Thursday, September 17, 2009

Two is Better than One (or is it?)

Growing up in America, outside a bastion of Orthodox Jewry (AKA Brooklyn), I, at a young age became familiar with a truly unique (and sad) American Liberal "Jewish" phenomenon known as the "Chemple". It was an unfortunate reality ...that in many communities people of all faiths were becoming so apathetic and turned off to organized religion, that it was impossible for religious groups to maintain and fund independent institutions by themselves. So, born was the Chemple, Temple on Saturday, Church on Sunday... Now my friends, in the true spirit of American Liberalism and Multiculturalism, I'd like to introduce everyone to the "Temosque"...

(I wonder when the Messiah comes and the Temple is rebuilt, if will they rent out the space to other religions (or sporting events) during slow times???)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Baba Sali Hillula 5767

Photobucket Album

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Kfar Tapuach Visits the Temple Mount

This morning myself and about 20 of my neighbors made a group visit to the Temple Mount, some for the first time.
At first there were some problems allowing some members of the group to enter (including myself) but in the end everyone was permitted in, with extra special restrictions (in addition to the normal laundry list of restrictions) l'kvod Ramadan.

Here are some pictures with brief explanations and a view you don't often get to see of the makom hamikdash:

Above is the temporary ramp heading up to the Temple Mount. Arabs or more accurately Muslims have free access through any of the many gates of the Temple Mount. Jews and tourists can only enter during very limited hours after a thorough and demeaning security check and lecture through the Mugrabi (Rambam) Gate which is pictured below from both sides:

The Temple Mount is under administrative control of the Wakf Islamic Trust they basically have full jurisdiction over the site and de facto sovereignty. A member of the Wakf accompanies the police escort of every group of Jews, mainly to ensure that no one utters a word of prayer or makes any gesture that could remotely be interpreted as prayer. Yes, you heard correctly; praying on the Temple Mount is ILLEGAL in the State of Israel and you WILL be arrested and forcefully removed if you are caught doing so:

Here is a view from the OTHER side of the Kotel, directly opposite the plaza and prayer area:

Notice how low the wall is on this side and how easy it is for the Arabs to throw stones and other objects down upon the Jewish Worshipers at the Western Wall. This used to be a weekly occurrence EVERY friday after Afternoon prayers on the Mount (even though it never made the news), and the police did little to stop it and ushered the JEWISH victims away from the Wall instead of the Arab aggressors.

Here are some photos of the area directly behind the Western Wall between it and the Dome of the Rock which is according to most opinions where the Beis Hamikdash stood. Notice the abundance of trees which is in violation of specific Mitzvas lo sasay not to plant any trees on the Temple Mount.

Here is a photo of the South West Corner of the Mount, I believe there is some Museum of Islam here but Jews are not allowed inside. To the right is the end of the Western Wall where there are now excavations going on (Wilson's Arch I believe). To the left is the Al Aksa mosque (not in the picture):

Here is a view of the dome of the rock from directly in front of the Al Aksa Mosque. The mosque blocks part of the Sharai Chulda which was the main entrance to the Temple Mount by Jews who ascended from the City of David (where most of the population lived). In the times of the Temple this is the view the Jews would have as soon as they entered the Mount, but obviously with the Beis Hamikdash there instead of the current structure. I couldn't take pictures of the entrance to the Al Aksa Mosque because the Arabs were particularly ancy today, probably as a result of fasting. But it is not much to see anyway, some green doors and cubbies to put your shoes.

Here is a picture of the South East corner, the area known as "Solomon's Stables", which BTW had nothing to do with Shlomo Hamelech or the Temple, and this part of the Temple Mount was added by Herod centuries later. The right side is also opposite the Chulda Gates, the main entrance for Jews in Temple Times and the Eastern side of the Al Aksa Mosque can be seen.

Notice all the construction equipment. The Arabs have turned the entire NE corner of the Mount into a HUGE underground mosque in the process destroying precious holy artifacts from the Temples, and undermining the structure of the walls which had to be fixed by Jordanian engineers. The fill is just dumped in piles on the Temple Mount then carried away by dump trucks and discarded like yesterday's trash. In addition to trying to convert the entire Temple Mount into one giant Mosque, there is a clear goal of the Arabs to destroy all physical evidence that the Temples ever stood. Sadly, the Israeli government does nothing to prevent this wanton destruction, despite the physical danger of the entire area collapsing potentially killing thousands of Muslim worshipers (let alone the archaeological and historical damage to the Jewish People and the deliberate defacement of our most holy site:

Here is a picture of the SE corner directly on top of the huge underground mosque. The scaffolding on the wall is part of the process to repair the buckle in the wall and prevent a full scale collapse:

Here is a newly built entrance to one of the underground mosques. This was not here last time I was on the Temple Mount:

Here are piles of stones which are being used to pave the entire surface of the Temple Mount. For centuries most of the Mount was unpaved dirt:

Here are piles of rubble from the excavations waiting to be hauled off and dumped. Who knows what precious artifacts are here?

Here is the length of the Eastern Wall, during Temple times Jews would enter through the Chulda Gates on the Southern Wall and make the quarter turn and enter the Temple from the Eastern side.

Here is the "Shar Hamizrach" the gate which faced the Mount of Olives so that the Kohen could see into the Beis Hamikdash while he prepared the Para Adumah. This was the main entrance into the Ezras Nashim of the Temple and where the masses would enter. This site has traditionally been a place for Jews to Pray (subversively) on the Mount, partly because of its secluded location and because of the special holiness of the site. The well known custom to walk backwards while leaving a Shul or the Kotel comes from the halacha that it is forbidden to turn your back on the Shar Hamizrach.

The inside of the "Sharei Rachamim" the gates where Moshiach is foretold to enter the Temple Mount. The Arabs know this tradition and have bricked up the gates from the outside in at least a symbolic effort to hinder the coming of Moshiach and the rebuilding of the Temple. Here is the view from the inside:

A view of the Dome from the NE corner:

A view from the Northern side:

A closeup of the Dome of the Rock:

Some of the Gates in the Western Wall, notice the names some of which are Traditionally Jewish such as the "Nazir Gate":

The Temple Mount is In Our Hands?? Someone doesn't seem to think so...
Palestinian Flags on a building bordering the Western side of the Mount, I believe Faisal Husseini and others are buried here.

A view from directly behind the Kodesh HaKodeshim, the "inside" of the Kotel Hakatan:

Our Police and Wakf escorts:

Leaving the Temple Mount through the "Chain Gate". They deliberately make us enter and exit through different gates to make life difficult, especially as many people walk without shoes on the Temple Mount and now have to walk through the filthy Muslim Quarter until they get back to the Kotel Plaza. Notice the festive lights in honor of Ramadan:

Police are ready for Ramadan unrest, riot shields were present outside every gate ready for action:

Some Arab "artwork" outside the "Chain Gate":

Back to the Kotel:

Click here for the rest of the Photos