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  1. › wiki › Temple_MountTemple Mount - Wikipedia

    The Temple Mount forms the northern portion of a very narrow spur of hill that slopes sharply downward from north to south. Rising above the Kidron Valley to the east and Tyropoeon Valley to the west, its peak reaches a height of 740 m (2,428 ft) above sea level.

    • 740 m (2,430 ft)
    • Limestone
    • Layout
    • Religion
    • Legacy
    • Background
    • Controversy
    • Access
    • Security
    • Archaeology
    • Activities
    • Incidents
    • Aftermath
    • Architecture
    • Location
    • Landmarks
    • Early history
    • Other sources

    The Temple Mount is the trapezoid-shaped, walled-in area in the southeastern corner of the Old City of Jerusalem. The four walls surrounding it date back at least in their lower parts to the time of the Second Jewish Temple, built at the end of first century B.C.E. These huge supporting walls, partly buried underground, were built around the summit of the eastern hill identified as Mount Moriah , the site traditionally viewed as the location of where Abraham offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice and the known location of the two Jewish Temples. The gaps between the walls and the mount were filled in to create a large surface area around the Temple. Its eastern wall and the eastern half of its southern wall form part of the city wall on those sides. Deep valleys (now partly filled by debris) run outside the walls (northeast, east, south, west), thus separating the Temple Mount from and elevating it above its surroundings, both inside and outside the city. The dimensions of the Temple Mount extend considerably beyond those given in the Mishnah (Mid. 2:1), which describes a square of approximately 250 × 250 m., referring only to the sanctified area within the Temple Mount as known today. The entire enclosure consists of an esplanade or courtyard, surrounding an elevated platform occupying approximately 36 acres of land and decorated by arched structures around the Dome of the Rock. In each of the walls there are a number of gates. Some are ancient gates such as the Golden Gate which are blocked, and some are newer gates from the Arab conquest onward which are still in service.

    In Muslim tradition, the place is also identified as the furthermost sanctuary (Arabic, masjid al-aksa) from which the Prophet Mohammed, accompanied by the Angel Gabriel, made the Night Journey to the Throne of God (The Koran, Sura Al-Isra 17:1).

    Some 50 years later, the Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik built the Dome of the Rock to enshrine the outcrop of bedrock believed to be the place of the sacrifice on Mount Moriah. He (or his son, the Caliph al-Walid I) also built in 1033 the large mosque at the southern end of the Haram, which came to be called al-Aqsa after the Koranic name attributed to the entire area.

    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 Six-Day War, the Israeli Defense Forces captured Jerusalem and liberated the Temple Mount, reclaiming Jewish control over the area for the first time since the destruction of the Second Temple. Though Israel could have taken control of them, the Islamic holy places were put in the care of a Muslim Council and Jews were barred from praying on the Mount in the hope of minimizing bloodshed and preventing a holy war.

    For Jews, visiting the Temple Mount is a very controversial subject- both in terms of religious allowance and because non-Muslim prayer is prohibited at the site. Although freedom of access to the site is enshrined as law, Israel does not allow non-Muslim prayer on the Mount so as not to offend Muslim worshippers. Beyond this, many rabbi's say that since the Jewish Temple's Holy of Holies stood near the center of today's Temple Mount, Jews are religiously forbidden from entering the area.

    Arabs can enter the Temple Mount through one of ten different Muslim-only gates from various sites in the Old City. Tourists and Jews are only allowed access to the site through the Mugrabi Gate which is located just above to the left of the Kotel, or Western Wall plaza.

    Because of the sensitivity of the Temple Mount, Israelis enforce strict security measures for Jews and Muslims alike. For instance, during Friday prayers, any Muslim under the age of 45 is prohibited from ascending the mount; a rule put in place in response to young demonstrators throwing stones at Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall. Additionally, no Jewish groups can pray in the plazas surrounding the mosques or provoke the Muslims. Tensions rose to critical levels following violence at the Temple Mount and al-Aqsa Mosque in late 2014. Following tense weeks of riots in Jerusalem surrounding access to the Temple Mount and the al-Aqsa Mosque, on November 1, 2014, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in secret with Jordanian King Abdullah II in Jordan's capital city of Amman. During the meeting Netanyahu and King Abdullah discussed security at the Temple Mount and the al-Aqsa Mosque: members of the Jordanian Waqf Authority are stationed at the al-Aqsa Mosque and help provide security. The purpose of this meeting was to coordinate security measures at the holy site between the Jordainain Waqf Authority and the IDF. A few days after the meeting, Netanyahu called King Abdullah and assured him that the Jordanian special status at the Temple Mount would not change. Following a series of terror attacks targetting Israelis during September and October 2015, Israeli authorities implemented age restrictions on the Temple Mount for the second time in less than one year, and closed Palestinian access to Jerusalem's Old City. On October 4, 2015, Israeli security officials announced that they were banning non-resident Palestinians from the Old City of Jerusalem, as well as banning Muslims under the age of 50 from the al-Aqsa mosque compound. The security forces had most recently restricted access to the mosque only to patrons over 50 years of age in November 2014. Although these restrictions were lifted two days later, the violence escalated. During the subsequent week seven Israelis were killed and twenty were injured by Palestinian terrorists, mostly in stabbing attacks. These lone wolf attacks are unpredictable and impossible to prevent, often spontaneous and deadly. The Israeli military deployed reserve troops throughout Jerusalem during the second weekend of October to assist security forces in countering this wave of violent attacks. Six companies worth of troops were deployed in Jerusalem on October 13, and security gaurds were on high alert country-wide. The violence continued into the next week. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced on October 24, 2015, that Israeli and Jordanian authorities had agreed to various steps aimed at reducing tensions at the holy site. After meeting with Israeli leaders as well as Jordanian King Abdullah and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Kerry stated that all parties involved agreed to consider having round-the-clock video monitoring installed at the site. All sides reaffirmed the Jordanian commitment to keep the current status-quo at the Temple Mount. Israel agreed that fully respects Jordan's role as custodian of the site, has no intention of dividing the site, and will work with Jordanian authorities to ensure that visitors and worshipers of various religions respect each other. Israel and Jordan officially signed an agreement for the installation of security cameras at the Temple Mount on March 6, 2016. The feed would be monitored by both Israeli and Jordanian authorities, and there would be no cameras placed inside the al-Aqsa mosque. Installation of the security cameras was expected to be completed by Passover 2016. After the Palestinians objected, however, Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour called off the agreement on April 18, 2016, stating, as we respect the points of views of our brethren in Palestine in general and in Jerusalem in particular, and because we always affirm our full support to the Palestinians and their aspirations at all times, we found that this project is a point of contentious and therefore, we decided to halt its implementation. Israeli security officials made the decision to lengthen the time in the mornings dedicated to Jewish and non-Muslim visitations to the al-Aqsa compound by one hour. This decision, announced on December 5, 2016, allows Jews and non-Muslims to visit the al-Aqsa compound from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., instead of 10 a.m. This was only the third time the Temple Mount had been closed since the 1967 War. It was reopened on July 15, 2017, with newly installed metal detectors, which Israelis officials said were necessary to ensure the safety of visitors to the site. Cameras were added a few days later. The security measures are similar to those used at other holy sites around the world; nevertheless, Palestinians and some other Muslims outside Israel claimed they altered the status quo of the holy site. On July 24, 2017, Israel decided to remove the cameras and metal detectors to defuse the situation while considering the introduction of other security measures.

    The Temple Mount sifting project began in 2004, with the goal of unearthing the hidden history of one of the holiest places in the world. Since it's inception over 170,000 tourists and locals have participated in the project, sifting through mounds of rubble and dirt in attempts to find ancient coins and other items. Archaeologist Dr. Gabriel Barkay oversees the excavation, and claims that approximately 50% of the earth removed from the Temple Mount site has revealed insights into the history of Jerusalem. Discoveries have included coins, pottery shards, building fragments, arrowheads, and ancient seals.

    In early 2015, Palestinian women began to protect the al-Aqsa Mosque from Jews, with one woman stating that everybody must protect Al Aqsa so the Jews dont take it. They have their eyes on it. The dean of Islamic studies at Al-Quds University, Mustafa Abu Sway, stated that there is no similar situation in Islamic history where women had taken such an active role in the gaurding of a holy site. The women chanted at Jewish visitors, hurled anti-Semitic slurs, and chased Jewish individuals, leading some of them to be banned from the holy complex (New York Times, April 17, 2015).

    A large group of masked Palestinian protestors attacked Israeli security forces at the Temple Mount with rocks, molotov cocktails, homemade explosives, firecrackers, and peices of wood during the weekend of July 25, 2015. The protestors brought these dangerous items with them to the al-Aqsa Mosque, with the intention of using them to attack Israelis who had gathered at the Western Wall for the mourning and fasting holiday of Tisha B'Av. After initially clashing with Israeli security forces, the protestors retreated inside of the al-Aqsa Mosque and began throwing items at police officers from within the Mosque. In response, the police officers ventured inside of the Mosque and closed the doors and windows, which diffused the situation. Hundreds of Jewish individuals visited the Western Wall during the holiday. Members of the Israel Allies Foundation's Congressional caucus were harassed by a group of Arab men while they visited the Temple Mount on August 11, 2015. The group of U.S. Congressmen were visiting the Temple Mount as a part of their planned trip to the Middle East, and were, immediately approached by several men who started shouting, upon their arrival to the holy site, according to Representative Keith Rothfus, Congressman from Pennsylvania. Rothfus continued, describing that the group of Congressmen were, tracked the entire time we were there and we found these individuals surprisingly intollerant and belligerent. Arab men at the Temple Mount shouted at the Congressmen's wives that they should cover themselves, even though they were wearing long sleve shirts and ankle-length skirts. Allegedly Jordanian Waqf gaurds, who carry the responsibility of providing security at the Temple Mount, began harassing the guide who was leading the Congressmen and trying to take his maps away. Police were called to break up the commotion as a group of 15-20 individuals began shouting at the Congressmen, and for the rest of their visit the group was followed by several Arab men who continued to intimidate and antagonize them (Jerusalem Post, August 11, 2015). Palestinian leaders spread false rumors in late 2015 that Israeli authorities were considering altering the status-quo at the Temple Mount and allowing Jews to pray in the mosques, which stoked the flames of violence. Palestinian Muslim protestors and Israeli police clashed on the Temple Mount during the weekend of September 12, 2015. Palestinian youths and young adults holed up inside the al-Aqsa Mosque and flung molotov cocktails and large rocks at the security forces attempting to keep the peace among chaos. Twenty-six Palestinians were injured during the confrontation along with five Israeli policemen. The violence damaged the windows and the carpets inside the mosque. In response to this violence, Israeli officials ramped up security and deployed additional soldiers and police officers in the area surrounding the Temple Mount. The following weekend Palestinian protestors once again clashed with Israeli security officers at the Temple Mount, but the situation was much more controlled. On July 13, 2017, three Arab-Israeli gunmen approached the ancient stone gates near the Temple Mount and murdered two Arab-Israeli police officers from Israels Druze community (Hail Satawi and Kamil Shnaan). A third police officer was lightly wounded. The shooters were subsequently killed by Israeli security forces. Israeli authorities shut down the holy site for two days for searches and subsequently learned an accomplice had hid the weapons used in the attack in the al-Aqsa mosque.

    Fatah subsequently incited violent protests and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced he was cancelling all cooperative activities with Israel until the detectors were removed. Meanwhile, the Waqf called for worshippers to avoid the Temple Mount if the security measures remained in place.

    The Dome of the Rock (Arabic, Qubbat al-Sakhra) is one of the most recognizable architectural glories of the world. The design of the building is basically Byzantine - double octagonal ambulatories encircling the Holy Rock. A shrine and not a mosque, it is the third holiest place in Islam after the Kaaba in Mecca and the Prophets Mosque in Medina. The Dome of the Rock is an architectural expression of the ascendancy of Islam. The interior glass mosaics in the drum and dome contain representations of Byzantine imperial jewelry, and one of the ornate inscriptions affirms that God is One and not three; and that Jesus was an apostle of God and His Word, and not His son.

    The shrine stands on or near the approximate site of the Jewish Temple (though scholars disagree whether it was the Holy of Holies or the Altar that stood on the site of the rock). It has even been suggested that the Temple building stood 80 meters further north, on the site of the small 16th-century Qubbat al-Arwah (Arabic, Dome of the Winds or Spirits) on an east-west axis with the present Golden Gate.

    The al-Aqsa Mosque, at the south end of the Temple Mount platform, was last rebuilt in 1035 and has since undergone several restorations - most recently in 1938-42; and again beginning in 1969 to repair extensive damage from a fire deliberately set by a deranged Christian tourist.

    During the Mamluk and Ottoman periods and until the mid-19th century, non-Muslims were not permitted onto the Haram. The first known exception was made by order of the Ottoman Sultan in 1862, during the visit of the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII.

    Lazar Berman, Rioters hole up in mosque amid fierce Temple Mount melee, Times of Israel, (October 8, 2014);

  2. Temple Mount Conference Lectures by Dr. Chuck Missler are here. Temple Mount Videos page. The Western Wall Tuvia Sagiv's "Southern Location," lies due East of this Wall. The Ark of the Covenant Some authorities believe the Ark is located under the Temple Mount. Related Website Links . The Temple Institute in Jerusalem. The Temple Mount Sifting ...

  3. The Temple Mount: Sanctity. The Temple Mount was defined as the "Levite Camp." The source for the sanctity of the "Levite Camp" is the Camp of the Levites in the desert; its parallel in the Temple is the entire Temple Mount plaza (seen in the pictures on the right inside the red line), enclosed by the Stoa colonnade.

  4. The Temple Mount refers to the elevated plaza above the Western Wall in Jerusalem that was the site of both of Judaism’s ancient temples. The site is also the third holiest in Islam (after Mecca and Medina) and has been a focal point of inter-religious tension for decades.

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