Ahead of upcoming Tisha B'Av, the Temple Institute, a body dedicated to the idea of rebuilding of the biblical Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, launched an online campaign featuring an unusual "guest appearance" by none other than Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
The campaign caused a stir in Egypt over more than Morsi's mere appearance, but rather regarding the manner in which he was featured, which Cairo media deemed offensive.
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The video shows a family – a father and two children – at the beach. The father is reading a newspaper, on which a picture of Morsi is clearly seen, and the children are building the Temple in the sand. When the father gets up to look at his children's creation, he drops the newspaper, with Morsi's picture on it, on the sand.
As arises from Cairo's coverage of the issue, Egyptians understood the campaign as indicating that Morsi will not be able to stop Israel from rebuilding the Temple.
The controversial campaign has even been brought to the attention of the presidential palace. Morsi's spokesman Yasser Ali issued a statement Thursday, saying that Morsi has ordered his Foreign Ministry to officially protest the campaign.
Message of PeaceThe concerns raised by the Egyptians have prompted Rabbi Chaim Richman, international director of Temple Institute to releases the following statement: "During the annual three week period of Israel's national mourning for the Holy Temple, the Temple Institute released a 90 second video entitled 'The Children are Ready.'
"The video, which has gone viral, is designed as an educational tool for the Jewish community, to give a fresh and positive perspective on the Holy Temple whose message of peace and prayer is of central importance to millions around the world."
"Although aimed at the Jewish community primarily, we have received well wishes from across the globe from people of all races, religions and creeds and we have achieved our goals in highlighting the universal significance of the Holy Temple as a house of peace and prayer for all mankind," the statement said.
"The issues that have been raised concerning the image on the newspaper in the movie are baseless," it continued. "This is totally irrelevant to the message of the movie and the image is purely coincidental.
"The entire concept of the Holy Temple is one of peace, prayer and unity, something that Jews worldwide pray for three times daily. The Children Are Ready has proven that, after two thousand years since its destruction, the Holy Temple is still of central importance to millions of people worldwide.
"In this light, we hope that people will continue to watch and share the clip until it becomes the most popular Jewish video of all time," the statement concluded.
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