Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Shiloh Lone Wolf

In these terrible days of murder and terror, is it possible to put "lone wolf" and "Shiloh" together and laugh?

And the answer is: yes.

Here -

With the meal offered on a “donation only” basis, no one was counting the hundreds of people served fried fish Saturday, Oct. 10, at the American Legion Hall. However, a spokesman for the sponsoring Lone Wolf No Club declared it a successful fundraiser for the Shiloh Christian Children’s Ranch.“It was a very good event,” Donnie McLeod said of the motorcycle club’s fifth annual fish fry for Shiloh, estimating nearly 300 people were there during the evening, both inside and outside, where a children’s bounce house and other entertainment was provided.This was the first year the benefit fish fry was at the American Legion Hall, McLeod said. “It turned out real good, and we are very happy with it. Our goal is to make as much as we can for the Shiloh Christian Children’s Ranch,” he said.He voiced appreciation for the donated use of the American Legion Hall.Mary Novaro, another Lone Wolf member, said, the proceeds will be given to Shiloh for Christmas gifts for the children.“We are all about helping out,” she added. “It’s all about other people.”As he helped fry the 200 pounds of donated fish, club member Mark Kilby reported the cooks were also preparing fried potatoes, 115 hamburgers, 120 hot dogs, baked beans, cole slaw and onion rings. Kilby was not working too hard, he said, because “Many hands make light work.”He explained some of the Lone Wolf’s 176 members brought side dishes and desserts. “We have wonderful members, “ he said. The oldest is 93 and the youngest is 5 weeks old. The children are called wolf “cub” members.Kilby invited the public to join the Lone Wolf No Club, which meets at 7 p.m. every other Tuesday at the American Legion. The next meeting will be on Oct. 20. “You don’t have to have a bike to join,” he noted.Entertainment at the fish fry featured two bands, Rock N Roll Revival and Abbey Normal.Additional fundraising events included a 50-50 drawing, live auction, dessert auction and silent auction. “All the proceeds will be given to the Shiloh Christian Christian Children’s Ranch at Clarence,” McLeod said.


One Last Chance for Abbas. Really?

David Horovitz writes in his Times of Israel and sums up a failed policy but insists it can be somehow saved:

There is an almost surreal aspect to this particular eruption of conflict: Israel has been plunged into a terror war because of a false assertion that it intends to allow Jewish prayer at the holiest place in Judaism. This rather begs the question of why Israel would not allow Jewish prayer at the holiest place in Judaism, which it captured and liberated, to a great outpouring of Jewish emotion in the 1967 war.

The answer? Utilizing the rabbinical halachic consensus that forbids Jews from setting foot on the Temple Mount for fear of desecrating the site of the Holy of Holies, Israel’s defense minister 48 years ago, Moshe Dayan, took the pragmatic decision not to fully realize renewed Jewish sovereignty at the Temple Mount, and therefore not to risk a religious confrontation with the Muslim world. Instead, Israel opted to bar Jewish prayer there and to permit the Jordanian-run Waqf authority to continue to administer the Muslim holy places. That Israeli forbearance has all too evidently been misunderstood and misrepresented among many Palestinians as evidence that the Jewish state has no genuine attachment to the Mount. That Israeli forbearance is now rewarded with violence.

Just as Israel must acknowledge and respect the Muslim attachment to the Haram al-Sharif — as its policies since 1967 have done — so, too, the Palestinians must acknowledge and respect the Jewish attachment to the Temple Mount. Arafat emphatically failed to do so. Abbas now has what may be one last chance.

And how?  By continuing to presume the Arabs-who-call-themselves-Palestinians will change their 48 year old pattern of thought and behavior, itself based on a previous pattern of "Al-Aqsa is in danger".

That's what written at the Third Arab Congress in 1920

And the theme of the 1931 Jerusalem Al-Aqsa Congress.

One last chance for Abbas?



Sunday, October 11, 2015

Saturday, October 10, 2015

'Dwell in the City'

What do you think is the city this Quran verse refers to?

7:161 -

And [mention, O Muhammad], when it was said to them, "Dwell in this city and eat from it wherever you will 


7:159And among the people of Moses is a community which guides by truth and by it establishes justice.
7:160And We divided them into twelve descendant tribes [as distinct] nations. And We inspired to Moses when his people implored him for water, "Strike with your staff the stone," and there gushed forth from it twelve springs. Every people knew its watering place. And We shaded them with clouds and sent down upon them manna and quails, [saying], "Eat from the good things with which We have provided you." And they wronged Us not, but they were [only] wronging themselves.
7:161And [mention, O Muhammad], when it was said to them, "Dwell in this city and eat from it wherever you will and say, 'Relieve us of our burdens,' and enter the gate bowing humbly; We will [then] forgive you your sins. We will increase the doers of good [in goodness and reward]."

Input (thanks DR):

161. And (remember) when it was said to them: "Dwell in this town (Jerusalem) 

and "the soundest", Jerusalem.

Mohsin Khan (thanks EP)

And (remember) when it was said to them: "Dwell in this town (Jerusalem) 

And from Dr. AT, scholar of Arabic literature:

"אסכנוא הד'ה אלקריה"
הפרשנות המוסלמית המסורתית אומרת שהעיר היא "בית אלמקדס", בית המקדש, כלומר ירושלים. למעשה נראה שהכוונה היא לארץ ישראל כולה. צריך לזכור שירושלים נחשבה למייצגת את הארץ כולה, וגם הכינוי בית אלמקדס בספרות המוסלמית והערבית יהודית מתייחס לפעמים לארץ ישראל כולה.



Friday, October 09, 2015

NYTimes "Dig" Contra the Temple Mount

In this article, the NYTimes takes on the Jewish Temples and the Temple Mount.  Entitled "Historical Certainty Proves Elusive at Jerusalem’s Holiest Place", Rick Gladstone poses a question (see below for the paper's correction) 

"which many books and scholarly treatises have never definitively answered...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."

His theme is 

Many historians have said independent scientific verification of such a reference is problematic


The sources for the first temple are solely biblical, and no substantial archaeological remains have been verified

Gladstone, Reporter and Editor on the paper's Foreign Desk  recently reported on migrants to Greece and Binyamin Netanyahu at the UN but doesn't seem to have any specific acquaintance with archaeology.

Matthew J. Adams, Dorot director of the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem appears and is quoted saying, "We just don’t have enough primary source data, textual or archaeological, to say where it was with any confidence...“It’s also an academically complex question.”. Rivka Gonen's boomk is noted.  Wendy Pullan is quoted saying "The sources for the first temple are solely biblical, and no substantial archaeological remains have been verified". Jane Cahill, who was a senior staff archaeologist for Hebrew University’s City of David Archaeological Project, says “nobody knows exactly” where the temples once stood, although “pretty powerful circumstantial evidence” suggests they were on the site.  Kent Bramlett of La Sierra University in Riverside, Calif. offers that historical records of the Roman committed destruction are “pretty overwhelming” in supporting the existence of the second temple in the immediate vicinity of the Dome of the Rock.

Unnamed archaeologists 

agree that the religious body of evidence, corroborated by other historical accounts and artifacts that have been recovered from the site or nearby, supports the narrative that the Dome of the Rock was built on or close to the place where the Jewish temples once stood.

Of course, the main problem* is excavations and the article informs us that the

Waqf has never permitted invasive archaeological work that could possibly yield proof of either temple.

and that

Because there have been no organized excavations there, and not likely to be, circumstantial evidence is probably all we’re going to have

Gaby Barkay and Tzachi Dvira are missing.  Eilat Mazar is missing.  Dan Bahat, too.  Even a Google search could have enriched the piece.  It is not clear if he consulted with anyone at the Rockefeller Museum or reviewed the works of Robert Hamilton and his 1949 "The structural history of the Aqsa Mosque: a record of archaeological gleanings from the repairs of 1938-1942" or Jon Seligman's article in this collection.  And so many more academic articles that would provide a more balanced picture. And where is the purposeful destruction of Jewish artifacts by the Waqf?

Another dig at Jewish history and Zionism.


Don't forget, in the dirt tossed out 20 yrs ago Gaby Barkay has been finding 1st Temple remains. and Muhmammed's flight on a winged horse to a place that there couldn't have been a mosque prior to 630 is taken at face value to justify the Dome of the Rock & Al-Aqsa?

A good book. A good article.

(note: I have added some material after a first posting)


*   A note I received:  NYT Article conflates Islamic holiness of Aqsa mosque with Dome of the rock. Of course there's no mention of the doubt that Mohammed or his horse ever visited Jerusalem.


From Martin Kramer:

In fact, Muslims originally regarded the site as holy precisely because the temples once stood there. To claim otherwise is extremist incitement, of which there’s already plenty to go around.

Other blog posts

Satlow, that is Dr. Michael Satlow, a professor of religious studies and Judaic studies at Brown University and on that Satlow piece.


Washington Examiner

At Twitter.

Liel Leibowitz writes

To be fair, Gladstone’s ignorance is all-embracing. 

Jonathan Tobin.

And now they are backtracking:

Correction: October 9, 2015

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.

And not the first time Gladstone had to be corrected.

And now from CAMERA

Would the Times Question the Muslim Narrative?
Finally, it should be noted that Muslim attachment to the Temple Mount site is due to the presence there of the al-Aqsa – or "furthest" – Mosque, reputed to be the site of Prophet Mohammed's night journey to heaven. However, as many scholars have pointed out, the first version of the al-Aqsa Mosque was built by the Caliph Omar after the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in 637, well after Mohammed's death in 632. Thus the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is unlikely to be associated with Mohammed's night journey. Furthermore, nowhere is Jerusalem even mentioned in the Quran.
Recall that the Times quoted Wendy Pullan saying that "the sources for the first temple are solely biblical, and no substantial archaeological remains have been verified." So, using exactly the same logic, will the Times publish an article saying that the "sources for Mohammed's presence in Jerusalem are solely Quranic, and no substantial archaeological remains have been verified"? Will the Times publish an article questioning more generally the entire Muslim narrative of Jerusalem?

Don't hold your breath.


 the Times quotes an academic Temple skeptic:

The Times is either unaware or keeps from readers that Pullan is not some disinterested scholar. She is an anti-Israel activist who has signed her name to petitions supporting boycotts of Israel based on its supposed "breaches of international law."
"The sources for the first temple are solely biblical, and no substantial archaeological remains have been verified," said Wendy Pullan, senior lecturer in the history and philosophy of architecture at the University of Cambridge, in the book "The Struggle for Jerusalem's Holy Places."

And I'm adding Paleo-Judaism who writes that the article has "bogus historical assertions...irresponsible journalism. The two questions are not hard to mix up: one is a real question and the other is made-up Palestinian propaganda. They should have known better."

And this -
I have just received an e-mail from Joseph I. Lauer indicating that Jodi Magness, one of the specialists quoted in the article, has written to the Times protesting and correcting the misrepresentation of scholarship in this article. Her letter will be published by the Times.** 


** Jodi Magness' response letter:

To the Editor:

I am one of the specialists interviewed for “Historical Certainty Proves Elusive at Jerusalem’s Holiest Place” (news article, Oct. 9).

The question of the existence and location of two successive temples on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is not nearly as contested as the article suggests.

Literary sources leave little doubt that there were two successive ancient temples in Jerusalem dedicated to the God of Israel (the first destroyed in 586 B.C., and the second in 70 A.D.) These sources and archaeological remains indicate that both temples stood somewhere on the Temple Mount.

The only real question is the precise location of the temple(s) on the Temple Mount. The site of the Dome of the Rock is the most likely spot for various reasons, despite the lack of archaeological evidence or excavations. I know of no credible scholars who question the existence of the two temples or who deny that they stood somewhere on the Temple Mount.

Chapel Hill, N.C.

The writer is a professor specializing in early Judaism at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

And Ari Lamm thinks the reporter made

a fairly substantial mistake, with rather obvious implications. And it is difficult for me to conceive of a scenario in which a reporter could speak to experts of this caliber and come away with even the slightest impression that anyone credible doubts that the temples stood somewhere on the Temple Mount. My suspicion is that bias in favor of casting every dispute in the region as a case of he-said-she-said did play a role in encouraging this interpretation—one which happens to promote, on pseudo-scientific grounds, the total erasure of Jewish identity from this space... the Times has committed a double sin against history. By making scholars appear to cast doubt on the presence of Jewish temples on the Temple Mount, the newspaper is not just entirely mischaracterizing their views. It also makes it seem as though the ongoing Palestinian campaign to erase the Jewish historical connection to the Temple Mount is grounded in respectable scholarly argument, rather than in politics and prejudice.


Thursday, October 08, 2015

Contra The Coalition of Nay-Sayers

The entrance into the current Temple Mount compound (not to be confused with the original halachic boundaries of a 500 cubit square that was sanctified) is, admittedly, a religious problem.  But over the years, and recently, more pronouncedly, the more rigid haredi sector (but not exclusively; there is Rabbi Aviner)  opposed to entrance adds a theological-political element: the act simply upsets the Muslims so much that it is a cause for them to murder Jews, making those who promote entrance therein guilty of shared responsibility for deaths of Jews.

For example, Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, a senior Edah Hareidit rabbi, declared this week that the tragedies hang on those who ascend:

הבוקר (הושענא רבא) אחרי התפילה אמר הראב"ד למקורביו כי "הפיגועים הם בעוון עליית יהודים להר הבית".
the terror attacks result from the sin of Jews ascending to the Temple Mount.

Three months ago, the ultra-Orthodox Yated Ne’eman newspaper published a scathing editorial that combined halachic arguments with diplomatic considerations as grounds for opposing such visits. The editorial called Jews who insist on visiting the site “wild weeds,” and said, “They make it a point to throw a match into an oil well that could bury the Middle East in smoking ashes.” Surprisingly, the newspaper’s editorial...reflects claims of the Israeli left, which argues that going up to the site is an act of political provocation...

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, chief rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Sites, also takes an unequivocal position opposing visits to the Temple Mount.

Already in 2008, we read of Haredi Rabbis demanding the renewal of the ban on Jews entering the Temple Mount.  A year ago, Yated Ne’eman, called for the government to close the site to Jewish visitors, labeling Jewish visitation to the spot as provocative and contrary to Jewish law.

“They are laying out a red carpet for terrorists which will only become redder with blood as the tensions are intensified. These [people] will not be satisfied

One response to this rabbinical attitude has been that there is a status quo that prohibits prayer and not to be present within, even as 'tourists', not only would be a fatal error (but then again, there are several who are happy the Arabs control the compound and so prevent Jews from entering and are not at all interested in the issue of political sovereignty) but would endanger Jews down below at the Western Wall.  They would be struck by rocks coming down from above and soon enough, pressure will increase on Jewish residency within the Old City walls.

My thinking is that the only way we can counter Arab delegitimization and denial of Jewish history is to be there.  Take this attitude:

Arab-Israeli MK: Jews Have No Connection to Temple Mount

...In an interview Friday in a Hebrew-language publication, Joint Arab List MK Hanin Zoabi said, “The name is al-Aqsa, not the Temple Mount, and there is nothing there for Jews...the Temple Mount, which is adjacent to the Western Wall, is “a place for Muslims only, according to all the agreements signed after the occupation of Jerusalem, and the agreements between Jordan and Israel.

...When a reporter asked if she acknowledges that Judaism’s first and second temples once stood on the site, Zoabi said the temple “is not part of the political reality in which we live.”  She added that “the existence of the temple is not verified scientifically.”

Abbas' UN speech last month was noted by Jonathan Halevy

On Sept. 30, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas gave a speech to the UN General Assembly in which he outlined the unilateral steps he intends to take to achieve Palestinian sovereignty in the territories and east Jerusalem without reaching a peace agreement with Israel.
Abbas’ speech revealed his basic stance, which includes unequivocal support for terror, a racist attitude toward the Jewish people, an entrenched hatred for Israel, and a will to destroy it.
"Palestine is the land of holiness and peace, the birthplace of Jesus the emissary of love and the place of Muhammad’s ascent to heaven," Abbas said. He pointedly refrained from mentioning that the land is also holy to the Jewish people whose history has been entwined with it for millennia.

My conclusion is that a Jewish presence, not of soldiers or policemen, be a constant, accepted and recognized reality at the Temple Mount.  If the halacha recognized exceptions to the rule of ritual purity, for example,

There was a place in the upper storey [of the Temple]which was...entered only once in seven years, to [inspect it] and find out what is necessary for its repair...It is a mitzvah for [those who enter] to be ritually pure. If no [capable craftsman] who are ritually pure can be found, impure [craftsmen] may enter...All those who enter to repair the Temple should be lowered down inside crates [from the upper floor]. If no crates are available or if it is impossible [to make arrangements for them to enter] using crates, they may enter through the [usual] entrances.

then our current dilemma can also be similarly treated. 


Saturday, October 03, 2015

New Category: Guilt by proximity

As in guilt by proximity walking:

The latest attack took place just after the end of the Jewish Sabbath close to Lion's Gate in the Old City. The victims are said to have been passing near the entrance of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, en-route to the Western Wall.