On the mountains of Beit Horon and Jerusalem they experienced major victories. They started with 200 Jews who fought guerilla battles against the Seleucid army. From victory to victory more Jews joined the Maccabees. In the fourth battle, which took place three years after the start of the uprising, 10,000 soldiers of the Maccabees defeated more than 60,000 Seleucid soldiers. This battle was commanded by Yehudah (his father Mattitiyahu had died two years earlier). This battle opened the way to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. The Maccabees came to the Temple Mount and found the house of G-d terribly desecrated. They immediately started to purify the Temple. Three years after the initial desecration of the Temple, the first sacrifice was again made to the G-d of Israel. Then another miracle occurred. All the pure and holy oil used for worship had been desecrated. The G-d of Israel granted a miracle when a small jar of pure oil was found on the Temple Mount which was sufficient for only one day's burning in the menorah. The miracle was that it lasted for eight days. To commemorate this miracle and the great godly victories of the Maccabees the festival of Hanukkah was initiated.

Afer the liberation of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Yehudah the Maccabee continued the war and had four additional victories before falling in the eighth battle. After the death of this great hero his brother, Yohonatan, became the leader and after him Shimon, who again renewed Israeli sovereignty over the liberated land of Israel.

On the march to Modi'in, the Temple Mount Faithful Movement passed the places where the great victories occurred. The sons of Mattitiyahu who died in the battles were buried in Modi'in and the Faithful Movement came to their tombs to commune with their spirit and to fulfil their testament to all the generations of the people of Israel. For the first time, members of the Faithful Movement from the United States, Australia, and Canada participated in this exciting event.

Yoel Adler and Reuven Goldberg
Yoel Adler and Reuven Goldberg

Reuven Goldberg lit the Hanukkah menorah in front of the tombs of the Maccabees. Reuven is an Israeli hero who was injured in one of Israel's battles. He still requires crutches in order to walk. He and Yoel Adler read from the Book of the Maccabees. It was an exciting moment when they read Shimon's answer to the foreign ruler when asked by him to return the land which the Maccabees had liberated: "We did not liberate a foreign land but the land which G-d, the Creator of the world, gave to us and to our forefathers in an eternal covenant and which was stolen from us by you. Now G-d has returned it to us and you have no right or part in it".

Then Gershon Salomon, leader of the Temple Mount Faithful, called on the Israeli nation and its leadership to remove the enemy from the Temple Mount, to immediately purify it, and to rebuild the Temple. Gershon told them that G-d will again give them the strength, spirit, and victories if they would trust Him and ignore the pressure that comes from the many enemies that surround Israel and their allies all over the world. Together with the G-d of Israel, Israel will become the majority and all others the minority. More than at any time in the past, the spirit and heritage of the Maccabees is so needed by Israel, especially its leadership. Gershon said that the members of the Faithful Movement from outside Israel who participated in the event represented the many friends of Israel from all over the world who stand with them and Israel today with great love and devotion. He said that time is short. Soon the heritage of the Maccabees will again become a reality in our lifetime, the Temple Mount will be purified, and the Temple will be rebuilt. It will become a house of prayer for Israel and all the nations as prophesied by Isaiah thousands of years ago (Isaiah 56).

Youth Carrying Maccabee Torch
Youth Carrying Maccabee Torch

After the Hanukkah prayers, we lit the torch of the Maccabees to carry it to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. It was so exciting when some of the youth of the Faithful Movement ran with the torch for part of the way to the mountains of Beit Horon, where the great victories of the Maccabees took place. On the way to Jerusalem we passed the tomb of Samuel, the great prophet who anointed David. Over the past years, Ramah, the town where Samuel was born, and from where he judged and prophesied, has been the focus of archaeological excavations. It is situated on one of the highest mountains close to Jerusalem and close to the valley of Givon where Joshua prayed for the sun and moon to be stopped and his subsequent defeat of the five Canaanite kings. As with other places in Israel this area has much exciting biblical history.

Later, we arrived at the Old City of Jerusalem where, at the Jaffa Gate plaza, we raised the flag of Israel along with the Star of David. There we tore up the flag of the PLO terrorist organization and trampled on coffins representing the evil idea of a "Palestinian" state in the holy land of Israel and the evil plans to divide the land of Israel using plans like the "Road Map" the "Gaza Disengagement" and other false and anti-godly plans. They will never succeed as G-d will not allow them to succeed. Throughout history G-d has never allowed other evil plans and agreements against Israel to succeed. In the name of the G-d of Israel Gershon stated that a foreign pagan state or any other authority will never be established on the holy mountain of G-d, Jerusalem, and the land of Israel. He called on Ariel Sharon to keep faithful to the G-d of Israel, to His Word, and to the mission which He gave to His people, to reject any pressure that comes on Israel and to immediately cancel the evil "Gaza Disengagement" plan which will again divide the land of the G-d and people of Israel. He called on Sharon to immediately purify the Temple Mount and rebuild the Temple. He called on him not to miss the historical privilege that G-d gave him to be the messenger of G-d to fulfil all these prophetic endtime plans.

After relighting the Hanukkiah from the torch of the Maccabees, we prayed Psalm 122 in Hebrew. One of our friends from the US read it in English:

"A Song of Ascents of David. I was glad when they said to me, Let us go into the house of the L-rd. Our feet shall stand inside your gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is built as a city which is bound firmly together; There the tribes go up, the tribes of the L-rd, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the L-rd. For thrones of judgment were set there, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; those who love you shall prosper. Peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces. For my brothers and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within you. Because of the house of the L-rd our G-d I will seek your good."

This exciting psalm of King David was an important lesson to a crowd of Arabs who stood close to the demonstration. They understood that the Islamic occupation of the Temple Mount and the land is over and now the G-d of Israel and the Universe has returned His people to the land, exactly as He promised before all the nations in His prophetic Word. It was also an important lesson and message to all the nations who deny the covenant which G-d made with Israel and in which He gave the Holy Land to Israel alone.

After this demonstration we marched with the flags of Israel and the Temple Mount Faithful and the torch of the Maccabees through the narrow streets of the Old City to the Temple Mount, singing and praying the Hanukkah prayers. The climax of this important historical event came when the Faithful marchers, together with their friends, came to the Temple Mount. Exactly as the Maccabees felt in their time, we were so sad when we saw the holy hill of G-d desecrated by the pagan Moslems. At the same time we felt the history of the great godly revolution which happened in this place when the G-d of Israel brought His people back to their holy mountain and returned its sovereignty to them and opened the gates of His holy hill to purify it and to rebuild His holy house. The presence of G-d was so strong in these moments. We felt that time is short and that nothing can stop the desire of G-d to dwell again in His holy house among His people, to see the heritage of the Maccabees becoming a reality in our lifetime by His blessings. We could again hear in our spirits the voice of Haggai coming from the holy hill calling on the people of Israel as in the time of Haggai:

"Thus speaks the L-rd of hosts, saying, This people say that the time has not yet come, the time that the L-rd's house should be built. Then came the word of the L-rd by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, yourselves, to dwell in your well timbered houses, while this house lies in ruins? And therefore thus says the L-rd of hosts; Consider your ways. You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but you have not enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you dress yourself, but there is no warm; and he who earns wages earns wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus says the L-rd of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, says the L-rd. You looked for much, and, behold, it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? says the L-rd of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, and everyone of you runs to his own house." (Haggai 1:2-9)

Gershon called on the people of Israel and its leadership to respond like Zerubbabel responded to the call of Haggai:

"Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the L-rd their G-d, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the L-rd their G-d had sent him, and the people feared before the L-rd. Then Haggai the L-rd's messenger spoke the L-rd's message to the people, saying, I am with you, says the L-rd. And the L-rd stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked in the house of the L-rd of hosts, their G-d." (Haggai 1:12-14)

After more than 2,000 years, the Hanukkiah of the Maccabees was lit in this place from the torch which had been carried from Modi'in. The heritage and testimony of the Maccabees was again brought to the place which is the heart of Israel and all the world. Like our forefathers, we again swore faithfulness to the Temple Mount and Jerusalem: "If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember you, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy." (Psalm 137:5,6)

Gershon called on the people of Israel to be strong and to trust in G-d's promises and His Word. He encouraged everyone, saying that this critical time is the birth pains of redemption, exactly as prophesied. He said that time is short and complete redemption is soon to come.

Throughout the history of Israel, in the time of exile and destruction, nations and foreign powers occupied the land of Israel and the Temple Mount. They built their pagan shrines on the holy hill of the G-d of Israel. All of those nations and foreign powers were removed under the judgement of G-d. He did not allow any one to plant their roots in the land of Israel. He kept the land for His people to return to in order to rebuild His house, Jerusalem, and the land in the endtimes. The same thing that happened to tose nations and foreign powers will soon happen to the Islamic shrines on the Temple Mount. Nothing can stop the determination of G-d to bring about all His endtime vision and plans with the people of Israel. If we shall continue our struggle and campaign to rebuild the house of G-d and His kingdom in Israel, this will come to pass in our lifetime.

This historical and exciting event ended with the singing of the national anthem, Ha Tikvah (The Hope). Our faces were turned towards the site of the Holy of Holies. Psalm 126 was prayed together by the Israelis and their dear friends who came from all over the world to participate in this event:

"A Song of Ascents. When the L-rd brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like men who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing; then they said among the nations, The L-rd has done great things for them. The L-rd has done great things for us; we are glad. Bring back our captivity, O L-rd, like the streams in the Negev. Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who goes forth weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come back with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him."

Everyone reading this report is called on to stand with, strongly encourage, and help be a part of The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement. We are in the midst of a holy battle for the G-d of Israel and the Creator of all the Universe, for His house, His city - Jerusalem, His holy land Israel, and for the godly future of His people Israel, and of all mankind. Let us answer the call of G-d to all of us which is repeatedly heard in these days from His holy mountain and Jerusalem:

"Thus says the L-rd of hosts: Let your hands be strong, you who hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, who spoke on the day that the foundation of the house of the L-rd of hosts was laid, saying that the temple might be built. ... so will I save you, and you shall be a blessing. Do not fear, but let your hands be strong." (Zechariah 8:9,13b)

In G-d we trust.

[ Published: December 28, 2004 ]

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