Thursday, November 13, 2014

THE TEMPLE MOUNT-The Story Behind the Riots in Jerusalem

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                      

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem has been the scene of violent attacks this past month.  The Arabs have the Al-Aqsa mosque sitting on top of our 2nd Temple.  It isn't quite their fault as to where they located.  Mt. Moriah, where this is located, was the locale for Solomon's Temple and was a shrine for the Ark, sacred vessels and offerings with a court for worshipers.  As I look at this view of a very hot city, I see no trees; not a speck of green.  Trees create oxygen making breathing easier.  No wonder tempers can flare up here.  It's supposed to be the city of peace; David's city.
                                                                                 

It was completely destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE, but was rebuilt from 538 to 515 BCE when Jews who had been the captives, returned from Babylonia.  This second Temple was destroyed by the conquering Romans in 70 CE, when all broke loose and people were taken away as captives by the Romans or who had managed to leave for parts unknown then.  Some were able to hide out in locals unknown to the Romans right in Judah or Israel.

 The Temples had been  on the very site where Abraham prepared to offer Isaac.  It's the site of the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite purchased by David on which to build an altar.  This is why Solomon built G-d's Temple there.
                                                                                 
In 70 CE Jerusalem was under siege during this Roman War, and the Temple served as a center of military activity for them.  After being destroyed, a Roman temple was built on the site.  Since the Moslem Period after 632 when Mohammad died, a mosque has stood there called the Mosque of Omar aka Dome of the Rock which is built in the center of the Temple area (al-Harim ash-Sherif) in Jerusalem by Caliph Abd al-Malik in about 738 CE to replace the temporary mosque set up by Caliph Omar 100 years earlier.  It is sitting on the traditional site of Mt. Moriah.  Omar ahd been the 2nd caliph who ruled from 634 to 644 and had conquered several Jewish communities such as Palestine, Syria and Mesopotamia.  On his orders, most of the Jews were expelled from northern Arabia.  He supposedly made the covenant with the Jews and Christians which assured them of protection in return for payment of a poll-tax.  He restricted them by excluding them from public office, wearing certain clothing and prohibited them from erecting new houses of worship (synagogues).

Abdullah was the Arab king who had what first was called Transjordan detached from the area originally incorporated under the Palestine Mandate which was promised to be part of the Jewish Homeland.  Then in 1948 he annexed the eastern part of Cisjordan (West Bank with original name of Israel (Samaria) and Judah).  It had already been designated by the UN as a separate state.  Then he proclaimed he was king of Jordan.  His grandson, Hussein took over in 1952 so was king during the 1967 war where his army was defeated and Israel took back Israel and Judah.
                                                                       
I skip now to 1947-48 in our first war with our neighbors, the War of Independence.  In every war we have had, we have been attacked first.  We lost east Jerusalem to Jordan who had taken it illegally when we were under attack from all the Arabs of all the surrounding states.  We gained in back in the Six Day War of 1967.  Now we could visit the Wailing Wall, now called the Western Wall.  It had been part of the wall that enclosed Herod's Temple still standing in the Old City of Jerusalem.  It stands very close to the site of where the Temple's Holy of Holies (at the Western end of the Temple).  This part of the wall is sacred going back to the Talmudic Period since at least the 10th century CE.  Regular services had been held there before.

This area in front of the Western Wall is Moslem property.  A riot broke out between Jews and Moslem in 1929 and again in 1931 when the British held the mandate over it, so they were the policemen.  .  It took a special commission of the League of Nations to regulate the rights of the parties to stand there.  A paragraph in the Israel-Jordan 1949 armistice Agreement affirmed the Jewish right of access to the Wall but Jews were kept away until after June 1967's end of that war.  It had come under Jewish sovereignty for the first time since the 2nd Temple period.

On Shavuot 1967, Israelis could visit the Wall and it was visited by 200,000 people and since then is the focal point for Jews to see from all parts of the world.  Excavations in 1968 uncovered many remains dating from Temple times.  It was exciting.  When IDF soldiers had won in 1967, they also had immediately gone to the wall and cried and danced in joy.  No other people can understand the tremendous feeling that were released; the happiness, nor the meaning of such a place that had played such a major part of our history going back to Solomon (961-920 BCE).

Moshe Dayan did an honorable thing at the end of 1967's war.  He left the site in Jordan's hands in order to keep the peace.   Moshe had served in 1948's War of Independence.  He had lost his left eye in 1941 serving in the British army in Lebanon.  In 1948 his unit fought against the Syrian army.  He became chief of the general staff of the IDF in 1953-1958 and in 1956 fought in the Sinai Operation.  By 1959 he was an elected official in the Knesset.  Just before the Six Day War of 67 he joined the government as minister of defense.  He resigned in 1974 over the problems of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
                                                                           
Jews want to pray on the Temple site where the 2nd Temple had once stood but the problem of a Mosque standing over it remains.  But many rabbis — though not all — tell their followers not to set foot on the Temple Mount. That's in part because it's not entirely clear where the ancient temples stood. They were destroyed long ago, centuries before the Muslims built their holy site atop the ruins in the seventh century. Rabbis fear the Jewish faithful could inadvertently tread on the "holy of holies" — the inner temple sanctuary where the highest priest spoke directly to God.
                                                                       
August 15, 1967:   IDF Chief Chaplain Aluf Shlomo Goren, and fifty followers including other army chaplains hold a service on the Temple Mount. Goren contends that some parts of the compound are not part of the Temple Mount and therefore the ban against Jews stepping on the Mount until the Temple is rebuilt does not apply. He said his measurements were based upon Josephus, Maimonides, Sa'adia Gaon and archaeological evidence. He also declared that the Dome of the Rock is not the site of the Holy of Holies.The defense ministry criticizes Goren noting that he is a senior army officer. Goren claims he first met with Warhaftig and that the Moslem authorities consented to his prayers.

Goren then became Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1973 to 1983.  "Goren was  well known for his controversial positions concerning Jewish sovereignty over the Temple Mount.  Fighting off protesting Muslim guards and Israeli police, they defiantly held a prayer service. Goren continued to pray for many years in the Makhkame building overlooking the Temple Mount where he conducted yearly High Holiday services. His call for the establishment of a synagogue on the Temple Mount has subsequently been reiterated by his brother-in-law the Chief Rabbi of Haifa, She'ar Yashuv Cohen.
                                                                                   
In 1970 Hussein expelled Arafat's PLO from Jordan!  They were trying to take Jordan.   He altered his attitude towards them to become their protector, but got out of that position in 1988 to leave their managing up to themselves.  His major people, thus his supporters, are Bedouin tribesmen but the majority of his subjects had become the Palestinians.  Jordan's population was 2 million population in 1992 of whom 85% are Moslem Arabs.

Bringing this up to date, on October 17, 2014, the Jewish Press's story on the front page was about dozens of masked terrorists, probably jihadists, who were about to carry out an attack  on Jewish and Christian worshipers on the Al-Aqsa mosque compound early on Monday morning, the 20th.  They were there at the Temple Mount with rocks and fireworks.  During the night they had gathered up weapons and prepared Molotov cocktails inside the mosque.  Then they barricaded the mosque with nailed shoe racks to the doors and using metal rods for an obstacle course along with wooden beams and barbed wire.  They made shields out of wood and wire mesh for rock throwers and fireworks shooters.

The Jerusalem police were right on it from their intelligence work and surprised the attackers.  They surprised the attackers before they had started attacking and removed the obstacles and then locked the terrorists inside the mosque.

Yet the police are being blamed for allowing riots to happen in the first place which have happened in the past years and up to today.  Jews feel that the police are weak towards the Muslim law breakers.  Jews are demanding to be allowed to pray near the mosque.  Others say all of Jerusalem is their capital and why can't they pray there?

It's just the opposite situation from Ferguson, North Carolina over the death of an 18 year old black man , Michael Brown, who the police thought had robbed a store and had been driving around looking for the culprit.  They seemed to go to great lengths to stop this man who was with another fellow, hunt him down and wanted to get his story, but a scuffle ensued and they wound up shooting him instead.  Now the whole city is ready to riot; blacks against whites, police against rioters.  They will riot if the policeman who shot Brown isn't found guilty.

In Christianity's New Testament, The gentile nations are judged on the basis of their treatment of God's covenant people Israel, during the times of the gentiles (Matthew 25:31-46).

Let me tell you right now that our treatment has been lousy!  For the past 2,000 years it has been full of slaughtering of the Jews, expelling from countries, and of course the major holocaust in trying to kill us all off by killing 6 million.  Our treatment right now is going from bad to terrible once again.  Europe is back to 1938's attitude against us.  Iran plans to kill everyone in Israel with an A bomb.  It's nothing for the gentile nations to be proud of after 2,000 years of being able to change for the better.  

The happenings today of jihadists rioting can be on purpose in trying to start the 3rd intifada.  ""The events surrounding the Al-Aqsa can lead to a new intifada, and provoke a new wave of aggression in the region between the Palestinians and Israelis," al-Rantawi told Trend News in a telephone conversation. "Israel is playing with fire, because a new wave of aggression can spread to the whole Muslim region, based on the fact that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is a symbol of the entire Islamic world."

Moshe Feiglin, a man who has run for Prime Minister, is a leader in allowing Jews to pray on the site.  He  brought a group to visit the Temple Mount following holiday prayers at the Western Wall.  This is an important pilgrimage, he feels, of going to the courtyard of our Holy Temple and should be accompanied by poetry, drums and song, not in the environment of hearing explosions and gunshots.  
                                                                            

Tens of thousands of Jewish worshippers from Israel and other countries gathered at the Western Wall on Sunday for the traditional Birkat Kohanim (priestly blessing prayer).  On Friday, the Muslim sabbath, the police had to restrict Muslim men entering the Temple Mount to only men over 50 because of the rioting going on at the holy site 2 days earlier.  4 police were injured in the violence and 5 protesters were arrested.  

Personally, I agree with Netanyahu in that this is not a time to open the whole site to us Jews for prayers.  It is something Muslims are using to open Pandora's box and start something far worse than the 1967 Six Day War or the 1973 Yom Kippur war.  There are other ways of fixing this problem of wanting to pray at this site, so holy to us maybe or maybe not.  
                                                                           

First, meetings with King Abdullah is in order to reach some agreement to keep everyone happy.  There could be a time established for Jews.  Christians are allowed to be in places Jews are not.  This isn't right at all and causes such grievances.  Evidently the Muslims are afraid of our prayers which seem to be so strong and so well heard, so we could pray in our group of 10 or more men and get results elsewhere and do not need the Temple Mount to pray from.  

My cousin, Stanley Goldfoot, was a member of the Temple Mount and from 1980 to 85 they were preparing for the 3rd Temple but didn't know where they would build it.  Some people today advocate tearing down the golden domed mosque to rebuild.  I am against this entirely.  This is no time to stir up such problems when we are facing serious threats from Iran.  This would surely give them the opening they would enjoy to blow Israel off the map.  

What's important right now is that people pray; not where they pray.  Yes, Jerusalem is in our hands and we want to keep it that way.  Dayan was trying to keep the peace.  Let's continue to do so.  The Jerusalem Law of 1980 extended Israel sovereignty over the entire city.  We still cannot get the USA to accept the fact that it is Israel's capital.  Evidently the USA government are in denial about Jerusalem, having never read about it, I suppose.  

Our goal is peace, not showing our power against the Arabs over praying at the Temple Mount.  By our allowing this, it shows Jews  are bigger with more grace than Muslims are about it.  Now they could reciprocate by allowing Jews some modicum of pleasure by being able to do some praying there, too.  I know this attitude of mine goes against many of my friends, but feel we must keep our main goal in mind.  Peace to all in Jerusalem.  I can't see starting the final war over it, for it would be the war of all wars.    

Resource: The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_Mount
http://www.ldolphin.org/chron.html
http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21612199-police-kill-unarmed-teenager-sparking-riots-st-louis-blues
http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/11/12/363346575/israeli-jews-divided-over-right-to-visit-jerusalem-holy-site
http://www.templemount.org/recent.html



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