by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
A number of us (like minded Jewish bloggers) were surprised today by an article in (the rabidly secular Israeli newspaper) Haaretz declaring,
"If the 18th-century rabbinic authority the Vilna Gaon was right, on March 16, 2010, construction will begin on the third Temple. His projection states that the auspicious day will coincide with the third completion of the Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter.
The great day is at hand: On March 15, the reconstructed Hurva Synagogue, considered the most important house of prayer in Jerusalem will be rededicated. It was last destroyed in the War of Independence...
The Hurva, whose name means "ruin," was initially built by disciples of Rabbi Judah Hahasid in the early 18th century. It was destroyed shortly thereafter by Muslims demanding the return of loans given to build the synagogue. After it was rebuilt in the mid-19th century, it became the most important synagogue in the country, but it was blown up in 1948 by the Jordan Legion a few days before the fall of the Jewish Quarter in the War of Independence.
In 2001, after years of debate, the government decided to restore the building.
We've heard a bit of such rumors in the past, but don't know the source on which the Haaretz article is based. It's not Kol HaToar. We'll check around a bit, if anyone has any suggestions on the source, let us know.
(Others writing about it, Life in Israel and Israel Matzav.)
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא