By COLlive reporter
How do you educate people about the imminent coming of Moshiach at a time of isolation?
That is the dilemma that Rabbi Levi and Etti Silberstein, who run the Tzach division of Chabad Argentina, faced when they approached the Three Weeks when the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash and Jerusalem are marked.
“Argentina has been in lockdown for a year and a half,” Rabbi Silberstein told COLlive.com. “While schools gradually opened, large and in-person events are still prohibited and the country is still very much in pandemic mode.”
Every year, during the Three Weeks, which is the winter season in Argentina, Chabad creates innovative events and programs to teach schoolchildren and members of the Jewish community about the Beis Hamikdash.
“The challenge this year was how to make this work despite the restrictions,” Rabbi Silberstein said. Working together with Creative Director Maxi Bartfeld and his team, with the leadership of Head Shliach Rabbi Tzvi Grunblatt they planned a theatrical show with life-size exhibits that would bring the concept into reality.
The result was “Aventure en el Templo,” Adventures at the Temple, held at La Rural, an exhibition ground and venue for Argentina’s biggest country fair located in central Buenos Aires. It takes participants through the interior of the Second Temple accompanied by innovative theatrical, virtual, and multimedia mediums.
The event “opens the doors” of the Beis Hamikdash to all visitors to the exhibition, families and individuals, in a Covid-safe environment. Participants drive through the event in their own car, preventing infection and allowing for a worry-free experience.
At the entrance to the event, the family car crosses through a “Time Tunnel” and enters a circle that follows the interior of the second Beis Hamikdash in Jerusalem. Hosts and actors display and explain the items, massive structures, patios, and doors in an entertaining and humorous manner.
The show includes four impressive stages and over 25 artists who stand on each stage and greet visitors with stories that bring laughter and entertainment, including screens, lighting effects, interactive games, music, and original and innovative installations.
The show lasts about an hour and the sound is transmitted through the audio system of the visitors’ vehicles, via FM radio. It begins by telling the story of “Toby”, a modern boy, who suddenly finds himself in a past era, where he is received by the hosts and keepers of the Bais Hamikdash.
The exhibition appreciates the importance of each item and the universal values taught through them, throughout the centuries. At the end, participants arrive at a huge replica of the Western Wall, the last remnant of the Temple, where they pray and ask that the third Temple be built, while at the same time making good and practical resolutions in order to speed up the construction of the Bais Hamikdash and the coming redemption.
The entire show was produced by Rabbi and Mrs. Silberstein of Chabad Of Argentina directed by Rabbi Tzvi Grunblatt, with sponsorships that were given by AMIA (Argentine Israeli Mutual Association), La Rural and the City of Buenos Aires. Israel Antiquities Authorities and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem provided historic and archeological images.
The opening ceremony and ribbon-cutting event were addressed by Rabbi Grunblatt who spoke about the Rebbe‘s instruction to make the concept of Moshiach relatable.
In attendance were President of AMIA Ariel Eichbaum, Israeli Ambassador to Argentina Galit Ronen, president of DAIA Jorge Knoblovits, Jewish member of Argentine’s parliament Waldo Wolf, and Jorge Tellerman, President of the Cultural Institute of the Province of Buenos Aires and a former mayor.
At the exit of the exhibition, visitors find a huge model of the Third Bais Hamikdash, and yeshiva students offer visitors to make good resolutions, distribute study material, and offer opportunities to purchase a letter in the Unity Sefer Torah initiated by the Rebbe. Over 15,000 people participated by the time the exhibition concluded on Sunday, August 1.