Saturday, September 09, 2017

The "Holy Temple Wasn’t on the Temple Mount"?

In an article I see that Hebrew University Zionist minimalist Dmitry Shumsky writes,

But Herzl’s Holy Temple wasn’t on the Temple Mount,” he stresses. “Herzl knew that was the historical location and deliberately placed his imaginary one elsewhere. So perhaps he hoped for a Temple, but he was also aware of the dangers of false messiahs and wanted to neutralize something of this messianism.

Odd, I thought. "Elsewhere"? But where?

So I went to the book and I read:

They came directly from Jericho up to the top of The Mount of Olives with its wide views. Jerusalem and her hills were still sacred to all mankind, still bore the tokens of reverence bestowed upon her through the ages. But something had been added; new, vigorous, joyous life. The Old City within the walls, as far as they could see from the mountain top, had altered least. The Holy Sepulcher, the Mosque of Omar, and other domes and towers had remained the same; but many splendid new structures had been added. That magnificent new edifice was the Peace Palace. A vast calm brooded over the Old City.
...Kingscourt had put all sorts of questions, and David had answered them all. Now he asked, what was that wonderful structure of white and gold, whose roof rested on a whole forest of marble columns with gilt capitals? Friedrich's heart stirred within him as David replied, "That is the Temple!"
Friedrich's first visit to the Temple was on a Friday evening. David had engaged rooms for the party at one of the best hotels near the Jaffa Gate, and at sundown invited his guests to go with him to the Temple. Friedrich walked ahead with Miriam, David and Sarah following. The streets which at noon had been alive with traffic were now suddenly stilled. Very few motor cars were to be seen; all the shops were closed. Slowly and peacefully the Sabbath fell upon the bustling city. Throngs of worshipers wended their way to the Temple and to the many synagogues in the Old City and the New, there to pray to the God whose banner Israel had borne throughout the world for thousands of years.
The spell of the Sabbath was over the Holy City, now freed from the filth, noise and vile odors that had so often revolted devout pilgrims of all creeds when, after long and trying journeys, they reached their goal. In the old days they had had to endure many disgusting sights before they could reach their shrines. All was different now. There were no longer private dwellings in the Old City; the lanes and the streets were beautifully paved and cared for. All the buildings were devoted to religious and benevolent purposes-hospices for pilgrims of all denominations. Moslem, Jewish, and Christian welfare institutions, hospitals, clinics stood side by side. In the middle of a great square as the splendid Peace Palace, where international congresses of peace-lovers and scientists were held, for Jerusalem was now a home for all the best strivings of the human spirit: for Faith, Love, Knowledge.
Whatever a man's attitude toward religion, he could not escape a reverent mood in the streets of Jerusalem when he saw the quiet throngs exchange the Sabbath greetings as they passed.
Miriam and Friedrich met an old gentleman leaning heavily on his cane, and greeted him respectfully. He stopped to wait for Sarah and David, who then slowed their pace to his. "This old man, too, has found peace here," whispered Miriam to her escort. "You must get my brother to tell you how he found and converted him. David had gone to Paris on business, and met this M. Armand Ephraim by accident. You know our David - people always like him. M. Ephraim was very much attracted to him, more than to his own relatives, who were merely waiting for his death to enjoy his fortune. All his life M. Ephraim had done nothing but earn money and spend it on his pleasures; and then, when he became too old for pleasures, he did not know what to do with his money. But he did know one thing, that he did not want to leave it to his frivolous heirs. David persuaded him to come to Jerusalem. He took him to the Peace Palace, which is an international center for great undertakings. Its activities are by no means limited to Palestine and the Jews, but include all countries and all peoples.
...They reached the Temple. The times had fulfilled themselves, and it was rebuilt. Once more it had been erected with great quadrangular blocks of stone hewn from nearby quarries and hardened by the action of the atmosphere. Once more the pillars of bronze stood before the Holy Place of Israel. "The left pillar was called Boaz, but the name of the right was Jachin." In the forecourt was a mighty bronze altar, with an enormous basin called the brazen sea as in the olden days, when Solomon was king in Israel...

...What a degraded era, that was, thought Friedrich, when the Jews had been ashamed of everything Jewish, when they thought they made a better showing when they concealed their Jewishness. Yet in that very concealment they had revealed the temper of the slave, at best, of the liberated slave. They need not have been surprised at the contempt shown them, for they had shown no respect for themselves. They crawled after the others, and were rejected in swift punishment. Curious that they had not drawn the obvious moral! Quite the contrary. Those who succeeded in business or in some other field often openly forsook the faith of their fathers. They were at pains to hide their origin as though it were a taint. Those who forsook Judaism denied their own fathers and mothers in order to be quit of it: they must have thought it something low, reprehensible, evil. To be sure, renegades had not got off scot-free, for they were treated like refugees from plague-stricken countries. After baptism, they were still suspect, and remained, as it were, in quarantine. Marranos, the baptized Jews of medieval Spain had been called. Marranoism, then, was the quarantine for refugee Jews...

...Suddenly, as Friedrich listened to the music and meditated on the thoughts it inspired, the significance of the Temple flashed upon him. In the days of King Soloman, it had been a gorgeous symbol, adorned with gold and precious stones, attesting to the might and the pride of Israel. In the taste of those days, it had been decorated with costly bronze, and paneled with olive, cedar, and cypress,-a joy to the eye of the beholder. Yet, however splendid it might have been, the Jew could not have grieved for it eighteen centuries long. They could not have mourned merely for ruined masonry; that would have been too silly. No, they sighed for an invisible something of which the stones had been a symbol. It had come back to rest in the rebuilt Temple, where stood the home returning sons of Israel who lifted up their souls to the invisible God as their fathers had done upon Mount Moriah...

...Jews had prayed in many temples, splendid and simple, in all the languages of the Diaspora. The invisible God, the Omnipresent, must have been equally near to them everywhere. Yet only here was the true Temple. Why? Because only here had the Jews built up a free commonwealth in which they could strive for the loftiest human aims. They had had their own communities in the Ghettoes, to be sure; but there they lived under oppression. In the Judengasse, they had been without honor and without rights; and when they left it, they ceased to be Jews. Freedom and a sense of solidarity were both needed. Only then could the Jews erect a House to the Almighty God Whom children envision thus and wise men so, but who is everywhere present as the Will-to-Good. Friedrich watched the dignified, clear-eyed people exchanging Sabbath greetings as they left the great house of worship. He turned to David. "You were right-up there on The Mount of Olives-when you told me the name of this place. It is the Temple indeed!"

So, where was it?

It wasn't on the Temple Mount? Really?

Just because the "Mosque of Omar" is still standing?


1 comment:

Unknown said...

We often hear people say, “If only Jews would return to the Law of Moses!
“Instead, they follow their secular, atheistic, and Zionist ways!”
They express horror at the recent deliberate slaughter of Gazans, particularly the slaughter of women and children. (1)
But haven’t these folks ever read the Jewish Bible? Are they unaware of the influence of the Old Testament on Judaism?
Please open your Jewish Bible. Turn to the Old Testament. For the moment, focus your attention on the Book of Numbers.
You are about to learn that Moses, the great “law giver,” was a war criminal who ORDERED his followers to commit war crimes. The most heinous were crimes were committed against women and children.

NUMBERS 31:13-18:
(13) Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp.
(14) But Moses was furious with all the generals and captains who had returned from the battle.
(15) “Why have you let all the women live?” he demanded.
(16) “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the Lord at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the Lord’s people.
(17) So kill all the boys and all the women who have had intercourse with a man.
( 18 ) Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.

The rest of Chapter 31 is concerned with distributing the Midianite plunder. Thirty-two thousand (32,000) virgin girls were counted in the booty (Verse 35). Thirty-two of these were given to “the Lord.” That is, 32 of these little girls were set aside for the Levities (heave offerings), to be used as concubines (Verses 40 and 41).
Yes, Numbers 31 says what it says. The Talmud sages used Numbers 31 to justify having sex with children. And since the Talmud sages, along with Christians, regard the Old Testament as “the word of God,” why beat up on the Talmud sages? Why not beat up on Jehovah and Moses, who set the standards?
For further discussion of Jewish teachings on sex with children, see the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Yebamoth 60b, Soncino 1961 Edition, page 402. Discussion and links at
It’s true. Moses was a war criminal. The Jewish Bible tells you so. Should we be surprised at how women and children were treated in Gaza?
(1) New Evidence of Gaza Child Deaths, BBC, 22 January, 2009