July 12, 2017
Beis Moshiach in #1076, Beis HaMikdash, Feature

Tziporah Piltz is a tour guide and master educator who lives and breathes the Hilchos Beis HaBechira not only during the Three Weeks. Her home is on the Mt of Olives, but she is eagerly awaiting the day that the earth will split beneath her (a Messianic prophecy). Although she makes her home on a holy mountain, her true yearnings are focused on the neighboring mountain where we will soon see our true home rebuilt on the other side of the Kosel.

By Ofra Bedosa

Mrs. Tziporah Piltz lives in an old Arab stone house on Har HaZeisim (the Mount of Olives). She is part of the group of women called, “Nashim Lemaan HaMikdash,” (Women for the Holy Temple), an organization that raises awareness about the Mikdash and the Har Habayis (lit. Mountain of the House, known as the Temple Mount).

Tziporah: My feeling of connection to the Mikdash began fourteen years ago, before I was married. I joined a small group of women who worked to raise awareness of the Mikdash and the Har HaHabayis. At that time, we mainly held gatherings for women in people’s homes where we spoke about the role of women in the Mikdash, about our roles today as reincarnations of the generation of Egypt, and we would daven together for the building of the Mikdash.

After I married, we began looking for a home in East Jerusalem. We heard that there was an abandoned house on the Mount of Olives which was for sale. A donor, to whom settling in East Jerusalem is important, decided to buy it and renovate it. It’s a house with two entrances and we are living here for ten years along with another Jewish family. Living here is very challenging since we are alone in a hostile area. We are living right at the entrance to Ras al-Amud, a Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem, and Abu Dis, an Arab town. But when you get a taste of living in a location like this you can’t leave, and the difficulties fade away.

What is the significance of Har HaZeisim?

In the prophecy of Zecharia 14:4, it says that the Geula will come via Har HaZeisim, “And on that day His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem from the east. And the Mount of Olives shall split in the midpoint between east and west, [thus creating] a very great valley. And half the mountain shall move to the north, and half of it to the south.”

In other words, the Sh’china will return to the Har Ha’bayis via Har HaZeisim. In Midrash Eicha Rabba it says that when the Sh’china was exiled from the Beis HaMikdash, it went through ten stages with the last one being Har HaZeisim. It was there for three and a half years, waiting for the Jewish people to do t’shuva. So Har HaZeisim was the last place the Sh’china was and the first place in Eretz Yisroel that it will return to.

The Kosel HaMaaravi (Western Wall) became a pilgrimage spot during the last 400 years, but there were long periods of time when the Kosel wasn’t necessarily the focal point. In earlier times, visitors would make a circuit of all the gates of the city, their intention being to express their desire to enter the rebuilt Beis HaMikdash. 1000 years ago, during the period of the Geonim, when they wanted to see the Har Ha’bayis, they would go to Har HaZeisim. And when they would reenact the “holiday pilgrimage,” mainly on Hoshana Rabba, they would go to the summit of Har HaZeisim to the place from which the Sh’china was exiled and where it will return.

Describe for us what it’s like to live in such a holy place.

Living facing the Har Ha’bayis is very powerful and it heightens the desire for the Geula and the third Beis HaMikdash. Sadly, the main events today are the mass prayers of our Arab cousins in their mosques and the pilgrimages of Christians who flock to their churches that are scattered across the mountain. Once a year, during Ramadan, thousands go up on the Har Ha’bayis. Our entire area becomes one big traffic snarl. You can see their great longing for the Har Ha’bayis and when I see this, my heart sinks and I think, these ought to be Jews making Aliya l’Regel to the third Beis HaMikdash! Especially when, in recent years, Ramadan has fallen out around Tishrei time which is a month so significant to us in connection with the Mikdash. The Kohen Gadol did the avoda in the Holy of Holies and there was the Simchas Beis HaShoeiva.

How can we get people to be more inspired about the Geula and the building of the Beis HaMikdash?

In order to get out of galus, you first need to get out of your inner galus. Our perspective has shrunk from years of galus. I see, from my years of involvement in the subject, that there is a very strong focus on the Kosel when it comes to the topic of the Beis HaMikdash. If you ask anyone on the street, where is the holiest place in the world, most people will say it’s the Kosel from where the Sh’china did not depart. But this needs to be placed in the proper context. This is not meant, G-d forbid, to disparage the Kosel, but if we want the Geula, we need to change our perspective.

When you look at the Har Ha’bayis from our house, you understand how narrow and influenced by the galus our vision is. I will explain this to you with numbers so that you will understand just how extreme this is. The part of the Kosel where we daven is 60 meters in length and it is a section of the wall whose length is half a kilometer (=500 meters)! It is a tiny area in which we squeeze ourselves and we’ve gotten used to this. When you go to the Kosel you don’t feel this, but when you see the Har Ha’bayis from the Har HaZeisim, you realize what a constricted area the galus has placed us in.

There is a nice parable which expresses this idea. There was a prince who did not see his father for many years. He returned to the palace and wanted to meet his father, but his father asked him not to enter the palace but to wait outside behind the wall. The prince responded that he doesn’t want that, “I want to be with you! I’ve waited all this time to see you in our home, in the palace!” Har Ha’bayis is the palace of the king. It’s called the Mountain of the House for a reason; it is our home, our source, and that is where we want to meet our Father, inside. To daven at the Kosel is to meet Hashem in the outer courtyard.

Right now, unfortunately, as long as we still don’t have the third Beis HaMikdash, entrance to the mountain is halachically forbidden. So what drew you to live where you do?

Today, we are closer than ever to the Geula. This is the epicenter of it all. The Mikdash is where the Sh’china dwells. Moshiach will be coming imminently, the Beis HaMikdash will be built, and the Sanhedrin will decide halacha. It all goes together as a unit. When you live so close to the area you feel it much more. We need to do the inner work so that we truly connect to what is about to happen, that we are about to be redeemed. Islam reigns so powerfully on the Har HaBayis. Its mosques have been there since the 7th century! It is not easy to feel that this sad reality is really about to change.

I find that the imagination is very helpful, to picture the Mikdash in its glory and the return of the Sh’china. It is also inspiring to think about the power of the women in Egypt. Despite the unbearable situation with the babies being killed and the men following Amram and separating from their wives, the women did not give up. They kept their faith. I relate to this because I live, facing this, all the time.

How can people relate to this more?

Mainly by learning about it, by learning the Rambam’s Hilchos Beis HaBechira and the Mishnayos about the Mikdash in Meseches Tamid and Middos. And as women, to know what the women’s place was in the Mikdash.

Tell us a little about women and the Beis HaMikdash.

A woman will never serve as a Kohen or Levi in the Beis HaMikdash and she won’t work with the korbanos. Those are men’s jobs.

One of the times that women brought a korban to the Mikdash was after giving birth. Forty days after having a boy and eighty days after having a girl, the woman brought two korbanos, an olah offering and a chatas offering, a lamb and dove or two lambs if she was wealthy. There is the famous question about why does a woman who gave birth bring a sin offering. A thanksgiving offering would seem more appropriate! The explanation is that a woman, when in pain while giving birth, swears that she’ll never do this again. This is an oath that she regrets afterward and that is why she has to bring a korban.

A deeper reason is that the sin offering is meant to rectify Chava’s sin. It says that she spilled Adam’s blood. By keeping the mitzva of family purity, including the laws of giving birth, she rectifies that sin. The new mother does not have to personally bring the korban. She can send it with her husband. Alternatively, she does not have to go as soon as it is permissible. But her purity is complete only when she brings the korban. In the interim, when she has not yet brought the korban, she is allowed to enter the Ezras Nashim until the Gate of Nikanor. That is where new mothers are purified and where the Sota is made to drink. It is interesting that these two rites take place in the same place. It’s because they are complete opposites: the new mother builds her home and the Sota destroys it.

The new mother stands in the entrance and looks through the open gates to see how her korban is sacrificed. Today, we don’t have the Beis HaMikdash but there are women who, on the 41st and 81st day after giving birth, read the verses about this korban in Parshas Tazria.

There were also the women who embroidered the Parochos for the Beis HaMikdash. They sat in the Lishkas HaParochos and worked day and night, spinning, weaving, and embroidering. The Parochos in the Beis HaMikdash were unlike the ones we have in shuls nowadays. The Beis HaMikdash had 13 Parochos in two sizes. The large ones were 20 meters by 10 meters (approx. 65 feet by 33 feet), and the small ones were 10 meters by 5 meters. It required highly specialized work and the Parochos were stunning. They were woven out of thousands of threads. Before hanging them, they had to immerse them. The Gemara says that they needed 300 Kohanim for this. The Gemara goes on to say that this number is an exaggeration, but they still needed many Kohanim for this job.

Today, there is a group of women who meet at Tel Shilo, where the Mishkan used to be, and they study spinning so that when the Geula comes, they will be the first to start working on items needed in the Mikdash.


Tziporah Piltz gives lectures on the topic of the Mikdash and the Har Ha’bayis. She uses pictures and exhibitions to explain life in the Mikdash. She gives one of these presentations during the Nine Days for the women of Kfar Chabad. She also recommends, to interested women, an ongoing group which studies topics relating to the Mikdash.

She also arranges tours for women on Har HaZeisim with a magnificent view of the Temple Mt, along with a visit to her ancient home. She can be reached at

Yehi ratzon that with Hashem’s help we immediately merit the true and complete Geula with the Rebbe MH”M who will redeem us and build the third Beis HaMikdash.


Regarding the family of the Chabad Rebbes, the Rebbe Rashab once said, “Dovid Melech Yisroel chai v’kayam – we are from Malchus Beis Dovid, his lamp will never be extinguished.”

(Lubavitch v’Chayoleha p. 35)

Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka a”h often said that Moshiach is in this world and just has to be revealed. She did not elaborate. In connection with this, she told the Chassidic story about R’ Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk who was in Yerushalayim after moving to Eretz Yisroel and settling in Teveria. Someone went up Har HaZeisim and blew a shofar. News spread that Moshiach had come. When R’ Menachem Mendel heard the news, he opened the window of the room he was in and sniffed the air. He concluded, “No, Moshiach has not come.”

The Rebbetzin said, people wonder why he had to open the window. Couldn’t he smell whether Moshiach had come without that? The answer is: the scent of Moshiach was always present in his room, for Moshiach was there!

(Heard from Chesed Halberstam)


The Rebbe is opposed to going up to Har Ha’bayis. The following are two responses of the Rebbe on the subject which clarify this:

To someone who wrote that he is involved with inyanei Beis HaMikdash and that he visited the holy sites and the permissible sections of Har Ha’bayis, the Rebbe wrote: According to our holy Torah, the study of the halachos of building the Beis HaMikdash – is reckoned like he participated in building it, and there are no limitations, which is unlike going up on the Har Ha’bayis where you must be certain about where it is permissible to go. I will mention it at the gravesite.


R’ Yekusiel Rapp introduced Mr. Gershon Salomon, founder of the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement, at “dollars.”

Rebbe: Good news, and may we soon have the construction of the third Beis HaMikdash (smiling:) and then you won’t have any worries for the Har Ha’bayis.

GS: We saw the Rebbe a year and a half ago and you said, “bracha v’hatzlacha,” and indeed, we had a year of blessing and success in the war for the Temple Mt. I’d like to ask that the Rebbe, this year (the year of “I Will Show Them Wonders”), issue a proclamation to Jewish leaders to remove the Temple Mt from the Arab enemy and appoint Jewish guards. Second, to call upon Chassidim and all the Jewish people to go up to the Temple Mt and to set up Jewish guards on the holy site.

Rebbe: But we are waiting for Moshiach Tzidkeinu too. The Jews who are in the Holy Land need to continue being in the Holy Land. As for those abroad, the role of some of them is to be abroad and preserve the shleimus (completeness) of every single Jew wherever they are, shleimus both materially and spiritually.

The Rebbe gave him a dollar and said: Great success for all matters in the Holy Land.

Salomon spoke about shleimus ha’aretz and said: The final thing, Rebbe, all the Jewish people are waiting for the Rebbe and all the dear Lubavitcher Chassidim to come to Eretz Yisroel and that will be a year of true and complete Geula.

Rebbe: Amen. My coming to Eretz Yisroel is not the final thing, but the first thing that will happen when Moshiach Tzidkeinu comes, and this will also be the final day of galus.

The Rebbe gave him another dollar and said: Good news, much success.

Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (
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