Not quite the Third Temple, but close: Entrepreneurs in the northern city of Kiryat Shemoneh are making plans to build a "Holy Temple" as part of a soon-to-be established Bible World amusement park.
Like the original in Jerusalem, the model structure will tower over its surroundings, reaching a height of 25 meters (82 feet) and will be an exact replica of Solomon's temple on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE.
"Time tunnels" will offer descriptions of the different periods of Jewish history, and will lead visitors to the main hall, which will feature murals depicting Biblical stories.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to "meet" three heroes of the Bible: Abraham, Moses and King David.
Is the Bible 'disappearing' from consciousness?
Overseeing the project is Chabad rabbi of Kiryat Shemoneh, Yigal Tsipori, who toured the site Wednesday with Mayor Chaim Barbibai and other local rabbis.
"The 'Book of Books,' the cradle of Jewish civilization, is increasingly disappearing from our national consciousness. Limited study is no longer sufficient to attract young people of today to the Bible and its values. Therefore, there is a great need for this initiative," said Tsipori.
"The 'Temple' will use 3-D movies and other tools to show young people just how things worked in the Holy Temple and just what the priests (Cohanim) did," he added.
The park will also feature a Biblical textile mill and wine press, and will host Bar and Bat Mitzvah receptions.
400,000 visitors expected
The park's founders say they hope to attract 400,000 visitors annually to the park, including local Israeli youths and young people from the Diaspora.
The project, to be located near the Nehemia Mall in Kiryat Shemoneh, is expected to cost USD 8 million (NIS 38 million) and employ several dozen workers.
Several donors have already been lined up to fund the project.