Monday, July 24, 2017

What is Jerusalem's Temple Mount? Why All the Violence?

Nadene Goldfoot                                          
The Temple Mount is the site on Mount Moriah where King Solomon(961-920 BCE)  built the first Temple which was used as a shrine for the ARK, the sacred vessels and offerings.  It was built with a court for worshippers.

In 586 BCE, about 375 years later, the Babylonians, led by Nebuchadnezzar, destroyed this most special temple and took away captives where they mourned for their land in Babylon.  They were able to return after many years and rebuild it on the very same spot along with those that were able to remain.  This is referred to as the Second Temple.
The Temple was in use until 70 CE when the Romans burned it down along with the rest of the city.  That means it stood for almost 900 years on the same original spot which was so special to them all.  The Romans later built a Roman temple to their many gods on the site.  Then, since the Muslim period, a mosque has stood there.  Titus had led the Roman army in the temple's destruction, leaving only the Wall which has become the only holy site left for Jews to remember their history and to pray near.  It used to be called the "Wailing Wall."
This Mosque of Omar stands right in the center of the Temple area
and is called (al-Harim ash-Sherif.  It was built by Clih Abd al-Malik in
738 to replace the temporary one built by Caliph Omar a century earlier.  
We see the Mosque of Omar (Dome of the Rock)  there today. Omar was the 2nd caliph and ruled from 634 to 644.  During his era, he conquered several ancient Jewish communities. such as Palestine, Syria and Mesopotamia.  Most Jews were expelled from northern Arabia through his orders.  He originated the Poll tax assuring Jews and Christians protection in return of the money.  Along with protection, he gave them restrictions such as not serving in public office, wearing of distinctive different clothing so as to know who they were, not allowing any house of worship to be built, etc, etc.
This 2nd mosque built in the Temple area of Jerusalem was by caliph abd el-Malik in the
8th century and called El Aksa, or the farthest from Mecca.  It was to mark the site of the legendary flight of Mohammed from Mecca to Jerusalem.  
King Herod I (73 -4 BCE) was king of Judea by connection with the Romans.  He was the son of an Idumean, Antipater and his Nabatean wife, Cypros.   Idumea was also called Edom and Mount Seir, laying south of the Dead Sea and bordering on the Red Sea at Elath and Ezion Geber.  They were originally descendants of Esau and of Semitic origin and lived by hunting.   He had rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem on a magnificent scale and had erected the 2 new cities of Sebaste and Caesarea.  He was also a cruel king and a heavy taxer.  He executed dissidents.  The Sanhedrin called him on that and had sentenced him to death for it, but he was saved by Hyrcanus and Sextus Caesar, the governor of Syria.

The Temple Mount is a 37 acre tract of land on Mt. Moriah where Abraham (1948 BCE of 2nd millennium BCE) was told by G-d to sacrifice Isaac.  Of course, the Muslim story is that he was to sacrifice Ishmael.  The fact is that Muhammad (570-632 CE) lived about 2,000 years after Moses had written this fact in his Five Books of Moses, that make up the Tanakh which are the first books found in the "Old Testament."  There were many Jewish tribes living in Medina at that time and used to tell their stories out loud and outside where others could listen.  This has been a favorite story for Jews.

King David (1010-970 BCE)  was Solomon's father.  The Jebusites were a Canaanite people living in the hill region around Jerusalem which they called Jebus.  Joshua, when entering Canaan, had defeated a Jebusite-led coalition, but Jerusalem was occupied during the reign of David, which was then the only time.  David bought the threshing floor belonging to the Jebusite king, Araunah, and this story is found in (II Sam.24:15).  The Jebusites were able to stay in Jerusalem under David and became tributary under his son, King Solomon.  They became assimilated into the Jewish population.  Of course this threshing floor was the spot of Isaac's near-sacrifice, right on Mt. Moriah.
Another stabbing attack victim on ground
The Bible indicates that a third temple will be built on or near the site of Solomon’s temple (Daniel 9:27). This would seem to present a problem given the political obstacles that stand in the way: the religious activities on the Temple Mount are currently controlled by the Supreme Muslim Council of Jordan (the Waqf).   With the latest development of violence, the IDF are now taking over the security of the visitors.
On the attack 
Of course the Pope is blaming Israel instead of the stabbers who are the Muslims.  "The violence the Pope is referring to began ten days ago when three Palestinian terrorists murdered two Druze Israeli policemen while they guarded the entrance to the Temple Mount. The Israeli police entered the site and, after a gun battle, killed the three terrorists."
Jews praying at the Wall in Jerusalem
I must say that Israel has absolutely nothing to gain by the violence that has been going on on the Temple Mount.  It was Moshe Dayan at the end of the 1967 War-started by all the surrounding Muslim countries  attacking and Israel winning-quite the miracle considering the odds who decided on giving Jordan's religious leaders the reign of rule on the Temple Mount because of the mosque there.  Dayan had fought through the 6 days as a leader and was tired.  He didn't want to stir up their neighbors anymore than what they had just gone through.  He didn't realize their their religious leaders could be so nasty as to not even allow Jews to pray there.  They haven't been able to move their lips in prayer.  
This American Jew intended to pray near the Temple.  He's a gingy (red-head) , like
King David was said to have been. 
Even my relative, Stanley Goldfoot of Jerusalem and his group which was all about the Temple Mount, had not been happy about it.  But they didn't react.  The Muslims have been slashing Jews far too long on this holy site for just being available to stab and it has been going on far too long.  This incident must have been the final straw.  Stanley died in 2006.  

Yaacov Hayman, a white-bearded Orthodox native of Southern California, has worked for decades alongside other American-Israeli leaders of the Temple Mount movement. He recently took the helm of a new government body called The Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, which is charged with preserving the holy site and educating about its Jewish history. guide explaining  Temple Mount

The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia

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