In the book of Genesis, G-d promises Noah that He will never again destroy the world by flood. In fact a rainbow is said to be G-d’s reminder to us of that promise. We guess that Johan Huibers hasn’t seen a rainbow in a while, because the Dutch amateur shipbuilder just completed building an exact replica of Noah’s Ark – 300 cubits (450 feet) in length, 30 cubits (3 stories) high and 50 cubits (75 feet) wide.
It wasn’t an easy journey for the construction professional who was inspired to build the ark after a fatalistic dream in which Holland was destroyed by floods. Despite what he felt was divine inspiration, Huibers, unlike Noah, faced myriad modern-day building and fire codes. Naturally tourists will flock to board what’s being dubbed “Johan’s Ark”, and Huibers is aiming to have it moored in London during the 2012 Olympic Games.
It’s not altogether different from the Temple Institute, a Jerusalem-based organization that busies itself with creating the ritual vessels of the Temple. Items like a $2 million menorah and various gold and silver vessels are standing by, waiting for Messiah’s arrival. Until then, visitors are invited to view the items at the institute’s museum.
The ultimate goal or purpose of such ventures remains somewhat unclear. It seems like an awful lot of money to spend on what amounts to a tourist attraction. Pardon the pun, but are these folks anchored in the past?