The Haaretz headline on November 30, 2009 is most intriguing, “If the Vilna Gaon was right, the Third Temple is on its way.” This has created quite a stir on the prophecy boards and e-mailings. Rebuilding the Temple is one of the things that must happen sometime before the Antichrist enters the Temple in the middle of Daniel’s 70th Week. The beginning of the Haaretz story is as follows: If the 18th-century rabbinic authority the Vilna Gaon was right, on March 16, 2010, construction will begin on the third Temple. His projection states that the auspicious day will coincide with the third completion of the Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter. The great day is at hand: On March 15, the reconstructed Hurva Synagogue, considered the most important house of prayer in Jerusalem will be rededicated. It was last destroyed in the War of Independence. Construction on the synagogue began in 1701 and it was never finished to be destroyed in 1721 by the Muslims since the Jews could not afford the loan and continuous fees imposed upon them. Hurva, which means “ruins” is how this synagogue then received its name as it lied there in ruins for over a century. It began to be rebuilt in 1836 by followers of Vilna Gaon and became the most important synagogue in the country. It was later destroyed in the War of Independence by the Jordan Legion in 1948. In 2001, the Israeli government decided to fund it as a rebuilding project. Its third completion is set for March 15, 2010. However, searching through the web has not produced the original source to verify that the Vilna Gaon had come to such a conclusion. All of the stories seem to stem from the article by Haaretz. Even though 2010 does look like the year everything changes, this story is unverifiable at this point. One aspect of this story is that some people are saying that the Temple will start to be rebuilt the following day of March 16. Did he say that or was it simply at some point after the Hurva was built the third time? It is all very interesting, but it seems not to be substantiated at this point. It is also not a biblical source, which should be taken into consideration. Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel’s prophecy seems to have a little more traction since it has already fit history to this point in time. However, if the Vilna did say this and it turns out to be true, it is not impossible for God to have done such a thing. If you find a source concerning Vilna Gaon, please send it via e-mail. Link to the Temple Institute’s answer to the rumor.