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April 30, 2016 / 22 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Dome of the Rock’

Jordan Adds to Western Wall Mixed-Gender Prayer Controversy

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Jordan is demanding that Israel “return jurisdiction” over part of the Western Wall to the Islamic Waqf controlled by Amman.

The demand followed the decision by the Israeli government last week to set aside the southernmost section of the Wall, known as Robinson’s Arch, as a place for mixed-gender prayer. Jordan refers to the same place as the “Umayyad Palaces.”

Jordan contends that the decision violates the jurisdiction of the Waqf Islamic Authority over Jerusalem’s holy places, an agreement made between the two countries in 1967.

On Saturday, Jordanian Minister of Communications and Media Affairs Muhammad Momani “urged Israel not to meddle with the Umayyad Palaces area and to ensure its return under the jurisdiction of the Jordanian Jerusalem Waqf Department, which is the entity responsible for administering and safeguarding the site,” the Jordan news agency Petra reported in the Jordan Times.

“Israeli occupation forces have recently settled internal differences among followers of different Jewish sects at the expense of the area of the Umayyad Palaces,” Petra said.

“Israeli occupation forces had decided to expand a platform to allow more Jewish worshippers into the area. The violation against the Umayyad Palaces is the latest in a long series of assaults and violations against the site. Occupation forces have carried out several excavation works there, destroying Arab and Islamic heritage,” Petra added on behalf of Jordan’s government.

Israel’s government approved plans last week to expand the Western Wall plaza in order to accommodate the increasing demands for non-Orthodox prayer at the site. A small wooden platform at Robinson’s Arch has already been set up for mixed-gender prayer.

Jordan’s lamentation over Israeli “occupation” is a bit spurious, given the Hashemite tenure itself as custodian over parts of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria lasted only from 1948 to 1967 – a total of 31 years.

Jerusalem has long since been reunited and whole for a period much longer than that: June 2017 will mark half a century since the restoration of the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and elsewhere in Jerusalem and the Land to the Jewish State of Israel.

However, to be fair, the dismay of the Hashemite Kingdom over the compromise over non-Orthodox prayer allowed by the government is also reflected among some Muslims in Israel and ironically is shared with some observant Jews locally and globally as well.

Mixed-gender prayer has never been allowed at the Western Wall – in fact, historically it was not allowed in either Holy Temple. In Torah law, women are not counted among a minyan (quorum) of men.

Not that this grants validity to the Jordanian claim of authority and hopes to win Waqf control of the site, which is more of a simple attempt at another political territory grab.

The Umayyad Palaces were two buildings which archaeologists say were built by the Umayyads who ruled for a period of 100 years in the late seventh century. They were destroyed in an earthquake and lay buried until they were unearthed by Israeli archaeologists in a 1970s excavation, creating a public history park to educate all.

The Western Wall is part of Judaism’s most sacred site on the planet, the Temple Mount, located alongside. The site is also the third holiest in Islam. The Wall is part of the outer retaining wall of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, its sole material remnant that has survived throughout the centuries. In Islam, it is believed that the prophet Mohammed rose up to Heaven on his mighty steed el-Buraq from a site near the Western Wall.

In Judaism, it is believed that somewhere on the grounds of the Temple Mount lies the site of the “Holy of Holies” of the two Holy Temples of Jerusalem – the inner sanctum where the High Priest (Kohen Gadol) communed with G-d Himself during sacrifices and services. No one other than the Kohen Gadol was ever allowed to enter this place, and to this day countless rabbis forbid Jews to tread upon the Temple Mount grounds for fear of erroneously entering this area.

The Israeli government does not allow Jews to pray within the Temple Mount in accordance with a status quo agreement with the Jordanian Waqf. Within the Temple Mount grounds are built the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, where Muslims are allowed to pray.

Hana Levi Julian

Hamas, Fatah Hoping Terror Wave Swells to ‘Tsunami’

Monday, October 19th, 2015

The Hamas terrorist organization is working hand-in-hand with the Palestinian Authority’s leading Fatah faction to morph the current terror wave into a “tsunami” of terror against Israeli citizens.

Fatah is using its control over Palestinian Authority media, finances, international diplomacy and politics. Hamas is using the strategies of terror.

A cartoon posted Monday (Oct. 18) on the official Facebook page of the Fatah faction shows a Palestinian Arab child kicking a long-nosed, terrified Chassidic Jew off the grounds of the Temple Mount, the site holiest in Judaism.

In the background of the picture are the Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock along with the words written in Arabic, “Leave our skies,” translated by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW palwatch.org) monitoring organization that keeps an eye on Palestinian Arab media.

A line from a poem by the PA poet Mahmoud Darwish, calling for all Jews to leave Israel, is posted with the cartoon: “Leave our country, our land, our sea, our wheat, our salt, our wounds. Everything.”

The cartoon is another addition to the long list of incitement disseminated by the Palestinian Authority’s leading faction, headed by Mahmoud Abbas – the world’s idea of the Palestinian Arab “partner for peace” towards to whom Israel should be directing her efforts.

Abbas himself said just last month:

The Al Aqsa [mosque] is ours … and they have no right to defile it with their filthy feet… We will not allow them to, and we will do everything in our power to protect Jerusalem. (Sept. 16)

That statement alone was not only silly and superfluous but also was deliberately inflammatory and lent credibility to a base lie about Israel intending to change the status quo at the Temple Mount, which it never has. Nor does the present government intend to do so now.

A subsequent statement by Abbas’ adviser Ahmed al-Ruweidi was gauged to keep the fires burning just as attacks seemed to be slowing down. “[Palestinian] residents of Jerusalem will not move from their city” he said, as if Israelis intended to throw them out, adding “Their actions and policy will not scare us.”

He added:

We will remain in Jerusalem and protect it and its holy sites (as if Israel intended to destroy the holy city or its holy sites when in fact Israel has been the only guardian of the city in a thousand years to restore the city’s beauty and allow open access by all peoples to those sites), first among them the blessed Al Aqsa.” (To this day the site remains under the province of the Islamic Waqf Authority and the Jordanian government, with the full agreement and cooperation of the State of Israel — the precious “status quo.”)

Meanwhile Hamas has also urged Arabs in Judea and Samaria to carry out suicide bombings across the border in Israel, issuing a “call to arms” to terrorists in Hebron and Shechem as the first order of the day.

Senior Hamas terror official Mahmoud al-Zahar said Sunday the current wave of terror needs to be escalated from a popular terror war into an actual, armed terror war, according to the Hebrew-language Yediot Achronot newspaper.

Al-Zahar made an open call for the use of guns and explosives, ramping up both the intensity and the scope of the attacks planned ahead.

Terrorists in the Hebron area of Judea and those in the Shechem (Nablus) area of Samaria were the first to receive the new orders. Both are situated in areas that could potentially be used as launching sites for terror attacks on all four of Israel’s major cities: Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva, Tel Aviv, and Haifa.

According to the report, an official with the Palestinian Authority security force claimed a Hamas cell in Hebron with at least six members was recently captured, together with explosives and funds. The cell members reportedly said under interrogation that they wanted to die, a revelation that led investigators to believe the terrorists had been instructed to carry out suicide bombing attacks against Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

Where Did the Holy Temple Really Stand?

Monday, October 12th, 2015

(JNi.media) The following paragraph has raised the ire of many Jews and forced the NY Times to apologize and retract. It read:

“The question, which many books and scholarly treatises have never definitively answered, is whether the 37-acre site, home to Islam’s sacred Dome of the Rock shrine and Al Aqsa Mosque, was also the precise location of two ancient Jewish temples, one built on the remains of the other, and both long since gone.”

The Times, realizing belatedly that what the paragraph actually suggested was placing in doubt millennia of Jewish teachings, posted a retraction:

“An earlier version of this article misstated the question that many books and scholarly treatises have never definitively answered concerning the two ancient Jewish temples. The question is where precisely on the 37-acre Temple Mount site the temples had once stood, not whether the temples had ever existed there.”

Obviously, if you’re to the right of the Times you know they wanted to get away with delegitimizing the Jews’ claim to the Temple Mount, and if you’re left of center you don’t get what the whole brouhaha was about. The Times amended the offending paragraph to read:

“The question, which many books and scholarly treatises have never definitively answered, is where on the 37-acre site, home to Islam’s sacred Dome of the Rock shrine and Al Aqsa Mosque, was the precise location of two ancient Jewish temples, one built on the remains of the other, and both long since gone.”

The article itself points the finger of blame for all this uncertainty at the Jordanian Waqf, saying “the Waqf has never permitted invasive archaeological work that could possibly yield proof.”

“That’s where you get to the Catch-22,” Jodi Magness, a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill told the Times. “The logical thing would be to dig.” But she acknowledged that “if you did that, you’d probably cause World War III to break out. It’s not even in the realm of possibility.”

Another expert, Jane Cahill, said “nobody knows exactly” where the temples once stood, although “pretty powerful circumstantial evidence” suggests they were on the site, and bewailed the fact that “because there have been no organized excavations there, and not likely to be, circumstantial evidence is probably all we’re going to have.”

Any discussion of the geography of the Temple Mount begins and ends with Even Hashetiah, the Foundation Stone, whose location marks the precise site of the Holy of Holies. The Mishna Yoma (5:2), dealing with the labors of the High Priest in the Temple on Yom Kippur reads:

“After the Ark had been taken away, there was a stone from the days of the earlier prophets (Samuel, David and Solomon), called the Hashetiah (the word means foundation, as in the foundation of the world), three fingers above the ground, on which he (the High Priest) would place [the pan of burning coals]. He would take the blood from [the priest] who was stirring it, and enter [again] into the place where he had entered (the Holy of Holies), and stand [again] on the place on which he had stood (between the two staves), and sprinkle (the sacrificial blood).”

In simple terms: the Mishna offers testimony that during the First Temple, aka Solomon’s Temple, which was sanctioned in 832 BCE and destroyed in 587 BCE, the Holy Ark, complete with the Ten Commandments, stood on the Foundation Stone. Then, in the time of the second Temple, between 516 BCE and 70 CE, with the Ark gone, the High Priest used the same Foundation Stone as a resting place for his pan of burning coals for the sacred incense.

The golden Dome of the Rock, located at the very center of the Temple Mount, is, according to the vast majority of Jewish and Muslim stories, built right above the Foundation Stone. This is the spot where Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac, and, according to the Zohar, the stone was brought there by our third patriarch, Jacob, on is way from Canaan to Haran.

Naturally, there are competing Muslim narratives, and the Jewish Foundation Stone doubles there as the spot from which the prophet Muhammad ascended to Heaven, although there are disputes over whether this happened in reality (modern version) or in a dream (original version).

The walls around the Rock are adorned by anti-Christian statements, written in mosaic stones, expressing doubt in their dogma.

The NY Times has, actually, gone farther than many in rebuking the Muslim Waqf for forbidding an architectural examination of the Dome of the Rock. Over the years, Israeli media have reported of many attempts by the Waqf to degrade whatever archeological remnants of the former Temples have remained beneath the Dome. It could be said that the vehement response of Muslims in and out of Israel to provocative incitement regarding Jewish plans to start visiting the Temple Mount more regularly reflect deep anxieties about the true origins of the place, which must be hidden in the rubble underneath.

Trying to explain “why is the shrine so important?” AP noted Monday that while Jewish believers say that Jewish religious practice would only be complete once the Third Temple has been rebuilt, “leading rabbis, citing religious purity laws, have banned entry to the compound since Israel captured it in 1967, along with the rest of east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza,” and “Israel’s chief rabbis reaffirmed the ban in 2013,” so that “most Jews continue to worship exclusively at the adjacent Western Wall, a Temple remnant.” Of course, the Western Wall is not a remnant of Solomon’s Temple, or even Ezra and Nehemia’s Temple, but was most likely built, judging by recent findings, by King Agrippa II, Herod’s great-grandson, as a supporting wall for his grandfather’s renovated Temple, which was destroyed only a few decades later.

There is no mystery, according to Jewish sources, about the precise location of the Holy of Holies, God’s Sanctuary. It lies directly beneath the golden dome which can be seen from practically every corner of Jerusalem. The true mystery is: why are the Muslims in Jerusalem and elsewhere so anxious, to the point of starting a wave of suicidal violence and terror against Jews — when so few Jews–a mere few hundred–show an interest in the Temple Mount?

JNi.Media

Islamic Waqf Authority Guard Arrested on Temple Mount

Monday, August 10th, 2015

In a new twist, a Waqf Islamic Authority security guard was arrested Monday morning in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount.

Israeli security personnel were forced to use pepper spray to bring the situation under control.

The incident occurred when Israel Border Guard Police refused entry to a group of Arab minors at the Lions Gate on the grounds they were going to disturb the peace. Usually, it is Jews who are refused entry to the site on such grounds.

The Waqf Authority guard intervened and began to argue with the Israel Police officers.

When they refused to allow the entry, he then tried to attack them, according to security sources. Israeli police immediately arrested the guard and defended themselves with pepper spray when he tried to attack them.

Security footage from the scene also shows that a number of other people in the area, including several other Waqf security officials, were also affected by the spray as well.

Visits by tourists to the site continued uninterrupted following the incident.

It is highly unusual for Israeli forces to arrest Muslims at the site, and completely rare for Waqf officials to ever be taken into custody.

In a special arrangement made with the State of Israel following the 1967 Six Day War, the Kingdom of Jordan was granted de facto authority over the Temple Mount – the holiest site in the Jewish faith, and the third holiest site in Islam – through the Islamic Waqf Authority.

That privilege has been exceedingly abused by the Islamic religious authority which has allowed terrorist clerics in their weekly sermons on Fridays at the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock to incite their followers to carry out murderous attacks on Israeli Jews.

Hana Levi Julian

Arab Sources: Islamic Waqf Officials Arrested for Attacking, Robbing French Tourist on Temple Mount

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

This report is a followup to this morning’s JewishPress.com report about the French tourist who was beaten on the Temple Mount by a Muslim mob.

It remained unclear by Tuesday evening whether the group of Muslim assailants were simply detained by police or actually arrested, and it was still unconfirmed whether those men are officials with the Islamic Waqf or not.

If they are Waqf officials, the police and the government likely wish to minimize the publicity in order to not exacerbate ongoing tensions.

According to Arab sources, however, six Waqf officials were arrested.

(JNi.media) Six members of the Muslim Waqf agency are under arrest on suspicion that they attacked a French tourist who raised the Israeli flag on Temple Mount, according to Israeli social media rumor. One suspect tried to rob the tourist while he was lying on the ground.

A French tourist on Tuesday morning raised an Israeli flag in the plaza outside the Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount and was brutally beaten by agents of the Muslim Waqf which controls the compound.

The tourist was arrested by Israeli police, who latyer released a statement saying that a young man “who broke the rules for visitors was detained on Temple Mount.”

Over the past week, Israeli police has been busy blocking a variety of Israelis from entering Temple Mount, including an IDF soldier tried to enter wearing his uniform, and a bride on her wedding day.

On Tuesday, Israel’s police decided to act in a case of a foreign national who had been thrown on the ground and beat up. In keeping with the rules of proportionate response, police arrested the tourist who got beaten, as well as the six men who attacked him.

Jewish Press Staff

CNN Promotes Old City on Verge of Extinction Due to ‘Political Tension’

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

CNN last week promoted the Old City of Jerusalem as the first of 25 “magnificent structures on the verge of extinction” but implied that Israel is the reason this is the “last chance to see” the sites.

UNESCO’s designation of 48 endangered sites includes the Old City and states:

As a holy city for Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Jerusalem has always been of great symbolic importance. Among its 220 historic monuments, the Dome of the Rock stands out: built in the 7th century, it is decorated with beautiful geometric and floral motifs.

It is recognized by all three religions as the site of Abraham’s sacrifice. The Wailing Wall delimits the quarters of the different religious communities, while the Resurrection rotunda in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre houses Christ’s tomb.

The term “Wailing Wall” dates back to the period before the re-establishment of the State of Israel and includes periods when Jew were allowed at the external wall of the  courtyard of the destroyed Temple Mount only on the Ninth of Av, the day that Jews bemoan the fall of the First and Second Temples.

Today, everyone in the world, except UNESCO and Muslim leaders, refer to it as the Western Wall, or “Kotel” in Hebrew.

CNN did not even mention the Kotel or “Wailing Wall.”

It told its viewers last week:

No other site has spent more time on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger. The Old City of Jerusalem has held a spot since 1982. As holy city for three different religions, it attracts millions of tourists with over 200 monuments, including the majestic Dome of the Rock.

Then came the punch line. Why is it still endangered?

But political tension has hardened relations with Israel and UNESCP, preventing any preservation plans for moving forward.

CNN added a grave warning to people concerning all of the 25 sites it listed:

Go see them now, before it’s too late: threatened by neglect, the elements, changing architectural trends of ruthless developers. These outstanding buildings are all fighting a hard battle for survival.

Another website, known as “whenonearth.com,” lists UNESCO’s 48 endangered site, not to be confused with CNN’s list of archaeological sites that it chose, and states:

Why it’s special: It has significance religious implication to Christianity, Judaism and Islam. It contains hundreds of monuments with great artistic works and architectural structures. It also hosts Christ’s tomb.

Why it’s in danger: the continuous conflicts among different religions are demeaning the city and its walls. Some of the structures have also been destroyed due to conflicts and improper maintenance plans.

Neither UNESCO nor the two websites mentioned above state that the Old City is the site of the First and Second Holy Temples, the existence of which is increasingly being denied by Palestinian Authority and Arab world clerics who are trying to manufacture a new history that erases any link between Judaism and Jerusalem.

All of the sites serve that purpose very well by simply saying that the Old City is holy to Jews as well is Muslims and Christian, without any explanation why it is holy to Judaism. The Muslim Dome of the Rock is noted. “Christ’s tomb” or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is mentioned.

Nothing is said about Jews. No Temple Mount history. No Wall, Wailing or Western. Zilch.

But CNN took the trouble to mention Israel when it explained its version of why the Old City is on UNESCO’s list of sites that supposedly are endangered.

The network furthered UNESCO’s political aim to take control of the Old City by alleging that preservation plans have not advanced because of “political tension [that] has hardened relations” between Israel and the U.N. agency.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Don’t Lose Your Kipa!

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

It’s very windy and stormy in Jerusalem. Kipas tend to fly away in weather like that.

Photo of the Day

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/dont-lose-your-kipa/2015/01/04/

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