Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Academic Conference on the Temple Mount

The Lander Institute in Jerusalem hosted an academic conference devoted to the Temple Mount today.

The poster:

A lecture on the concept of a holy site, another on archeological aspects of the Temple Mount, on the new Islamification ethos of the struggle to "protect El-Aqsa" and one by Prof. Menachem Klein which I did not stay to listen.

Here is Dr. Yitzhak Reitner:

Part of the crowd:


I just put this up and poof! - a new news item:

Large 2,000 year old miqve exposed in Western Wall Tunnels

A large and impressive ritual bath (miqve) from the end of the Second Temple period was recently uncovered in archaeological excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority is carrying out in the Western Wall tunnels, in cooperation with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.

The miqve was discovered inside the western hall of a splendid structure that is located just c. 20 meters from the Western Wall.


Parts of the building were discovered in the past and the Israel Antiquities Authority is currently exposing another one of the three halls inside it. It is one of the most magnificent structures from the Second Temple period ever to be uncovered.

The edifice is built of very delicately dressed ashlar stones and the architectural decoration in it is of the highest quality. From an architectural and artistic standpoint there are similarities between this structure and the three magnificent compounds that King Herod built on the Temple Mount, in the Cave of the Patriarchs and at Allonei Mamre, and from which we can conclude the great significance that this building had in the Second Temple period.

But then I read this:

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the rabbi in charge of the Western Wall and the holy places, pointed out the cooperation between the Western Wall Heritage Foundation and the Israel Antiquities Authority which have joined together in order to discover the rich history of Jerusalem there, while strictly ensuring that no excavations approach the Temple Mount compound, contact with which is forbidden by Halachic law.

That "contact" is not totally forbidden. Of course, if you ask the Waqf it is.

1 comment: said...

If Har HaBayit were to become a place of tefilah, hardly anyone would come to Rav Rabinowitz's shul... why pray in the foyer if you could actually get into the sanctuary??

Unfortunately he is not alone in this thought. Even "dati leumi" share this view such. :-P