Saturday, October 25, 2014

New Temple Mount Novel and a New Research Thesis

Alex Kalman has sold his Silicon Valley start-up and is sitting at home in an armchair bored and purposeless. The phone rings. A grandfather he never knew is dying. He rushes to the old man's bedside and finds himself promising to find the Ark of the Covenant, missing for over 2,500 years.  In Israel Alex picks up a partner in his quest -- archeologist Rivka Golan. Within days they are targeted by a sniper, chased through the streets of Jersualem by a bulldozer, interrogated by Israeli intelligence, and trapped in a tunnel under the world’s most sacred site – the Temple Mount.

No.  Not quite from today's news.

A new novel.  Yet another on the Temple Mount after others.  By Keith Raffel.

It is being launched:

This month, the City of Palo Alto Library launches California Reads book discussions... Palo Alto author Keith Raffel's fifth novel, "Temple Mount," tells the tale of a Silicon Valley CEO with not much to do after selling his company, who gets a call from his dying grandfather that sends him on a quest to find the Ark of the Covenant under Jerusalem's Temple Mount. The book will launch on Sunday, Nov. 2, at 5 p.m. at Kepler's when Raffel will be in conversation with Ellen Sussman.

that's not all.

A new archaeological-themed book penned by Rober Cornuke was published, "Temple -  Amazing new discoveries that change everything about the location of Solomon’s Temple", and I have leafed through it (it is over 200 pages long). 

Its remarkable claim, based on a previous work), is that that Solomon’s Temple was never built on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, but rather approximately a quarter-mile south in the City of David.  That, of course, does not at all fit with other experts.  But the author chooses to confront tradition and asserts that

what was built on the present Temple Mount was actually Fort Antonia, which housed the Roman garrison. This implies that the historic “Wailing Wall” was never part of Solomon’s Temple, but connected to the fortress.

How that fits in with the recorded topography of the site of the Temple, its gates, the surrounding hills, the found remains, the walls that survived, the cisterns, etc. is beyond me.  His claim theat the area where the Temple existed was "completely and utterly ripped from the earth" is unsustainable.  Jewish sources, like the Rambam's Beit Habechirah - Chapter 5, Halacha 1 - have it:

The entire Temple complex was not built on flat ground, but rather on the incline of Mount [Moriah.] 

and Halacha 5

Thus, the ground [on which] the Temple building [was located] was 22 cubits higher than the ground [on which] the Eastern Gate [was located].

But, opinion is free.


P.S.  Leen Ritmeyer on the book.


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Robert Ferguson said...

Thanks for this description of your new novel. Reading is my hobby. I look forward to all of your posts. A few days ago I read about trifles symbolism in a bird in trifles. It was so exciting. I recommend it for book lovers.

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