Temple Mount

One of the most controversial and problematic issues surrounding Jerusalem is the Holiness of Temple Mount (Hebrew: הר הבית) . At least four religions are known to have used the Temple Mount during the years as a religious site: Judaism, Islam, Christianity, and Roman paganism.


Temple Mount is the Holiest site for Jews. For Muslims, the Temple Mount is the third Holiest site.

It is first mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (Jeremiah 26:18)-


” מיכיה (מִיכָה), הַמּוֹרַשְׁתִּי, הָיָה נִבָּא, בִּימֵי חִזְקִיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ-יְהוּדָה; וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל-כָּל-עַם יְהוּדָה לֵאמֹר כֹּה-אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת, צִיּוֹן שָׂדֶה תֵחָרֵשׁ וִירוּשָׁלַיִם עִיִּים תִּהְיֶה, וְהַר הַבַּיִת, לְבָמוֹת יָעַר.”


” ‘Micah the Morashtite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah; and he spoke to all the people of Judah, saying: Thus saith the LORD of hosts: Zion shall be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.”


According to Jewish tradition, the Temple Mount is the place where G-d chose the Divine Presence to rest . 3,000 years ago, King Solomon built the First Temple where Temple Mount is. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, but 70 years later Jews returning from exile built the Second Temple at the same site. Following the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in the year 70, the area of the Temple was deliberately left in ruins .

During the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, Jordan retained control over Jerusalem’s Old City and the Temple Mount and subsequently refused entry to the area to any Jewish person. During the 1967 War, the IDF conquered Jerusalem and liberated the Temple Mount, reclaiming Jewish control over the area for the first time since the destruction of the Second Temple.




Photo: Jerusalemshots

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