THE IMMINENT COLLAPSE
OF THE JEWISH TEMPLE MOUNT
by Emanuel A. Winston,
Mid East Analyst & Commentator
For some time under the deliberate or benign neglect of successive Israeli Prime Ministers and the Israeli Supreme court, the ancient Jewish Temple Mount, 3000 years old, was being literally mined and undermined by the Palestinian Wakf (the Muslim authority now in control of Temple Mount). Having weakened its foundation, it is just a matter of time before it will collapse - possibly with a nudge from nature. It was thought that these "Jewish" Prime Ministers merely feared the Arab response if they dared to stop the carnage or challenge the recent Arab claim that the ancient Jewish Holy of Holies belonged to Islam. There is a growing conviction that many of these non-observant Jewish leaders believe that if Israel were de-Judaized with the loss of the Jewish Temple Mount, the rest of the world would accept and even love Israel.
The concern of the non-observant is that, if the prophesied Third Temple of the Jews were re-established along with ancient Temple ritual and law, a secular government would be made less important. Therefore, having the Arabs claim the whole Jewish Temple Mount and core out its center is acceptable, even desirable to the secular Israeli governments who have been mostly ideologically Left with some violently anti- or non-observant. Clearly, successive Israeli governments has been ready to issue a "quit claim" deed to the Arab Muslims, offering the illusion that they had no choice. If one tracks Oslo in terms of abandoning most Jewish Holy sites, you would find that it all leads up to the disposal of Solomon's Temple - with a secular society to follow.
Given that our history is both glorious and bleak, it seems clear that each time we Jews lower ourselves, an outside force appears to war against us. We seem unable to learn the lesson as this time Amalek appears as Yassir Arafat.
SKIMMING THE HISTORY OF THE JEWISH TEMPLE MOUNT
Jerusalem was the city of King David 3000 years ago. The Temple built in 960 BCE by King Solomon, the son of David, became a magnet for other nations and their religions who all sought dominance on earth and in heaven. They correctly believed that the Holy Spirit of G-d did reside in the Beis HaMigdash and, therefore, was something valuable to own and control. Wave upon wave of conquerors came and all built an edifice to their religion on the Jewish Temple Mount to show their superiority and to absorb the strength of the One G-d whose Spirit lived there. They were not giving up their gods but, as was the custom, merely adding another god to their often numerous pantheon of gods, spirits and other mystical figures.
The First Temple was destroyed on the ninth of Av, 586 BCE by Nebuchadnezzar who exiled the Jews to Babylon. In 538 BCE, after he conquered Babylon, Cyrus decreed that the Jews should be allowed to return to Jerusalem and re-build their Temple - which they did under Ezra. Later the despotic King Herod, appointed by Rome to rule the Jews of Judea around the year zero in the Gregorian calendar, remodeled and greatly enlarged the Second Temple.
The Second Temple was destroyed and burned with the city of Jerusalem on the ninth of Av in 70 CE.
The Romans built their edifice to their gods on the Jewish Temple Mount and later the Dome of the Rock and al Aksa were built by Arab Muslims on the ruins of the Roman structures. This demonstrated a double conquest by Islam, one over Rome and one over the Jews. Most searched for the Ark of the Covenant in the belief that whoever controlled the Ark had a powerful instrument with which to conquer other nations.
For example, during the Christian Crusades, the core mission of the Knights Templar was to obtain the Ark and whatever Temple service pieces they could dig up. Perhaps they forgot what happened to the Philistines when they captured the Ark of the Covenant and suffered so serious a plague that they voluntarily returned the Ark to the Jews.
After the Bar Kochba Revolt in 135 C.E. against the Greco-Roman secularization, the Jews were exiled by the Roman Emperor Hadrian who changed the name of the Eternal Jewish city from Jerusalem to Aelia (after his own name) Capitolina to obliterate any mention of Jewish identity. He demolished 50 fortresses, destroyed 985 villages and killed 580,000 Jewish people. Roman legions were brought from all over the empire, including the Syrian Navy creating a huge military force. All significant sources including Jeremiah 31:15 and Deuteronomy 3:13, state that Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Bar Kochba was murdered during the siege of Bethar in the Judean Hills. (1)
Following that, Roman temples were built on the Jewish Temple Mount to the gods Jupiter and Aphrodite. Hadrian implemented his "Jewish Final Solution" just as Hitler had his and now the Arabs wish to try theirs. "It was thought" that Hadrian's statue had been placed over the Jewish Holy of Holies, presumably to transfer the mystical power to Hadrian, the man. Later the Byzantine Christians destroyed the pagan Roman temple. After that, the Arabs conquered the area and built their Dome of the Rock and the al Aksa mosque on the earlier foundation ruins of the Roman temple.
During the 1948 War of Independence when six Arab armies attacked the newly born Jewish State of Israel, the Jordanians captured the entire walled Old City, most of which was Jewish, evicted all Jews, destroyed 58 synagogues, desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Jewish Mount of Olives and refused the Jews entry to their most Holy site, the Temple Mount - housing the only remnants of the First and Second Jewish Temples.
After the 1967 Six Days War when Israel liberated the Old City, Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan Heights, then Defense Minister, General Moshe Dayan simply turned the keys and control of the Temple Mount over to the Muslim Arab Wakf. Dayan left the outer Western Wall for the Jews. Dayan was a famed secular Israeli general but he cared nothing about anything important to Judaism. When Dayan gave away the Holy of Holies, for him it was no loss.
Having turned over the Holy Temple first built in 960 B.C.E. by King Solomon, the son of King David and later re-built by the corrupt architectural genius, King Herod, the Temple has been occupied by Arab Muslims since the Jews liberated it in 1967. In retrospect, Moshe Dayan, as a dedicated Leftist and totally non-observant, started the process of trying to de-Judaize the Jewish Temple Mount. Had he or other non-observant Jews come across the Ark, they would probably re-bury it as quickly as possible lest the Jewish people fully awaken to the power of their ancient history and demand the re-building of the original Temple.
Over a period of time, the Wakf began to Arabize the Temple Mount by excavating beneath its surface. They also wished to find and own whatever instruments of G-d's power, presuming they could unlock and utilize its powerful mystery. The ancient Temple built by King Solomon was recently claimed the as religious core of a non-people who now called themselves Palestinians. They needed a history where none existed before. They are trying to co-opt the Jew's history as other have done before - as well as their geography and holy sites. Their efforts grew bolder when they saw that successive Israeli governments did nothing to stop them or to defend the Jewish essence of the Temple Mount.
Again, it retrospect, it now seems plain that the Israeli political Left, usually in control of the government, were dedicated to a secular nation which mandated disposing of sole ownership of the Temple and its G-d.
The Arabs brought in excavating machinery with large dump trucks to haul away the debris. Still, various Israeli Prime Ministers and the Courts remained virtually silent as hundreds of trucks dumped their loads into the nearby Kidron Valley. It is estimated that between 6,000 and 10,000 tons of ancient material have been excavated to date - and the sacrilegious work continues under the gaze of this Prime Minister and Israel's slumbering Knesset.
Archeologists were furious as they inspected what was excavated, discovering vital artifacts from one century, mixed with those of other periods. It has been reported that Israelis inspecting the dump site have been harassed by Israeli Police, presumably, for calling attention to the complicity of the government in allowing the despoiling of the site by Arafat's excavators. They, along with religiously observant Jews, mounted legal protests but, all fell on deaf ears. The Israeli governments and the Supreme Court, both non-observant, refused to interfere with this egregious defilement of the site housing the very core of Judaism. These secular government officials and the Courts were barely Jewish if their non-observance of Jewish law (halacha) was any criterion of one's Jewish soul. In effect, these Jews became co-conspirators with the Arabs in erasing the Jewish presence on the Jewish Temple Mount.
The digging and tunneling went on, exposing dozens of vast cisterns and tunnels. Slowly, the excavated areas were enlarged as supporting walls and pillars were torn down. This was to enable the building of a vast underground mosque, large enough to accommodate thousands of Muslim worshipers. The by-product of this huge destruction was to remove any signs of the Jewish presence from the time of King Solomon while building their claim that all was theirs and re-named it Haram el Sharif.
This de-Judaization of the Temple Mount was intended to be the ultimate proof of Muslim dominance over Judaism and title to the entire Temple Mount area including, by extension, all of Jerusalem. There was to be no professorial supervision allowed by either Israeli archaeologists or engineers - nor did the various Israeli Prime Ministers demand it. Bit by bit the Muslim Wakf weakened the remaining structures as Israeli Prime Ministers and the Courts deliberately avoided their obligation to preserve this site chosen by G-d.
Aside from the deliberate desecration of a Holy site, this hollowing out started to weaken the structure that had withstood thousands of years of earthquakes. The Temple Mount literally sits along the fault line that runs through the Jordan rift. The outer walls now show the signs of this weakening as they are bulging outward in certain places on their way to a possible collapse.
The Arabs have patched up these areas as Arabs are wont to do on sub-standard walls and buildings. But, these are high retaining walls, with massive stones which could not be shored up by primitive patchwork. Still, the Israeli government has remained silent even as protests grew.
Sitting on top of the Jewish Temple Mount are two large buildings: the Dome of the Rock with its golden dome and the Al Aksa Mosque. The Dome of the Rock was built by Caliph El Malik 70 years after Mohammed's death in the year 632 C.E. Malik's goal was to turn Muslim 'Quibla' (direction of prayer) away from Mecca, towards Jerusalem and him. This was a political move to bring pilgrims to Jerusalem in order to increase his power in the areas under Malik's control and make himself heir to Mohammed. He had no religious motivation, just geo-political ambition.
Mohammed, in his time, had made Jerusalem literally a forbidden place to Muslims. It is not mentioned once in the Koran. If a Muslim had to go to Jerusalem for trade, it was called a 'zira' (journey) - not a religious 'haj' as when Muslims make their mandatory pilgrimage to Mecca. While Mohammed tried to persuade the Jews to convert to Islam as the last, best and only religion, he had prayed from Arabia toward Jerusalem for a short time, only 19 months. But, when the Jews refused to convert, he was furious and turned the Muslim 'Quibla' toward Mecca with their backs to Jerusalem. Mohammed was never actually in Jerusalem but understood that the power of Jewish essence pervaded the ancient city which he had to exclude from Islam. (Strangely, the Israeli government followed in Mohammed's footsteps in disposing of this attractive nuisance to their rule.)
Malik did not succeed in his goal to bring Muslims to Jerusalem or to himself. The Dome of the Rock was virtually ignored by the Muslim and Arab world as it fell into ruin. Twenty years later, El Malik's son built a mosque which he called "al Aksa" after the folk-tale of Mohammed's mythical night flight on a winged horse with the head and breasts of a woman, named Buraq. This dream tale said that in the time it took for a tipped pitcher to spill one drop of water, Mohammed was carried on Buraq to al Aksa (which mean the farthest) Mosque. This was thought to then be either in Medina or to Allah's heavenly courtyard.
By naming his new mosque "al Aksa", Malik's son tried to capitalize on the myth, bringing Mohammed to Jerusalem's al Aksa Mosque where he then flew to heaven to receive the blessings of all the earlier prophets, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, with the later addition of Jesus, 'et al'. This would link or add the Jewish and Christian lineage to the Muslims in order to bring the strength of the Jews and Christians into Islam while eliminating the Jews' physical link to the Covenant. In Arafat's war against the Jews, he uses this myth by calling the Western Wall, (a remnant of the Second Temple's retaining wall) the "Buraq" wall, furthering his spurious claim to the Jewish Temple Mount.
(What is astonishing is that no one major media source, with all this rich history at hand, has ever dared to challenge Arafat's claims that the Temple Mount is Muslim - not Jewish.
At the time of Mohammed's death, there was no mosque on the Jewish Temple Mount. It wasn't until the 12th century that the Kurd, Saladin, mounted a large propaganda campaign to claim that the mosque named "al Aksa" was where Mohammed had flown on his mythical night flight. Saladin used this as an excuse to justify his attack against the Christian Crusaders who then had control of Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple Mount. Saladin's goal was to whip up the religious hysteria of the disparate tribes - much the same as Arafat does today.
As stated earlier, layers and layers of unholy construction are built over the Holy of Holies which were not part of G-d's specific instructions to King Solomon.
I believe that either in the near or not too distant future, there will be a small trembler or a large earthquake which are endemic to the region. Such earth movements, small or large, will likely cause the collapse of these structures whose infrastructure the Arabs have undermined into the very pit which they have excavated. I speculate that this collapse will also expose the great foundation stones of King Solomon's Jewish Temple.
No doubt, the Arabs will find a way to blame the Jews for the destruction of the false temples they have claimed as the third holiest site of Islam - only since 1967. Strangely, in a way, they will be correct since, under Rabin, Peres, Netanyahu, Barak and Sharon (including Supreme Court Justice Aharon Barak), they were allowed to dominate, excavate and undermine the Temple Mount area. Both the Jews and Arabs, each in their own way, will be shocked and forced to re-think their role in the collapse of these false temples and the exposure of Solomon's great foundation stones.
Perhaps too, it is all for the best, since King Solomon's Temple has been treated like a religious icon wherein layer upon layer has coated Solomon's Temple by its conquerors. All "tumah" (un-holy or contaminated) which must be cleaned before the Temple is once again purified and fit for Jewish prayer and sacrifice. Shedding these unwanted layers will probably lead to the re-building of the Beis HaMigdash by those with clean hands and souls.
The Jewish Temple Mount has been targeted for conquest by successive invaders as if they could capture the very spirit of G-d and with it, life eternal. The Temple Mount has been abused, defiled, desecrated and made to serve men's self perceptions of their own greatness. Herod, decreed King of the Jews by Rome, was a hideous leader and tormentor of the Jewish people. But, in his megalomaniacal madness, he was also a great builder who further contaminated the ancient site. Herod undertook the enlargement and re-construction of Solomon's Temple - not for the glory of G-d - but his own self-elevation to a god-like ruler, aping the Romans with their pantheon of gods who could consort with men.
THE POTENTIAL COLLAPSE OF THE TEMPLE
Should this outer shell of Herod's construction collapse in an earthquake (along with the foundations of the Crusader churches - later to be used as the foundations for Mosques), it would be a fitting end for the desecration of the Jewish Holy of Holies. G-d carefully instructed King Solomon on the construction of the Temple, wherein His Shechina (Spirit) would dwell with His chosen people. There they would serve Him with ritual through the Kohanim (priests) of the selected tribes.
Neither Herod, nor the Crusaders, nor the priests of Islam were similarly instructed but, they took possession anyway. Wave after wave of conquerors captured the bricks and mortar but could not capture the Spirit of G-d. Only when the Jews lived there and when they returned after their 2000 year exile, did Jerusalem glow with His Shechina.
It is, indeed, regrettable that a succession of Jewish rulers called Prime Ministers were empty of G-d's spirit and, therefore, allowed this profanation of G-d's Holy of Holies. That is a debt each of them must pay. The Muslims have attempted to dig the heart out of the Jewish Temple Mount which will soon be filled with the debris of all the Muslims built when G-d decides that the earth must shrug.
Note! The history of Solomon's Temple starts with David buying a granary on Mount Moriah, which since underwent hundreds of transformations.
Therefore, when G-d shrugs, the earth heaves, and the hills skip the layers of unacceptable imposed religions, including those of Islam's buildings will be stripped away in a calamitous earthquake due to a mere slip of the Jordan Rift plates.
As the Wakf under Arafat's instructions, attempts to erase all representations of Solomon's Temple and the Jewish Presence so shall all foreign contamination be eliminated as all fall into the pit dug by the Arabs in the name of their pagan moon god whom Mohammed called Allah.
1. Encyclopedia Judaica Volume 15 pp.943-6