The Hebrew Letter “Hei” and the two Temples

Please Note: Firefox and some other search engines are not suitable

Use Google Chrome for this page to load perfectly!


Please do NOT visit this site on Shabbat or on a Yom Tov (Feasts)!



Please Note: On this page I may show the four letter blessed *“Memorial Name” of the Almighty in Ivrit -  - Y-H-V-H, which we usually pronounce as “Adonai” or “HaShem”. At all times treat the most blessed Name with sanctity and when we even see the Name, we should say “blessed be His Sanctified Name.”


*This is My Name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.” Shemot - Exodus 3:15.



The Hebrew Letter “Hei”

  And the Beit HaMikdash (Temples)

With Rabbi Reuven Ben-Avraham

On this site I will mostly use a version based on the “Jewish Publication Society” Tanakh (JPS).

Thus saith  of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hill-country, and bring wood, and build the House (Temple); and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified - , saith Chaggay - Haggai 1:7-8 (JPS version of the Tanakh).

This study is about a time when the B’Nai Yisroel - Children of Israel returned to Jerusalem from their Babylonian exile. I know, many will say, “No it was just Judah,” but they are wrong for when Judah was finally captured it also contained countless of the faithful of Israel who had escaped to Judah, and the Tanakh very clearly tells us this. A new study will come online soon that has those very facts and it will be entitled - “Who is Israel and it will specifically deal with this question!

Having returned to the city of Dovid - David, the prophet Chaggay – Haggai spoke to the people and asked them to start building the Second Temple, just as the verse above so clearly describes.

Here In this study we are going to discover that it is all based on how some Hebrew words are written in our wonderful Tanakh, for we must understand that NOTHING is in the Word of Elohim without a special reason!

Words can make meaning quite different to what we tend to assume at first, even though they may seem to say the same thing. But sadly, translators who translated the Tanakh and Bibles for that matter, in reality had little to no understanding of some of the true Hebrew inner thoughts and meanings of the Word. In addition you should note the three vital points.

1. Who was  Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name speaking to?

2. When was it said?

3. How was His Word understood at the time it was spoken and given?

It was for those very reasons that certain translators and over zealous rabbis of old, who would argue with each other at the Yeshiva, or at Shul (Synagogue) and they missed some of the beauty and treasures found in the Tanakh and thus also a full understanding of the wonderful words therein. Thus many did not realise that some words they knew well were actually spelled a little differently, for there may be a letter missing which is what we are looking at in this study. Therefore, they simply used the same word, without any explanation of the difference of its meaning!

Let me explain the word “Glorified”:

The Hebrew word “glorified” is  kabad” in Hebrew - Ivrit, and that is how it is written above in Chaggay - Haggai chapter 1, verse 8, but it is noteworthy to note that the Hebrew letter “Hei”  “h” was missing from the original word (which is written like this ), but when  is read, it actually sounds like the “Hei”  “h” is there.

The sound of the “Hei h” is almost like a breath at the end of a word, and it requires no effort, no movement of lip, tongue, or mouth.

Yet, the letter “Hei h” is a very predominant feature in the “Memorial Name” of Elohim for we should all know that the Sanctified Name is frequently written in the Tanakh as “YAH”!

The letter Hei h is also important in many other names, for example it played a huge part in the life of Avram - Abram, as we need to remember that he did not receive the “Hei” , the  h until quite some time latter in his life, for Elohim waited as Avram first had to become a true man of faith! Then when the time was right  Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, added the “Hei”  “h” to his name and Avram -  finally became Avraham - !

But here is the BIG question; why was the letter “Hei”  “h” missing when  Elohim said “I will be glorified.”

The letter “h”  is also the fifth letter in the Hebrew Alphabet having the numeric value of five and again this number is vital in relation to the Second Temple”.

Therefore we should understand that the missing “Hei represents five vital missing elements in the Second Temple, and thus this Temple could never be complete, nor could be fully glorified in the same manner as the First Hechal  - Temple.

Here we see the Hechal Temple that was built under Shlomo - Solomon’s reign

These are the FIVE vital elements that were missing:

1… The “Ark of the Covenant” in Hebrew -  - “Aron Ha’Edut”, with its covering of the Cherubim in the “Kodesh HaKodeshim,” or the “Holy of Holies”.

2… The burning heavenly fire on the altar that remained alight permanently.

3… The Divine Spirit (presence) of  Elohim!

4… Also missing was the Shechinah presence, Elohim’s Glory!

5… Breastplate of the High Priest.

Rebuilding of the Second Temple:

It was Zerubbabel who led the first group of some 42,360 Hebrews, as they returned from their Babylonian captivity in the first year of “Cyrus the Great” king of the “Achaemenid” or the first “Persian Empire”. The date is believed to have been between 538 and 520 B.C.E.

In 536 BCE, after the fall of Babylon, Cyrus, the king of Persia, who became the overlord of the Hebrews, issued his famous declaration, that allowed for them to return to Zion, and to rebuild the Hechal  - Temple.

It was Zerubbabel who led the first group of some 42,360 Hebrews, as they returned from their Babylonian captivity in the first year of “Cyrus the Great”

“In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month came the word of  by Haggai the prophet unto Ze’ru’balel - Zerubbabel the son of Shalathiel - Shealtiel, governor of Yehudah - Judah, and to Yahushua - Joshua the son of Yehotzadak - Jehozadak, the high priest, saying: 

‘Thus speaketh  of hosts, saying: This people say: The time is not come, the time that ’s house should be built.’ Then came the word of  by Haggai the prophet, saying: ‘Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your ceiled (covered) houses, while this (My) house lieth waste?” Haggai 1:1-4 (JPS version of the Tanakh, with Hebraic names added).

Thus at the urging of the prophets Haggai and Zecharyah - Zechariah, with the assistance of Zerubbabel, the governor of Yehudah - Judah began the construction of the “Second Temple” in 521 B.C.E. The temple was completed around 515 B.C.E.

Although there is no known detailed plan of this Hechal - Temple, but we do know that it was built as a more modest version of the huge and grandiose original Temple that was built by Shlomo - Solomon. However, it was beautiful and was surrounded by two courtyards with chambers, gates, as well as a public square. But sadly for obvious reasons it did not include those vital Ritual items of the Hechal - Temple”; the greatest of these obviously being the loss of the “Ark of the Covenant”  - “Aron Ha’Edut”.

The most faithful recreation of the “Ark of the Covenant” done by experts in Yisroel - Israel

We all know that upon completion of the Temple - Hechal   during the reign of Solomon the “Ark of the Covenant” -  - “Aron-HaEdut” was placed in the Holy of Holies.

However, even without the blessed “Ark of the Covenant”, the priestly ritual in the rebuilt Second Temple” was elaborate and was conducted by the Priests - Levites.

An illustration of how the Hechal - Temple completed in 515 B.C.E. may have looked like


Regarding the Ark’s Disappearance:

However, during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar his army came and plundered the First Hechal  - Temple in 587 BCE, and it was then “Ark of the Covenant” - “Aron Ha’Edut” went missing.

Thus the “Ark of the Covenant” also referred to as the “footstool” of Elohim, disappeared from history after Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon invaded Jerusalem.

There was no further mention of the “Ark of the Covenant” upon the return of the Israelites from their Babylonian captivity.

In Yechezkel - Ezekiel Chapter 10 verses 4 to 18 it is revealed that Elohim, blessed be He, took the “Ark of the Covenant” - Aron-HaEdut” into heaven.

“And the glory of  mounted up from the cherub to the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud … And the glory of  went forth from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim” Yechezkel - Ezekiel 10:4 & 18 (JPS).

Thus the “Glory of  mounted (rose) up” and it departed from the Hechal - Temple.

The other allusion to the Ark’s disappearance is found in the Book of Eichah - Lamentations (of Yirmyahu - Jeremiah) 2:1 which states …

“He () hath cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, and hath not remembered His footstool in the day of His anger” Eichah - Lamentations of Yirmyahu - Jeremiah 2:1 (JPS).

Thus the “footstool” of Elohim was taken away by the cherubim and it would be now located in Heaven.

What about the Temple that stood on Har Ha’Moriyah (Mount Moriah) during the Roman period?

You will be surprised what I will now be telling you, for what we tend to call the “Second Temple” today which was atop the HaKotel and destroyed by the Romans, was actually the “Third Temple”, for the one mentioned above was completely removed, and the new huge and grandiose Temple was built over the top of that previous modest one. As we should all know it was built by King Herod as he wanted to befriend the population, who certainly did not like him, and thus it is known as the Herodian Temple. But it is really the “Third Hechal - Templeand NOT the “Second”. It was constructed to the identical dimensions as that of Shlomo - Solomon’s Hechal - Temple, for it was 60 cubits long, 20 cubits wide and 40 cubits high, etc. Although it was magnificent in every respect, but it could never compare to the original Temple built by Shlomo, as those vital things were missing! Many have not believed me, but I have been proved right as I have recently discovered that the “Encyclopaedia Judaica” completely agrees with me, and it had the following to say about the Herodian Temple”.

“In the 18th year of his reign, Herod decided to rebuild the Temple, and in order to allay the fears of the people and avoid their wrath, he completed all the preparations for the new building (Temple), before demolishing the existing structure (the previous Second Temple)” - “Direct quote from ‘Encyclopaedia Judaica’ on the Temple with two explanations added in brackets.

This massive model of the “Third (Herodian) Temple” which is located at the “Israel Museum” at Jerusalem

Sadly regarding the previous two Temples, whenever the Hebrew word “Glorified”  kabad” was used the letter “Hei”  “h” would be missing, and thus therefore the precious “Shechinah presence” or “Elohim’s Glory” was missing in them. But thankfully, the day will come in the future our Mashiach will come and then a Temple greater than any before it will be built!

But remember, today we thankfully have our Synagogues and they are everywhere, and I highly recommend for those who have not been to Shul for a long time, yet you have a yearning to further your faith and grow to being a good Jew within a community, why not look up a Shul near you and go on the next Shabbat. Of course you can also phone the appropriate person, or rabbi, as there is always a phone number.

And remember our motto seen on the logo at the top of this page that states: “The More Torah, the More Life”, for  Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, is the one who gave us our Life!”

Rabbi Reuven Ben-Avraham.


Return to our MAIN PAGE or go to our Main Index


Email us


© Copyright - 1989 - 2021 © hebraicstudies - All rights reserved