Jewish History on the Temple Mount: Did Jews Abandon It?

One of the most common misconceptions is that Jews abandoned the Temple Mount after the destruction of the second Temple by the hands of the Romans in 70 CE, which is absolutely wrong. I used to believe this myth myself.

As I have studied the actual history of the Temple Mount and what happened to the Jewish presence and prayer on the Mount after the destruction of the second Temple, I was surprised to discover that we have had a continual Jewish presence on the Mount, as well as on the Mt. of Olives east of Mt. Zion facing the Holy Temple.

I also discovered another important and surprising fact. It was Christians that often made sure to prevent Jews from returning to the Temple Mount, rebuilding the Third Temple, or even praying on the place on which both Temples stood!  Read more

Temple Mount: Common ground between Jews and Christians

“Temple Denial, is also denial of the Gospels,” says former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren.

Although the current Temple Mount debate focuses on Jewish and Muslim worship, the holy site also has religious significance to Christians. Who practices their religion on the Temple Mount is a very different question to who can stake religious claim to the holy site.
Last week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Jordan’s King Abdullah and US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the recent incidents of terror provoked by  the Temple Mount debate.
“Following Thursday’s talks” Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told reporters, “firm commitments were made to maintain the decades-old status quo that allows only Muslims to pray at Al-Aqsa.”

For Christians, as for Jews, the “status quo” which forbids them to pray on the Temple Mount, is rooted in the notion that no Jewish Temple ever existed on the Temple Mount in the first place.

In 2000, during the controversial Camp David Accords, late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat declared that there never was a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount. Since then, Islamists have declared that the Jewish people have no claim to the Temple Mount or Israel at all.

Meanwhile, although Christians are inclined to keep a low profile on the Temple Mount, they visit frequently. Christians arrive to the Temple with Bibles tucked into backpacks, only to have the holy book confiscated at the checkpoint. Countless other believers have been expelled when the slightest gesture indicated reverence or veneration.

Well before Muhammad was born, Christians actively prayed and worshiped on the Temple Mount. In the early 6th Century, a Byzantine basilica was built where the Al-Aqsa Mosque is situated today. This is documented not only by Christian historians, but also by modern archeologists.

For full story: jpost.com
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