This is one of those issues that ought to be shocking, but about which nothing is done. For years — I’ve written about this before — the Muslim waqf that controls the Temple Mount has been systematically destroying archaeological artifacts of Jewish provenance at the site.
The main holiday events took place on the last day of Sukkot, Hoshana Raba. The Gaon would lead the people around the Temple Mount, and then the crowd made its way to the Mount of Olives. After they climbed the mountain, they circled it seven times. A monumental stone marked the spot where God looked over the Temple Mount. The Gaon would sit on this stone as he spoke to the assembled crowd.
On the issue of demographics, the numbers make things quite clear that even before modern Zionism began, the city was Jewish and only Muslim repressive policies artificially kept the numbers of Jews down before the mid-19th century.
The ancient synagogue in Meron is located on a hill above the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Like other Galilean synagogues from the Byzantine era, its entrance faces south, towards Jerusalem. But what makes this synagogue special is a story from its later history.
There is an old rabbinic anecdote about a rabbi who was called on to deliver a eulogy for someone who had no redeeming social value whatsoever. The rabbi was hard pressed to think of anything positive to say about this person. So when he spoke he solemnly pronounced: “No matter how evil the deceased truly was, he was still a far better person than was his brother!”