Adar 12 marks the dedication of Herod's renovations on the second Holy Temple in Jerusalem in 11 BCE. Herod was king of Judea in the first century BCE who constructed grand projects like the fortresses at Masada and Herodium, the city of Caesarea, and fortifications around the old city of Jerusalem. The most ambitious of Herod's projects was the re-building of the Temple, which was in disrepair after standing over 300 years. Herod's renovations included a huge man-made platform that remains today the largest man-made platform in the world. It took 10,000 men 10 years just to build the retaining walls around the Temple Mount; the Western Wall that we know today is part of that retaining wall. The Temple itself was a phenomenal site, covered in gold and marble. As the Talmud says, "He who has not seen Herod's building, has never in his life seen a truly grand building."
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