Thursday, June 04, 2015

A Word on Mount Zion

On the background of the contretemps there [1; 2;] -

The Franciscans' presence in the Holy Land started in the early 13th C, when they resided in a small house in via Dolorosa.  In 1333, King Robert d'AngiĆ² of Naples bought the Cenacle from the Sultan of Egypt and gave it to the Franciscans. In 1342, Pope Clement VI declared that the Franciscans are the official custodians of the Holy places ("Custodia Terroe Sanctoe"). This custody is still in effect to date.

From 1335 to 1551, the monastery was located in the building thought to be the site of the tomb of King David and the traditional location of the Last Supper. From 1551 until 1560, they resided in a bakery nearby. Afterwards, they relocated to another site in the city.  Only many years later did they return to Mount Zion.

The reason for that hiatus in the mid-16th century was that the Jews of the city managed to reclaim the site which originally was a synagogue built at the end of the Roman period, circa the 4th century.

My Zionism is political and I am a liberal conservative.

Therefore, I would oppose awarding the Vatican sovereignty there but if they wanted, on occasion, to use a room for prayer or, better, simple meditation​, fine. That's an offer I'd approve.

However, I would then use that situation and tell them that it will happen if they convince the Waqf to permit Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.

This has nothing to do whether King David is or is not buried there or nearby.  But that room, which I first visited in 1966, and which was highly revered by Uri Tzvi Greenberg, 

UZ Greenberg (r) at the Bar Mitzva of his son, Haim, at David's Tomb 
with Dr. Israel Eldad (far left) and Emmanuel Hanegbi (center, rear)

As a member of the Save Mt. Zion team which was founded by Shelomo Alfassa in 2005, I have no desire to yield ownership or identity yet am open to accommodation although other groups are more restrictive.

I just  wanted to clarify my position.


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