“Our children are ready!”
The Temple Institute, an ultra-nationalist Jewish organization that is obsessed with rebuilding Solomon’s Temple exactly on the spot where the Dome of the Rock is located today in Jerusalem’s Old City, released the video below just in time for Tish’a b’Av (the Ninth of Av according to the Jewish calendar). On this day, Jews traditionally spend the day fasting and mourning the destruction of the ancient temple – as well as a long list of other tragedies that are alleged to have befallen the Jewish people on that day. Or they gather to greet Mitt Romney at the Western Wall.
When I was in Grade 5 our religious studies teacher had us create a model of the ancient temple out of popsicle sticks and cloth remnants, following the very precise instructions in Leviticus. I recall our teacher telling that us the temple would be rebuilt when the messiah arrived – someday. Yes, he tarried, but we were admonished never to lose faith in his ultimate arrival.
The talented brother and sister in this video seem to want to pre-empt the messiah. They startle their father into dropping his copy of the Jerusalem Post when he sees the remarkably accurate model of the temple they managed to create out of sand in the time it took him to read a single article about the civil war in Syria. As the sun sets over the sea, he leads his two children away and the camera pans out to allow the viewer a wide-angle view of the spectacular sand temple.
“Our children are ready too!”
Not to be outdone, Hamas created a video of its own. In the Hamas version, below, a loving father takes his two children to the beach in Gaza. Like the Jewish children at the beach just a half-hour’s drive up the coast – assuming no checkpoints or walls, of course – the children are an adorable brother and sister who frolic fully clothed at the beach, for some reason eschewing bathing suits despite the summer heat.
After he pauses briefly to pray, the Gazan father watches fondly as his children construct a replica of the Dome of the Rock out of sand. The father tears a piece off his newspaper, writes something on the slip of paper, attaches it to a matchstick and plants it on the dome of the mosque. As the sun sets over the Med he leads his children away by the hand and the camera gives us a close up of the flag so that we can see what’s written on it: “There is no god but God.”