Ha Cohen Ha Gadol

The article that follows is from March 2011.

Jerusalem: The Temple Mount Institute will soon officially announce its selection for the post of high priest (Cohen Gadol) in the much-anticipated Third Temple of the Jewish people. The candidate is none other than Rabbi Jonathan Cohen, who currently serves a small synagogue in Greenbelt, Maryland, know for its haimisch atmosphere and previously leaky roof.

When asked what led to this choice of a Reconstructionist, Rabbi Chaim Richman, head of the IDITCFNCG (International Department of the Institute Charged with Finding the New Cohen Gadol) that is busy training descendants of the priestly class to resume their sacred functions, answered: "It was really quite simple. We seek to reconstruct the Holy Temple while Rabbi Cohen seeks to reconstruct Judaism. Obviously, as Rabbi Ishmael might have put it, ‘the greater cause embraces the lesser one.’" Moreover, Rabbi Richman added, "We now know what King David meant when he wrote ‘Tofu l’Adonai ki tov.’ Obviously Hashem wants soy-based sacrifices, and who better than a Reconstructionist to bring this about?"

Rabbi Cohen expressed gratitude for this convergence between the various streams of Jewish spirituality. He explained that once the Temple Institute had decided on a Reconstructionist Cohen Gadol, its members fanned out across the world searching for Reconstructionists whose ancestry qualified them for the post. They brought along the priestly diadem, the mitznefet, and placed it on the head of each Cohen whom they met to see whose head it would fit. At first, Rabbi Cohen recalled, it was annoying … "even more so than dealing with Lubavitchers wanting me to put on tefillin in the Giant. But then I finally understood the wisdom of the old proverb that my grandfather used to recite at times of stress: ‘If the mitznefet fits, wear it!’"“We read in the midrash,” Rabbi Cohen concluded, “that ‘in the days of the Messiah all the festivals will be annulled, but Purim will never be annulled.’ From this perspective my time at Mishkan Torah, the shul where very day is Purim, is a perfect preparation for my new responsibilities."