64% of Israelis want Temple rebuilt

WND

Even half of secular Jews say time is right


Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Nearly two-thirds of Israelis say the time is right to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple, according to a Ynet-Gesher survey.

Even half of non-religious Jews favor rebuilding the Holy Temple – an idea politically unthinkable in Israel just 10 or 20 years ago.

The poll was release on the saddest day on the Jewish calendar – the fasting day of Tisha B’Av, or the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av. It commemorates a series of tragedies that befell the Jewish people all on the same day, most significantly the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, which occurred about 656 years apart on the same day. Jewish tradition calls for the reading of Lamentations.

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Aside from the destruction of the Jewish Temples, a remarkably large number of massive calamities befell the Jewish people on Tisha B’Av. Jewish rebellion leader Bar Kokhba’s famous revolt against Rome failed in A.D. 136. Following the Roman siege of Jerusalem, the razing of Jerusalem occurred the next year. The first crusade pogrom against Jews in Palestine began on that date in A.D. 1096.

The Jews were expelled from Britain on Tisha B’Av in 1290 and were expelled from Spain that same day in 1492. The Warsaw Ghetto uprising was crushed by the Nazis on that day in May 1943, resulting in the slaughter of about 50,000 Jews.

Nationalists in Israel also mourn the removal of Jews from the Gaza Strip in 2005, which began the day after Tisha B’av.

The book of Lamentations, written in poetic verse, mourns the desolations brought on Jerusalem and the Holy Land by the Chaldeans.

The rebuilding of the Temple is an extremely controversial idea in Israel because currently Jewish access to the Temple Mount is restricted by the Muslim Waqf, which was granted administrative authority over the Jews’ holiest sites, which are occupied by Muslim shrines.

Some Jewish leaders believe access to Jews should be restricted until the Third Temple is built.

Israel recaptured the Temple Mount during the 1967 Six Day War. Currently under Israeli control, Jews and Christians are barred from praying on the Mount.

The Temple Mount was opened to the general public until September 2000, when the Palestinians started their intifada by throwing stones at Jewish worshippers after then-candidate for prime minister Ariel Sharon visited the area.

Following the onset of violence, the new Sharon government closed the Mount to non-Muslims, using checkpoints to control all pedestrian traffic for fear of further clashes with the Palestinians.

The Temple Mount was reopened to non-Muslims in August 2003. It remains open, but only Sundays through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., and not on any Christian, Jewish or Muslim holidays or other days considered “sensitive” by the Waqf.

During “open” days, Jews and Christian are allowed to ascend the Mount, usually through organized tours and only if they conform first to a strict set of guidelines, which includes demands that they not pray or bring any “holy objects” to the site. Visitors are banned from entering any of the mosques without direct Waqf permission. Rules are enforced by Waqf agents, who watch tours closely and alert nearby Israeli police to any breaking of their guidelines.

During Tendler’s visit to the mount, he can be heard in the video complaining about the Israeli rules.

“I’m little bit annoyed at the instructions that we get,” he quipped, “as if we were aliens and have to be told how to behave on [the Temple Mount].”

King Solomon built the First Temple in the 10th century B.C. The Babylonians destroyed it in 586 B.C. The Jews built the Second Temple in 515 B.C. after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. The Romans destroyed the Second Temple in A.D. 70.

The First Temple stood for about 400 years, the second for almost 600. Both Temples served as the center of religious worship for the whole Jewish nation. All Jewish holidays centered on worship at the Temple – the central location for the offering of sacrifices and the main gathering place for the Jewish people.

According to the Talmud, God created the world from the foundation stone of the Temple Mount.

The site is believed to be the biblical Mount Moriah, where Abraham fulfilled God’s test of faith by demonstrating his willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac.

Jewish tradition also holds that Mashiach – literally “the anointed one,” the Jewish Messiah – will come and rebuild the third and final temple on the Mount in Jerusalem and bring redemption to the entire world.

The Western Wall, called the Kotel in Hebrew, is the one part of the Temple Mount that survived the Roman destruction of the Second Temple and stands to this day in Jerusalem.

The Temple Mount has remained a focal point for Jewish services for thousands of years. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple have been uttered three times daily by religious Jews since the destruction of the Second Temple. Throughout all the centuries of Jewish exile from their land, thorough documentation shows the Jews never gave up their hope of returning to Jerusalem and reestablishing their Temple. To this day Jews worldwide pray facing the Western Wall, while Muslims turn their backs away from the Temple Mount and pray toward Mecca.

Muslims constructed the al-Aqsa Mosque around A.D. 709 to serve as a place of worship near a famous shrine, the gleaming Dome of the Rock, built by an Islamic caliph, or supreme ruler.

About 100 years ago, Muslims began to associate al‐-Aqsa in Jerusalem with the place Muhammad ascended to heaven. Islamic tradition states Muhammad took a journey in a single night from “a sacred mosque” – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to “the farthest mosque,” and from a rock there ascended to heaven to receive revelations from Allah that became part of the Quran.

While Palestinians and many Muslim countries claim exclusivity over the Mount, and while their leaders strenuously deny the Jewish historic connection to the site, things weren’t always this way. In fact, historically, Muslims never claimed the al-Aqsa Mosque as their “third holiest site” and always recognized the existence of the Jewish Temples.

According to an Israeli attorney, Shmuel Berkovits, Islamic tradition mostly disregarded Jerusalem. He points out in his book “How Dreadful is this Place!” that Muhammad was said to loathe Jerusalem and what it stood for to the other monotheistic faiths.

Muhammad also made a point of eliminating pagan sites of worship and sanctifying only one place – the Kaaba in Mecca – to signify the unity of Allah. As late as the 14th century, Islamic scholar Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyya, whose writings later influenced the strict Wahhabi movement in Arabia, ruled that sacred Islamic sites exist only on the Arabian Peninsula, and that “in Jerusalem, there is not a place one calls sacred, and the same holds true for the tombs of Hebron.”

Not until the late 19th century – when Jews started immigrating to Palestine – did Muslim scholars claim that Muhammad tied his horse to the Western Wall and associate Muhammad’s purported night journey with the Temple Mount.

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Has ‘Temple’ author discovered location of lost Ark of Covenant?

FROM WND

New best-selling prophecy book claims resting place is Mt. Nebo

A new best-selling book on the hidden mysteries of the Jerusalem Temple Mount claims to have discovered the resting place of the lost Ark of the Covenant – the biblical refuge of the Ten Commandments handed down to Moses at Sinai.

In “Temple at the Center of Time: Newton’s Bible Codex Deciphered and the Year 2012,” by David Flynn, a book that has skyrocketed up the best-seller charts before its official release later this month, says his studies of the Temple Mount strongly suggest the Ark will be found at Mount Nebo in Jordan.

The discovery would be the greatest archeological find ever – as has been suggested in popular movies such as “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

In “Temple at the Center of Time,” Flynn makes the case that the Temple Mount, the home of the Jewish temples, was not just a place of religious worship. It is also is a roadmap to future events – a kind of prophetic landmark whose significance is only now revealed through the development of satellite imagery.

The book asserts it has “deciphered Isaac Newton’s greatest paradox: None other than ‘the unified field theory’ of Bible prophecy.”

Sir Isaac Newton was not only a great thinker in physics, the book explains, but had extensive knowledge of the Scriptures with a special interest in prophecy. Newton believed there was a hidden code, a type of time-encrypted language. He believed the key to deciphering this code was the Temple of Solomon. He wrote extensively on the length measurements of the Temple and suggested it intersected time and dimension, serving as a prophetic and supernatural structure.

According to Flynn, although Newton never cracked this code, he was on the right track and was limited only by the lack of sophisticated satellite technology.

“The description of Jerusalem as a terrestrial center point, situated in the center of the world, is found in Philo’s Legatio and Gaium,” Flynn notes. “The world is like a human eyeball. The white of the eye is the ocean surrounding the world, the iris is this continent, the pupil is Jerusalem, and the image in the pupil is the Holy Temple.”

Many historians speculate that because Babylon destroyed the Temple of Solomon, it also removed the Ark to Babylon. There it is said the Ark was eventually destroyed along with the other artifacts from the temple, the gold melted down and set into coins for their treasury. But the Book of Daniel makes specific mention of the golden menorah from the temple of Jerusalem in the palace of Belshazzar. The Babylonian king had preserved it, a major artifact from the Jewish temple, in an attempt to demonstrate the superiority of Babylon’s gods to the God of the Hebrews. That the menorah was set on display in this manner underscores how unlikely the Babylonians would have been to destroy the Ark, the greatest symbol of the God of the Hebrews.

Certain tracts of the Midot in the Jewish Talmud dealing with temple laws, practices and rituals allude to the creation of more than one Ark, the second made as a decoy to protect the original. They claim that certain articles of the temple furnishing including the true Ark remain in a secret vault underneath the temple mount in Jerusalem.

However, others discount the likelihood of the Ark being left to fate under the Temple Mount, open to any treasure hunter with the motivation to merely dig. It is difficult to explain how the location could remain secret, as Jerusalem remained open for excavation and plundering for hundreds of years after its fall to the Romans in AD 70. Motivated treasure seekers over the ensuing centuries have had ample time to excavate the area underneath the temple.

The recovery of temple treasure of Solomon was the highest goal of the Knights Templar that established their center on the Temple Mount during the crusades.

Various Judaic sects of Ethiopia believe the Ark has been guarded and kept in the city of Axum in their country for thousands of years. The legend claims it was brought to Axum by the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Prince Menelik I.

Some historians believe the Egyptians took the ark and hid it underground in the city of Tanis, the seat of Shishak’s dynasty. The location was lost over the course of history. That was the theory behind the first “Indiana Jones” movie.

But all of these theories are discounted by Flynn, who points out the Ark was a central focus of worship during the reign of King Josiah – long after the reign of Solomon.

Meanwhile, the book of 2 Maccabees 2:4 explains that before the destruction of Solomon’s temple by the Babylonians in 587 BC, the Ark was hidden by the prophet Jeremiah in a cave at the base of Mount Nebo in the Pisgah range of Jordan. Maccabees, as well as other Apocryphal works, are retained in modern Catholic bibles as well as the Septuagint and Vulgate.

The account of the Ark from 2 Maccabees is also mentioned in the Jewish Talmud, in Huriot 12A and Tractate Yoma 72a. These texts explain that the Ark’s location would not be recovered until the Jews were brought back to Israel following the Diaspora, an event that occurred in 1948. The pseudopigraphic book 2 Baruch, written near the 1st century, repeats the prophetic age in which the Ark would be recovered: “Oh earth … guard them [the temple vessels and the Ark] until the last times, So that, when thou art ordered, thou mayst restore them, So that strangers may not get possession of them. For the time comes when Jerusalem also will be delivered for a time, until it is said, that it is again restored for ever.”

The legendary accounts of Jeremiah and the Ark provide a hidden clue to its location at Mount Nebo. This is a symbolic link that exists between the names of the Babylonian king that threatened to destroy the Ark, and the mountain where it was hidden by Jeremiah. Both Nebuchadnezzar and Nebo stem from the Semitic root nebu, meaning the god Mercury. This was also intimated in the prophecies of Ezekiel condemning Jerusalem. The name Nebuchadnezzar means “the prince of the god Mercury.” The Hebrew word nebo is from the root neba (“to prophesy” and also “a prophet”), writes Flynn. In the same role as the prophets of the God of Israel, Nebo was worshiped as the celestial scribe of the Assyrians, the “interpreter of the gods, and declarer of their will.”

According to the Bible, the greatest prophet of all time was Moses, which states, “And there arose not a prophet (neba) since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.” Ironically, according to the Bible, Mount Nebo was the site of the death of Moses.

The Hebrew words nobe, meaning “high place,” and nahab, meaning “to hollow out,” “gate,” or “pupil of the eye,” also correlate with the location for the resting place of the ark in a “hollow cave” on Mount Nebo, described in 2 Maccabees, says Flynn.

Mount Nebo is 25.20 nautical miles due East of Jerusalem – and Flynn finds significance in that distance related to his study of the Temple Mount and its mystical placement “at the center of time and space.”

Before it is even officially released, “Temple at the Center of Time” is causing a sensation in some circles where it is being compared to “The Bible Code.”

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Has ‘Temple’ author discovered location of lost Ark of Covenant?

FROM WND

New best-selling prophecy book claims resting place is Mt. Nebo

A new best-selling book on the hidden mysteries of the Jerusalem Temple Mount claims to have discovered the resting place of the lost Ark of the Covenant – the biblical refuge of the Ten Commandments handed down to Moses at Sinai.

In “Temple at the Center of Time: Newton’s Bible Codex Deciphered and the Year 2012,” by David Flynn, a book that has skyrocketed up the best-seller charts before its official release later this month, says his studies of the Temple Mount strongly suggest the Ark will be found at Mount Nebo in Jordan.

The discovery would be the greatest archeological find ever – as has been suggested in popular movies such as “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

In “Temple at the Center of Time,” Flynn makes the case that the Temple Mount, the home of the Jewish temples, was not just a place of religious worship. It is also is a roadmap to future events – a kind of prophetic landmark whose significance is only now revealed through the development of satellite imagery.

The book asserts it has “deciphered Isaac Newton’s greatest paradox: None other than ‘the unified field theory’ of Bible prophecy.”

Sir Isaac Newton was not only a great thinker in physics, the book explains, but had extensive knowledge of the Scriptures with a special interest in prophecy. Newton believed there was a hidden code, a type of time-encrypted language. He believed the key to deciphering this code was the Temple of Solomon. He wrote extensively on the length measurements of the Temple and suggested it intersected time and dimension, serving as a prophetic and supernatural structure.

According to Flynn, although Newton never cracked this code, he was on the right track and was limited only by the lack of sophisticated satellite technology.

“The description of Jerusalem as a terrestrial center point, situated in the center of the world, is found in Philo’s Legatio and Gaium,” Flynn notes. “The world is like a human eyeball. The white of the eye is the ocean surrounding the world, the iris is this continent, the pupil is Jerusalem, and the image in the pupil is the Holy Temple.”

Many historians speculate that because Babylon destroyed the Temple of Solomon, it also removed the Ark to Babylon. There it is said the Ark was eventually destroyed along with the other artifacts from the temple, the gold melted down and set into coins for their treasury. But the Book of Daniel makes specific mention of the golden menorah from the temple of Jerusalem in the palace of Belshazzar. The Babylonian king had preserved it, a major artifact from the Jewish temple, in an attempt to demonstrate the superiority of Babylon’s gods to the God of the Hebrews. That the menorah was set on display in this manner underscores how unlikely the Babylonians would have been to destroy the Ark, the greatest symbol of the God of the Hebrews.

Certain tracts of the Midot in the Jewish Talmud dealing with temple laws, practices and rituals allude to the creation of more than one Ark, the second made as a decoy to protect the original. They claim that certain articles of the temple furnishing including the true Ark remain in a secret vault underneath the temple mount in Jerusalem.

However, others discount the likelihood of the Ark being left to fate under the Temple Mount, open to any treasure hunter with the motivation to merely dig. It is difficult to explain how the location could remain secret, as Jerusalem remained open for excavation and plundering for hundreds of years after its fall to the Romans in AD 70. Motivated treasure seekers over the ensuing centuries have had ample time to excavate the area underneath the temple.

The recovery of temple treasure of Solomon was the highest goal of the Knights Templar that established their center on the Temple Mount during the crusades.

Various Judaic sects of Ethiopia believe the Ark has been guarded and kept in the city of Axum in their country for thousands of years. The legend claims it was brought to Axum by the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Prince Menelik I.

Some historians believe the Egyptians took the ark and hid it underground in the city of Tanis, the seat of Shishak’s dynasty. The location was lost over the course of history. That was the theory behind the first “Indiana Jones” movie.

But all of these theories are discounted by Flynn, who points out the Ark was a central focus of worship during the reign of King Josiah – long after the reign of Solomon.

Meanwhile, the book of 2 Maccabees 2:4 explains that before the destruction of Solomon’s temple by the Babylonians in 587 BC, the Ark was hidden by the prophet Jeremiah in a cave at the base of Mount Nebo in the Pisgah range of Jordan. Maccabees, as well as other Apocryphal works, are retained in modern Catholic bibles as well as the Septuagint and Vulgate.

The account of the Ark from 2 Maccabees is also mentioned in the Jewish Talmud, in Huriot 12A and Tractate Yoma 72a. These texts explain that the Ark’s location would not be recovered until the Jews were brought back to Israel following the Diaspora, an event that occurred in 1948. The pseudopigraphic book 2 Baruch, written near the 1st century, repeats the prophetic age in which the Ark would be recovered: “Oh earth … guard them [the temple vessels and the Ark] until the last times, So that, when thou art ordered, thou mayst restore them, So that strangers may not get possession of them. For the time comes when Jerusalem also will be delivered for a time, until it is said, that it is again restored for ever.”

The legendary accounts of Jeremiah and the Ark provide a hidden clue to its location at Mount Nebo. This is a symbolic link that exists between the names of the Babylonian king that threatened to destroy the Ark, and the mountain where it was hidden by Jeremiah. Both Nebuchadnezzar and Nebo stem from the Semitic root nebu, meaning the god Mercury. This was also intimated in the prophecies of Ezekiel condemning Jerusalem. The name Nebuchadnezzar means “the prince of the god Mercury.” The Hebrew word nebo is from the root neba (“to prophesy” and also “a prophet”), writes Flynn. In the same role as the prophets of the God of Israel, Nebo was worshiped as the celestial scribe of the Assyrians, the “interpreter of the gods, and declarer of their will.”

According to the Bible, the greatest prophet of all time was Moses, which states, “And there arose not a prophet (neba) since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.” Ironically, according to the Bible, Mount Nebo was the site of the death of Moses.

The Hebrew words nobe, meaning “high place,” and nahab, meaning “to hollow out,” “gate,” or “pupil of the eye,” also correlate with the location for the resting place of the ark in a “hollow cave” on Mount Nebo, described in 2 Maccabees, says Flynn.

Mount Nebo is 25.20 nautical miles due East of Jerusalem – and Flynn finds significance in that distance related to his study of the Temple Mount and its mystical placement “at the center of time and space.”

Before it is even officially released, “Temple at the Center of Time” is causing a sensation in some circles where it is being compared to “The Bible Code.”

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Temple Mount ’100% Islamic’

Jerusalem and the Temple Mount belong to the Muslims and any Israeli action that “offends” the Mount will be answered by 1.5 billion Muslims, declared the chief of staff for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

“Jerusalem is Muslim. The blessed Al Aqsa mosque and Harem Al Sharif (Temple Mount) is 100 percent Muslim. The Israelis are playing with fire when they threaten Al Aqsa with digging that is taking place,” said Abbas’ chief of staff Rafiq Al Husseini.
The Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site.

Husseini was referring to Israeli plans to construct a new bridge from the Western Wall area to the Temple Mount.

The old bridge was damaged two years ago. When Israeli workers tried to repair it, Palestinian leaders claimed the work was threatening the Al Aqsa Mosque, even though the mosque is located hundreds of feet away, the work did not tunnel under any Mount foundation or touch any structure connected to the mosque, and the repair work – which had been pre-approved by Jordan and the Mount’s Muslim custodians – was conducted under the scrutiny of an accessible 24/7 webcam.

“Any hurting of Jerusalem will explode the whole negotiations between us and the Israelis … we must work to strengthen Palestinian ties to Jerusalem,” al-Husseini said.

Israel has been negotiating with Abbas in line with talks started at last November’s U.S.-backed Annapolis Summit, which seeks to create a Palestinian state before the end of the year. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is widely expected to offer the Palestinians most of the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem. The Temple Mount is located in eastern Jerusalem.

Mainstream Palestinian leaders claim the Temple Mount is Muslim in spite of overwhelming archaeological evidence documenting the first and second Jewish temples.

In a WND exclusive interview last year, Taysir Tamimi, chief Palestinian Justice and one of the most influential Muslim leaders in Israel, argued the Jewish Temples never existed, the Western Wall really was a tying post for Muhammad’s horse, the Al Aqsa Mosque was built by angels, and Abraham, Moses and Jesus were prophets for Islam.Tamimi is considered the second most important Palestinian cleric after Muhammad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

“Israel started since 1967 making archeological digs to show Jewish signs to prove the relationship between Judaism and the city and they found nothing. There is no Jewish connection to Israel before the Jews invaded in the 1880s,” said Tamimi.
“About these so-called two Temples, they never existed, certainly not at the [Temple Mount],” Tamimi said during a sit-down interview in his eastern Jerusalem office.

The Palestinian cleric denied the validity of dozens of digs verified by experts worldwide revealing Jewish artifacts from the First and Second Temples throughout Jerusalem, including on the Temple Mount itself; excavations revealing Jewish homes and a synagogue in a site in Jerusalem called the City of David; or even the recent discovery of a Second Temple Jewish city in the vicinity of Jerusalem.

Tamimi said descriptions of the Jewish Temples in the Hebrew Tanach, in the Talmud and in Byzantine and Roman writings from the Temple periods were forged, and that the Torah was falsified to claim biblical patriarchs and matriarchs were Jewish when indeed they were prophets for Islam.

“All this is not real. We don’t believe in all your versions. Your Torah was falsified. The text as given to the Muslim prophet Moses never mentions Jerusalem. Maybe Jerusalem was mentioned in the rest of the Torah, which was falsified by the Jews,” said Tamimi.

He said Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Jesus were “prophets for the Israelites sent by Allah as to usher in Islam.”

Asked about the Western Wall, Tamimi said the structure was a tying post for Muhammad’s horse and that it is part of the Al Aqsa Mosque, even though the Wall predates the mosque by over 1,000 years.

“The Western wall is the western wall of the Al Aqsa Mosque. It’s where Prophet Muhammad tied his animal which took him from Mecca to Jerusalem to receive the revelations of Allah.”

The Kotel, or Western Wall, is an outer retaining wall of the Temple Mount that survived the destruction of the Second Temple and still stands today in Jerusalem.

Tamimi went on to claim to WND the Al Aqsa Mosque , which has sprung multiple leaks and has had to be repainted several times, was built by angels.

“Al Aqsa was build by the angels forty years after the building of Al-Haram in Mecca. This we have no doubt is true,” he said.

The First Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The Second Temple was rebuilt in 515 B.C. after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. That temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in A.D. 70. Each temple stood for a period of about four centuries.

The Temple was the center of religious worship for ancient Israelites. It housed the Holy of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant and was said to be the area upon which God’s presence dwelt. All biblical holidays centered on worship at the Temple. The Temples served as the primary location for the offering of sacrifices and was the main gathering place for Israelites.

According to the Talmud, the world was created from the foundation stone of the Temple Mount. It’s believed to be the biblical Mount Moriah, the location where Abraham fulfilled God’s test to see if he would be willing to sacrifice his son Isaac.

The Temple Mount has remained a focal point for Jewish services for thousands of years. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Temple have been uttered by Jews since the Second Temple was destroyed, according to Jewish tradition.

The Al Aqsa Mosque was constructed in about 709 to serve as a shrine near another shrine, the Dome of the Rock, which was built by an Islamic caliph. Al Aqsa was meant to mark what Muslims came to believe was the place at which Muhammad, the founder of Islam, ascended to heaven to receive revelations from Allah.

Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran. It is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible 656 times. Muslims worldwide pray with their backs away from the Temple Mount and toward Mecca.

Islamic tradition states Muhammad took a journey in a single night on a horse from “a sacred mosque” – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to “the farthest mosque” and from a rock there ascended to heaven. The farthest mosque became associated with Jerusalem about 120 years ago.

According to research by Israeli Author Shmuel Berkovits, Islam historically disregarded Jerusalem. Berkovits points out in his new book, “How dreadful is this place!” that Muhammad was said to loathe Jerusalem and what it stood for. He wrote Muhammad made a point of eliminating pagan sites of worship, and sanctifying only one place – the Kaaba in Mecca – to signify the unity of God.

As late as the 14th century, Islamic scholar Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyya, whose writings influenced the Wahhabi movement in Arabia, ruled that sacred Islamic sites are to be found only in the Arabian Peninsula, and that “in Jerusalem, there is not a place one calls sacred, and the same holds true for the tombs of Hebron.”

It wasn’t until the late nineteenth century – incidentally when Jews started immigrating to Palestine – that some Muslim scholars began claiming Muhammad tied his horse to the Western Wall and associated Muhammad’s purported night journey with the Temple Mount.

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