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May 24, 2016 / 16 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Western Wall’

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

Hareidi and National Religious Jews in Massive Prayer at Kotel Today

Monday, October 12th, 2015

A mammoth unity prayer rally is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. EDT) Monday to ask God for protection and deliverance from the recent reign of Arab terror.

The organizers said:

In these days of terror and attacks on Jews, the need for unity is one of the first values that we must display with more prayers to God.

Leading rabbis from the national religious and Hareidi sectors will attend the prayer rally.

Relatives of those murdered by Arab terrorists, including those of victims who were on their way to the Western Wall to pray, will say the mourner’s prayer (Kaddish) at the Western Wall.

It would be a good idea if all Jews, regardless of whether they consider themselves religious or not, join the unity prayers.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Chief Rabbis Urges Jews to Go to Western Wall and Pray for Peace

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef has called on Jews to arrive en masse at the Western Wall on Hoshanah Raba and Shemini Azeret-Simchat Torah to pray show their strength and faith in the face of terror.

Rabbi Yosef’s message was in response to the murder of two Jews and wounding of two others in the Old City Saturday night by a Palestinian Authority terrorist.

He asked Jews “to perform the commandment of the holiday and to pray for the peace of the wounded.” and added:

The situation in which the blood of Jews is spilled like water in the land of Israel, day after day, when their only sin is their being Jews, is unbearable.

We can’t allow a situation in which Jews are afraid to go to the Western Wall,” continued Rabbi Yosef.

The rabbi called on “all the sources involved in the matter to bring about a situation in which Jews will feel secure in all parts of the land of Israel.”

The prayer rally at the Kotel parallels mass protests elsewhere in Israel, including opposite the official residence of the Prime Minister in Jerusalem.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Israel Police Limit Access to Old City of Jerusalem

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

Israel Police began limiting access to the Temple Mount early Sunday in the wake of a massive wave of terror this weekend in and around Jerusalem.

Access to the area is to be limited for the next two days, the period spanning the Jewish holidays of Hoshana Raba and Simchat Torah, the final days of the first Jewish festival of the Hebrew calendar.

Two Israeli rabbis were murdered, and a young mother and her 2-year-old toddler were gravely wounded by a teenage Arab terrorist as they were walking back from the Western Wall on HaGai Street near the Lion’s Gate.

At around 3 am Sunday morning, a 15-year-old Jewish teen was stabbed in the chest by a Palestinian Arab terrorist outside the Old City. Police saw the attack, and the terrorist with the knife in his hand, and shot him dead.

Following the attacks, Israel’s government “agreed to proposals by Israeli security services and police to limit access to the Old City for the next two days,” according to a government statement.

Access to the Old City is to be restricted to Israeli citizens, residents of the Old City, tourists and business people who work in the Old City, and students who study in the Old City.

The murderer who carried out Saturday night’s terror attack was a resident of al-Bireh, an Arab village near the Palestinian Authority capital city of Ramallah, in Samaria.

Access to the Temple Mount for Muslim prayer is to be limited to males aged 50 and above, although there will be no age limit on female Muslim worshipers. That access will be through the Lions Gate, where Saturday night’s terror attack took place.

Hana Levi Julian

Thousands at Western Wall for ‘Birkat Kohenim’

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Thousands of Jews gathered at the Western Wall (Kotel) Wednesday morning for the “Birkat Kohenim” priestly blessing, and police kept the peace to allow Jews to visit the Temple Mount.

Another 13 Arab Muslims, including five minors, were arrested on charges of trying to create disorder and violence. Nearly 200 have been arrested in Jerusalem since the Rosh HaShanah holiday began two weeks ago.

President Reuven Rivlin and Israel’s chief rabbis plan to be at the Western Wall Wednesday afternoon for the once-in-7-years “Hakhel” ceremony

A video of police arresting a Muslim woman Wednesday morning for trying to harass Jews on the Temple Mount.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

NJ Elderly Build Own Western Walls Complete with Notes Tucked between ‘Stones’

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

(JNi.media) The residents of the Jewish Home Assisted Living in River Vale and Jewish Home at Rockleigh, both glatt kosher facilities in Bergen County, NJ, have erected models of the Western Wall ahead of their mission to Israel.

“Our residents at the Jewish Home Assisted Living and Jewish Home at Rockleigh have erected models of Jerusalem’s Western Wall ahead of the Jewish Home Family Mission to Israel,” announced The Jewish Home Family Facebook Page. “Community members and Day Schools will be visiting and tucking their notes and prayers between the cracks of our replicas, which will then be taken by our residents to Israel and placed in the ancient stones in Jerusalem. So exciting!”

The 10-day journey to Israel is scheduled to take off on October 18. Residents and staff will visit Jerusalem, the Judean Desert, Tel Aviv, the Galilee, and the Golan Heights. There will also be—maybe, depending on the security situation—a visit to Bethlehem, for the Christians in the group.

“In anticipation of the upcoming mission to Israel, residents have been collecting shoeboxes to construct models of Jerusalem’s Western Wall,” noted their Facebook Page, adding that “schools and community members will be invited to visit and put notes in our ‘Kotel’ that will then be brought to the actual wall by mission participants.”

Jewish Home Assisted Living Western Wall model / Photo credit: Jewish Home Assisted Living Facebook page

Jewish Home Assisted Living Western Wall model / Photo credit: Jewish Home Assisted Living Facebook page

JNi.Media

‘Catch-22″ Comes to the Temple Mount

Friday, September 4th, 2015

“Catch-22” has come to the Temple Mount.

To be more exact, it has come miles away from the holy site.

A rally for a law “restoring all Jewish rights on the Temple Mount including prayer” is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

The logical place for the rally would be on the Temple Mount, but since the police don’t even let large groups of Jews to ascend to the holy site, a demonstration there is impossible, unless it is one of Muslims protesting the presence of Jews. Instead, the rally will be held at the western entrance to Jerusalem, at the “Chords Bridge.”

The advantage of staging the rally at the bridge is that will be seen by thousands of people leaving and entering the capital.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/catch-22-comes-to-the-temple-mount/2015/09/04/

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