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Nov 17, 2013

Jerusalem rabbi sends letter to Pope asking for return of holy vessels

Some fellow from Jerusalem, Rav Yonasan Shtencel, has taken the liberty to draft and send letters to both the Pope in the Vatican and another to the Vatican's ambassador to Israel asking/demanding that the Vatican return the vessels of the Beit Hamikdash to Jerusalem.

Shtencel is an educator, businessman, author and the grandson of someone famous, according to the page about him on WikiText. This page also includes these letters, which were just sent out this past week, making me wonder if it is just a stunt to boost his online profile.

Let's start with the letter to the ambassador, as it is shorter:

Loose translation:
Topic: the Pope's visit to the Holy Land and the return of the holy vessels

I am honored to turn to you about this issue:
1. The Pope Francisco is expected to soon visit Israel
2. As the representative of the Vatican and of the Pope in Israel, I place this letter in your handsso that you can be an honest messenger and partner in this historic goal... It is in your hands to bring this letter to his knowledge before his arrival so that the Pope will be able to weigh the issues and respond properly to the letter.
3. I am aware that it is almost definite that the Pope's mailbox is full of letters from believers, community members and many others. It is not for nothing that I turn to you personally so that this letter will not be received among the many letters as just another normal letter.
4. The content of this letter and its goal is far more important that many of the other letters he receives, without insulting anyone else.
5.  Relating to this letter properly will affect the future of the nations, the religions, peace and love based on the action requested, and it contains the ability of the Pope to leave his stamp on the future.
6. For all this I turn to you to direct my message to the Pope...

Letter to the Pope:

Loose translation:

Topic: Returning the holy vessels from the Jewish Temple to Israel on your upcoming visit to Israel

In the year 70 to the Christian count, Roman soldiers entered the Jewish Temple on Har Habayit in Jerusalem, part of the Judean kingdom in those days, and brought about the destruction of the Temple and took the vessels that served the Jewish people and the priests in their service of the one God in the Temple. As the one who has recently entered into this position and brings with him a new spirit and creativity, I turn to you with the following:
1. I am of the Jewish nation. I do not come as a messenger of anyone, but by the power of my faith with the desire and recognition to bring about through you an historic change  after many years of frozen relations and closed eyes from the historic truths.
2. I have learned about you in the short time.. you have been graced with, among your other qualities, a listening ear to other nationalities, and to people with their weaknesses and limitations.
3. As one who is familiar with the commandments of Christianity specifically and the history of the Jewish nation generally, including your knowledge of the Jewish religion, I believe the time is ripe on the even of your coming visit to Israel - the Holy Land - a visit that will be of historic proportions, should be taken advantage of by you to return the holy vessels, as everyone knows that they are found in the archives of the Vatican under your control.
4. Returning the holy vessels will give your role a special standing among the nations of the world and will give true meaning to the prayer "my house should be a place of prayer for all the people".
5. The purpose of my letter is not to lay blame or initiate legal proceedings... many experts over the years have dealt with all these issues.. this is not my goal.
6. I turn from the depths of my heart first to you and to your conscience, and only after that to your intellect and straight logic.. to do the right thing, from the perspective of "Nachshon's jump"..
7. "Nachshon's jump" is known as a unique act of a son of the tribe of Benjamin - when the Jews left Egypt and stood by the edge of the sea, Nachshon ben Aminadav jumped in. When he did so, the sea then split and the Jewish people passed through on dry land.... 
8. The historic brazenness and strength of that act also has an equivalent  in the Christian tradition when Jesus jumped, as is described in the theological books ...
9. What is the challenge, the request, the idea, the jump, that I, the little one, am asking for?
10. The time has come that the vessels that were stolen at the time of historic and difficult events and they were taken to Rome and are there until this day under the rule of the Vatican under your leadership should have their status changed.
11. If until now these items could be seen as stolen items and those holding them as the long hands  of those who destroyed the Temple, it is in your hands to change the status and see their holding on to these vessels today as being faithful to caring for them.
12. This faithfulness is one of respect and honor, and as all it stands by the main beneficiary of this faithfulness - the Jewish people.
13. It is therefore in your hands to take this leap, return the respect to those holding the vessels at the same time as those who  would benefit from the vessels being returned when you step on the Holy Land.

For all this I request that you dedicate some of your time to consider in your heart and soul that which has brought you to this great position, and use this to prepare, to gather, to pack and to take with you when you come to Israel the holy vessels, to give them over for safekeeping forever to the Jewish nation. 

With all respect,
Rav Yonasan Shtencel

and I just found this related video..

I cant wait to see their response....

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1 comment:

  1. If any pope had the integrity to return the kelim, it would be this one. But call me skeptical - I tend to doubt that the powers that be at the Vatican would be too keen on the idea.


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