A Jewish immigrant from Ethiopia is looking to sue Israel’s major banks for refusing to facilitate his efforts to raise money for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem.
The man complains that Israel’s four largest banks have not allowed him to open accounts for taking in donations toward this goal, nor have they approved any of his loan requests.
He is seeking $35 million in damages, though the lawsuit is unlikely to get off the ground, as Israel’s legal system mandates a court fee equalling 2.5 percent of any large claims in order to deter frivolous lawsuits.
In his appeal to the court, the man recalled his arrival in the Land in 1991:
“We had tears in our eyes and we kissed the land when we arrived. But we later learned that the Temple was not yet built. Now God has revealed Himself to me and placed upon me the responsibility to rebuild the Temple. I have been collecting donations for this purpose, but I have been facing opposition to this plan from authorities.”
While the court rejected the appeal to waive the 2.5 percent court fee, the judge was surprisingly sympathetic toward the end goal, writing, “At this point, we will have to be satisfied with the rebuilding of the Land of Israel, if not the Temple.”