64 % of Israelis want Temple
Even half of secular Jews say time is right
Posted: August 01, 2009
12:40 am Eastern
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
Nearly two-thirds of Israelis say the time is right to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple, according to a
Even half of
non-religious Jews favor rebuilding the Holy
Temple – an idea politically
unthinkable in Israel
just 10 or 20 years ago.
The poll was release on the saddest day on the Jewish calendar – the fasting
day of Tisha B'Av, or the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av. It commemorates a
series of tragedies that befell the Jewish people all on the same day, most
significantly the destruction of the First and Second
Temples in Jerusalem, which occurred about 656 years
apart on the same day. Jewish tradition calls for the reading of Lamentations.
Israel already done for? Read Aaron Klein's "The Late
Great State of Israel"
Aside from the destruction of the Jewish Temples, a remarkably large number of
massive calamities befell the Jewish people on Tisha B'Av. Jewish rebellion
leader Bar Kokhba's famous revolt against Rome
failed in A.D. 136. Following the Roman siege of Jerusalem,
the razing of Jerusalem
occurred the next year. The first crusade pogrom against Jews in Palestine began on that
date in A.D. 1096.
The Jews were expelled from Britain
on Tisha B'Av in 1290 and were expelled from Spain that same day in 1492. The
Warsaw Ghetto uprising was crushed by the Nazis on that day in May 1943,
resulting in the slaughter of about 50,000 Jews.
Nationalists in Israel
also mourn the removal of Jews from the Gaza Strip in 2005, which began the day
after Tisha B'av.
The book of Lamentations, written in poetic verse, mourns the desolations
brought on Jerusalem and the Holy
Land by the Chaldeans.
The rebuilding of the Temple is an extremely
controversial idea in Israel
because currently Jewish access to the Temple Mount
is restricted by the Muslim Waqf, which was granted administrative authority
over the Jews' holiest sites, which are occupied by Muslim shrines.
Some Jewish leaders believe access to Jews should be restricted until the Third Temple
Israel recaptured the Temple Mount
during the 1967 Six Day War. Currently under Israeli control, Jews and
Christians are barred from praying on the Mount.
The Temple Mount was opened to the general public
until September 2000, when the Palestinians started their intifada by throwing stones at Jewish worshippers after
then-candidate for prime minister Ariel Sharon visited the area.
Following the onset of violence, the new Sharon government closed the Mount to
non-Muslims, using checkpoints to control all pedestrian traffic for fear of
further clashes with the Palestinians.
The Temple Mount was reopened to non-Muslims in
August 2003. It remains open, but only Sundays through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to
10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., and not on any Christian, Jewish or Muslim
holidays or other days considered "sensitive" by the Waqf.
During "open" days, Jews and Christian are allowed to ascend the
Mount, usually through organized tours and only if they conform first to a
strict set of guidelines, which includes demands that they not pray or bring
any "holy objects" to the site. Visitors are banned from entering any
of the mosques without direct Waqf permission. Rules are enforced by Waqf
agents, who watch tours
closely and alert nearby Israeli police to any breaking of their guidelines.
King Solomon built the First
Temple in the 10th
century B.C. The Babylonians destroyed it in 586 B.C. The Jews built the Second Temple
in 515 B.C. after Jerusalem
was freed from Babylonian captivity. The Romans destroyed the Second Temple
in A.D. 70.
The First Temple stood for about 400 years, the
second for almost 600. Both Temples
served as the center of religious worship for the whole Jewish nation. All
Jewish holidays centered on worship at the Temple – the central location for the
offering of sacrifices and the main gathering place for the Jewish people.
According to the Talmud, God created the world from the foundation stone of
the Temple Mount.
The site is believed to be the biblical Mount Moriah,
where Abraham fulfilled God's test of faith by demonstrating his willingness to
sacrifice his son Isaac.
Jewish tradition also holds that Mashiach – literally "the anointed
one," the Jewish Messiah – will come and rebuild the third and final
temple on the Mount in Jerusalem
and bring redemption to the entire world.
The Western Wall, called the Kotel in Hebrew, is the one part of the Temple Mount
that survived the Roman destruction of the Second
Temple and stands to this day in Jerusalem.
The Temple Mount has remained a focal point for
Jewish services for thousands of years. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple have
been uttered three times daily by religious Jews since the destruction of the Second Temple.
Throughout all the centuries of Jewish exile from their land, thorough documentation shows the Jews never gave up
their hope of returning to Jerusalem and
reestablishing their Temple.
To this day Jews worldwide pray facing the Western Wall, while Muslims turn
their backs away from the Temple Mount and pray toward Mecca.
Muslims constructed the al-Aqsa Mosque around A.D. 709 to serve as a place
of worship near a famous shrine, the gleaming Dome of the Rock, built by an
Islamic caliph, or supreme ruler.
About 100 years ago, Muslims began to associate al‐-Aqsa in Jerusalem with the place
Muhammad ascended to heaven. Islamic tradition states Muhammad took a journey
in a single night from "a sacred mosque" – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to "the
farthest mosque," and from a rock there ascended to heaven to receive
revelations from Allah that became part of the Quran.
While Palestinians and many Muslim countries claim exclusivity over the
Mount, and while their leaders strenuously deny the Jewish historic connection
to the site, things weren't always this way. In fact, historically, Muslims
never claimed the al-Aqsa Mosque as their "third holiest site" and
always recognized the existence of the Jewish Temples.
According to an Israeli attorney, Shmuel Berkovits, Islamic
tradition mostly disregarded Jerusalem.
He points out in his book "How Dreadful is this Place!" that Muhammad
was said to loathe Jerusalem
and what it stood for to the other monotheistic faiths.
Muhammad also made a point of eliminating pagan sites of worship and
sanctifying only one place – the Kaaba in Mecca
– to signify the unity of Allah. As late as the 14th century, Islamic scholar
Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyya, whose writings later influenced the strict
Wahhabi movement in Arabia, ruled that sacred Islamic sites exist only on the
Arabian Peninsula, and that "in Jerusalem, there is not a place one calls
sacred, and the same holds true for the tombs of Hebron."
Not until the late 19th century – when Jews started immigrating to Palestine – did Muslim scholars claim that Muhammad tied
his horse to the
Western Wall and associate Muhammad's purported night journey with the Temple Mount.