"...My hope is that all this media that I'm coming out with can inspire people, and give them hope for the future of Israel, and the world. I personally would not venture in there even if I DID find the opening, as who would go into such a place uninvited? After the Tabernacle was built in the desert, even Moses couldn't enter uninvited!" -Harry Moskoff
In a previous BCN article, partially reprinted from Breaking Israel News, IT specialist, musician, film maker, author and researcher; Harry Moskoff was introduced as the "Jewish Indiana Jones," regarding his quest to find the Biblical Ark of the Covenant. Recently, Mr. Moskoff granted us an interview on how his search is progressing, and—considering the tinderbox that is the political and religious atmosphere surrounding Israel—how he must be creative in disclosing what he's found... (Photo Credit: Associate Producer James D. Long/with Permission)
Breaking Christian News: Harry, thank you for taking some time with us. What is it that first drew you toward searching for the Ark of the Covenant, and what is your purpose in doing so now—how has that mission changed over time?
Harry Moskoff: First of all, thanks Aimee for having me on this interview. I've been on interviews all this week at the INTV Conference here in Jerusalem for The A.R.K. Report, and it's a pleasure to be now with BCN.
Searching for the Holy Ark came out of my original desire to find out for myself the real location of the Temples on the Temple Mount, which began over 20 years ago. After researching through all the most popular theories, I realized that many of them cancelled themselves out, and at the same time, I read about this incredible discovery in a book called: In the Shadow of the Temple by the famous Israeli archeologist, Meir Ben Dov. In the early 1980's, he discovered this tunnel that went under the southern gates of the Temple Mount and into a ritual bath (a mikveh in Hebrew). This was exactly the same tunnel as described in the Talmud, the other end of which leading to the exact spot where a certain large chamber was in the Second Temple. After putting all the clues and proofs together, which later became The A.R.K. Report, I realized that it is unlikely that the Temples were located where the Dome of the Rock is today, and must have been further to the southwest of that spot. This in turn led me to discover some of the key entrances to the tunnels beneath the mount, and into the mystery of where the Ark may be hidden. All of the archeological, topographical, historical and Scriptural proofs sort-of came together. The project has only gained momentum over time, but I must say it has become more political, especially now that elections are upon us in Israel. Unfortunately, with sensitive subject matter like this, you simply can't avoid the politics. (Photo Credit: Associate Producer James D. Long/with Permission)
BCN: Many archaeologists and scholars have pursued a search for the Ark over the years, are you coming at it from a different perspective? What makes your research unique to this quest?
HM: Yes indeed. I have read all the books out there (I believe), and this one is different because it is almost solely based on Jewish scholarly texts, and is not just a personal quest/adventure tale, although I do respect all those before me who have embarked on this journey and paved the way. The book is also much broader in dealing with the subject matter, as I present details on how the Ark actually works according to a scientific perspective, as well as interviews with key political figures like Governor Mike Huckabee, etc. who chime in on the current geopolitical scenario surrounding the Temple Mount and Jerusalem. (Photo: Harry Moskoff with Gov. Mike Huckabee/Credit: Associate Producer James D. Long/with Permission)
BCN: While some have speculated that the Ark is some place in Ethiopia, the traditional thought is that the Ark is likely somewhere underneath the Dome of the Rock, where the al-Aqsa Mosque sits… but you disagree? What have you discovered so far in that regard?
HM: You have to read the book! (joking). Yes, I do disagree with the conventional opinion that the Dome is the site of the Holy of Holies in the Temple. As mentioned, the "Moskoff Theory" points to a place that is further removed to an open area to the southwest of the Dome. Chapter 5 deals extensively with that.
BCN: You mentioned your book, and you have also produced a film—The A.R.K. Report - Secret for the Century, which won awards at the International Film Festival in Houston, and the Charity Film Festival in Monaco—and which you describe as a "docudrama" that is based on your findings. So why did you decide to present your theories through this type of film instead of just a typical documentary? (Credit: Associate Producer James D. Long/with Permission)
HM: To be frank, I was told by the leading Rabbis in Israel that if I were to make another movie, it should not be too specific as to the findings of the research, but should instead be more ambiguous vis-à-vis the location. This is the reason why we made the movie a sci-fi drama that takes place in the future. All the clues are in there, but it's a movie where you have to think, ala Alfred Hitchcock. A documentary will be coming out though, G-d willing, that has all the interviews that are in the book. We did do a short documentary years ago though, that apparently is still available on YouTube.
BCN: Is that film available now for people to watch?
HM: Technically, The A.R.K. Report it's still on the Festival circuit so it's not in distribution yet. You can view the teaser though on our site: www.arkreportfilm.com/home/ and you can look it up on Wikipedia and IMDb for more info.
BCN: What about your ongoing search for the Ark, have you reached an impasse, in that the place where you'd like to dig is "off limits" politically, or are you continuing to investigate in the areas where you believe clues will turn up?
HM: I wouldn't necessarily call it an impasse, because with the Torah there's always so much to learn. It is getting harder though to go to the next steps. I would like to investigate further though from an archeological standpoint, and reach this specific tunnel underneath the Double and Triple Gates on the southern slope of the Temple Mount, but it is very difficult to find the entrance and/or the right archeologist that has permission to take me there. As an official Press organization, Moskoff-Media would be allowed access, but that is my next task and it's quite an imposing one. I think that just being there would be such a huge inspiration and opportunity to pray. (Credit: Associate Producer James D. Long/with Permission)
BCN: Suppose you were allowed to go into and investigate the areas where you believe you'll find the Ark, and you do find it—what will the impact be, how will it affect the political and social and religious situation in and around Israel; and what about worldwide?
HM: This is a question I'm often asked at my lectures and presentations. For the record, I don't condone going up to the Temple Mount and going against the established ‘status quo' of the area. Although it should be noted that unfortunately the status quo has changed slowly over the years towards a more prominent Muslim control over the area and therefore, increased restrictions for both Jews and Christians. Investigating those areas and underground now would be unwise, and I'm not so sure that the Divinely ordained time has arrived yet. The truth is that only Elijah the Prophet knows where the Ark of God really is, and my hope is that all this media that I'm coming out with can inspire people, and give them hope for the future of Israel, and the world. I personally would not venture in there even if I DID find the opening, as who would go into such a place uninvited? After the Tabernacle was built in the desert, even Moses couldn't enter uninvited!
There are about 50 known tunnels underneath the Temple Mount, and in my book I reveal the top 5 that I believe would lead to the chamber where the Ark has been for over 2700 years. Obviously, finding it would be (and will be) a colossal milestone in the history of mankind, and a find of historic proportions that will bring on the Messiah, according to the Ramban, and other classic Jewish sages. However, if it's theoretically discovered before it's time, the government could very likely put it in its own Smithsonian Museum for the Ark or something. Obviously, tourism in Israel would soar, but this is not just a sacred artifact. In fact, it isn't even like finding the other Temple vessels. It's an extremely powerful and thus dangerous, device, like a reactor, which is brimming over at any given moment with electrostatic energy or a holy chashmalin Hebrew (if you're inclined to the scientific perspective), and at this point I can actually say that the Ark is also acutely aware of its surroundings at any given moment. It "knows" as it were, if you have permission to be in its presence, or not. It would be the ultimate proof of the existence of God, and His relationship to the Jews, and all peoples. (Credit: Associate Producer James D. Long/with Permission)
BCN: What are you planning as your 'next step' in this endeavor?
HM: Well, we would like to see our pilot be made into a scripted TV mini-series, similar to the way DIG was made recently on NBC, and I am searching now for an appropriate literary agent to get my book officially published. What we have now is the Advanced Readers Copy, and it has already made its way to AMAZON and at a discount on the Israel365 webstore (if they still have it in stock), but we are looking for a more solid distribution deal. Charisma House offered a tentative proposal, but that's going to take a while, it seems. I know people are interested, or at the very least curious, as so far all my lectures have been sold out, and I enjoy getting the good word out there! If need be, I can be contacted via our Facebook Ark Report fan page or through Linked In. I am also excited about contributing to Governor Mike Huckabee's campaign, if/when he decides to go for the 2016 Presidential run.
BCN: How can those who catch your enthusiasm and vision for finding the Ark of the Covenant, partner with you, or help to get the word out about your research?
HM: Well, this would have been the question to ask at the recent National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) Convention in Nashville. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it this year, but I really wanted to! I was hoping to hook up with networks that would be interested in making the book into a series (which we already have scripted) or doing a series of live interviews or presentations in their communities. The film agents I met at the INTV Conference have expressed interest in the pilot and perhaps finding an appropriate Director and team for the upcoming documentary, but I'm open to the possibilities in the "faith-based" arena. I found that the southern states especially have been so supportive of this project. The book was even forwarded to Pastor John Hagee in Texas last week. Feel free to share this on your social media platforms and hook up with me on Twitter, etc. and we'll see where that goes. It's still the beginning. (Photo: Harry Moskoff with Professor Gabriel Barkey/via Facebook)
BCN: How has your research, the book and film and all that you've discovered so far, affected your faith, if it has?
HM: What a loaded question! I'll go for it anyways. Wow. Of course it has Aimee. It has empowered me tremendously, and I thank G-d for that. This is my life, what I breathe every day when I wake up and sleep. It has been my inspiration ever since being a jazz drummer at Berklee as a teenager! The difference is that now, finally, I'm giving myself a chance to DO something with all this info that has been my passion forever (almost). Patent and Trademark Agent during the day, Indiana Jones at night (according to the Jerusalem Post, where I am a columnist). I think that everyone should pursue their dream at some point in their life. Whether it's successful or not is up to G-d, but it's my job to plant the seeds and put the concepts out there. In this latest case, the findings of the Ark Report. It's designed to raise awareness, i.e.—that these ancient artifacts really do exist, and will have a vital role in the future, a great future for you and me, Israel, and the whole world.
And may it be soon, amen!