While there may not be a Third Temple at which Israeli Jews can worship atop the Jerusalem Temple Mount, there is a brand-new synagogue under the foundation of the holy site – and it’s open for prayer.   The new center of worship is the result of 12 years of construction at a cost of $50 million, and it is located directly under the Western Wall, where Jews have gathered for centuries to pray at the retaining wall for the Temple Mount.

“The unique design of the prayer hall combines rare art and unique lighting, creating a wonderful contrast between ancient and modern,” said a statement by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation. In a related development, Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev has suggested the government allocate another $50 million to explore the foundations Temple beneath Muslim Al-Aqsa Mosque. In the new synagogue, the bimah, or altar, and seating are made of wood. The synagogue features dozens of elegant benches, arranged in separate men’s and women’s sections. READ MORE