Love of the Land

For the week ending 7 November 2009 / 19 Heshvan 5770

Har Habayit Treeless Mountain

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll


The mountain in Yerushalayim on which stood the Beit Hamikdash was bare of trees.

This condition was mandated by the Torah when it ordered (Devarim 16:21): "You shall not plant an idolatrous asheira tree, nor any tree near the altar of the L-rd your G-d which you shall erect."

Not only trees were forbidden at this holy site but also any permanent wooden structure. The only exception was the wooden platform which was built there once in seven years for the king to stand upon and read to the entire nation gathered there from the Torah in fulfillment of the mitzvah of hakheil (Devarim 31:12-13).

The reason for this exception was that this platform was only a temporary structure that was dismantled after serving its purpose.

© 1995-2014 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.

Articles may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue or school newsletters. Hardcopy or electronic. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission in advance at ohr@ohr.edu and credit for the source as Ohr Somayach Institutions www.ohr.edu

« Back to Love of the Land

Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) and your donation is tax deductable.