September 2, 2014


EILAT, Israel (BP) -- As the little girl stepped forward to pull back the ornate curtain, her eyes widened.

"Are we going to die?" she asked.

She and hundreds of other Jewish children take it seriously when they enter the Holy of Holies at the tabernacle in Eilat, Israel's southernmost city.

"It's so real to these kids, and interactive," said Josh, who helps with the full-size replica along with his wife Sarah. (Note: Workers at the site have asked that only their first names be used in this article.)

"Children in Israel study the tabernacle in school," Josh noted, "and they bring their tape measures here with them so that they can make sure this one is the size it's supposed to be."

And it is.

The walk-through model of the tabernacle -- which gets about 15,000 visitors a year -- is made to the stipulations listed in Scripture, Josh said.

It wows the kids, but it's not just for children, nor just for Jews, said Herb, a Southern Baptist representative living in Israel.

And to dispel what some might think, he said, it's anything but boring.

"When people read the Bible, they often get to the details of the tabernacle and think, 'Boring!' For many people, it's the driest part to read," Herb said. "But it really is exciting when you get into the details. It lays the foundation for our history of faith."

That's why he and others decided to bring the tabernacle replica to Eilat, Israel, from Germany in 2000 -- so that people could see that foundation for themselves.

"Without recognizing His dwelling presence in the camp," Herb said of the wilderness account from the book of Exodus, "how could we understand His dwelling presence in our lives? This is something we need to be able to see."

The tabernacle screams out the message of atonement, Sarah said. Read More

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