UPDATES 8 pm Israel time, Friday, May 16 2014:
**There are simply too many violent incidents of Palestinian terrorism to detail today. Throughout Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem, Israelis are under assault from terrorists firing weapons and throwing IEDs, Molotov cocktails, and “rocks”.
Ironically, in light of all this violence, the PLO stated today that the deaths of the two terrorists yesterday who attacked Border Guards at Ofer Prison near Ramallah is likely “to spawn a violent reaction.”
**The attempted Muslim takeover of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is now spreading outwards in the Old City with the Damascus Gate becoming the new “mosque.” Here are some pictures from yesterday:
Look closely at this next picture:
The above scenes are the direct result of a Israeli government hamstrung by political correctness on the Temple Mount.
**And so begins the fallout from all of the blame heaped on Israel by John Kerry and Barack Obama for the failure in so-called “peace negotiations” with the Palestinians.
Following Angela Merkel’s meeting in the White House with Obama two weeks ago, the German government announced today that it will not sell four German-made ships to Israel at a 30% discount for the purpose of protecting Israeli oil and gas fields in the Mediterranean. The cost to Israel before the discounts was to be $1 billion dollars.
This announcement comes despite the fact that Merkel had previously promised to do so. Senior German officials have confirmed the change in German policy is due to the “breakdown in the peace talks”.
As all israelstreeters know, it never made any difference how many concessions Israel made to the Palestinians–in the end, as always, Israel was going to get the blame.
Today, we continue with Part 6 of our series on the Dome of “the Rock” a building continually used by the international media to perpetuate the myth of a “Muslim Jerusalem.”
Again, before you begin today, you may want to read the previous parts of this blog and learn how we have progressed from the Foundation Stone, to the moment that the First Temple was constructed in about 950 BCE, to the moment that the Second Temple was dedicated in 516 BCE, to the point in 164 BCE when the Maccabees cleansed and rededicated the Second Temple, to the moment in 70 CE at which the Romans destroyed the Second Temple that had been so lavishly expanded by Herod.
So what happened after the Romans tore the Second Temple apart piece by piece? Did the Jews who survived the war abandon the Temple Mount and the Foundation Stone?
Far from it. According to multiple sources in the Talmud, rabbis and the general public continued to pray there despite its desolation. In fact, for the next 65 years, the one altar that remained after the razing of Temple continued to be used for sacrifices. At one point, Hadrian even agreed to the Temple being rebuilt–only to be later dissuaded by the Samaritans.
However, this period came to an abrupt end at the conclusion of the Bar Kochba war in 135 CE. Following the huge Roman losses (whole Roman legions were wiped out), Hadrian prohibited what Jews remained alive after the 3 Roman wars (approximately 1,000,000 were killed and another 300,000 taken into captivity) from living in Jerusalem and praying at the Mount. But even this did not stop the Jews who moved their seat of prayer to the Mt. of Olives from which they could see the Temple ruins.
At the same time Hadrian built a Temple of Jupiter on the Mount which remained until it was destroyed by Constantine in 325 CE. A statue of Hadrian riding his horse was erected on or near the site of the Second Temple–which still stood as late as 400 CE.
During the second and third centuries, Hadrian’s decree prohibiting Jews in Jerusalem was relaxed from time to time to the point that Jews were irregularly permitted to return to the Mount on the 9th of Av–the date of the destruction of the First and Second Temples.
As the Roman Empire christianized during the Byzantine period (@300 CE to 618 CE) and churches sprang up in and around Jerusalem, the Temple Mount was turned into a local garbage dump by Christians–though at one point a Byzantine Church appears to have been built (a Byzantine mosaic floor was found by British archaeologists in the 1930s under the floor of the Al-Aksa Mosque).
But what of the Jews and their holiest site in the world? They were still denied permission to live in Jerusalem or to worship on the Mount–except on the 9th of Av. In one of the more amazing pieces of ancient travel description, the Christian “Pilgrim of Bordeaux”–writing on the 9th of Av in 333 CE–described in detail that he saw Jews anointing the Foundation Stone with oil, reciting Jeremiah’s Book of Lamentations, and tearing their clothes in mourning.
One of the stranger episodes in Temple Mount history took place in 363 CE when the Emperor Julian decided to rebuild the Second Temple–and even alloted a huge sum of money for its construction. Jews came to Jerusalem to assist in the project, and Julian even sent emissaries with money to Tunisia to retrieve Temple objects that had been secreted out of Jerusalem in 70 CE.
The project came to an abrupt halt later that year for unknown reasons (perhaps a fire set by the Christian residents of the city, or an earthquake in the Galilee region, or the death of Julian).
The project was not begun again until the Dome of “the Rock” was built–but we will reach that point tomorrow or the next day.
By the way, here in the year 363 BCE, we are 1,313 years since the construction of the First Jewish Temple, and still 327 years until the Dome of “the Rock” appeared. The Jewish attachment to the Har Habayit and the Foundation are as vibrant and strong as ever.