Hadel, I am going to try as much as possible to adhere to my cyberrule of not discussing the israeli-Arab conflict online & will refer to it only to the minimal extent necessary.
A similar movement can also be found in Judaism, after the destruction of the Second Temple. The temple was the place where ritual sacrifices were made and where the chief priest once a year would enter the Holy of Holies to atone for his sins and the sins of the people. With the utter destruction of the temple in 70 C.E., these rituals ended, resulting in a major spiritual crisis. Yet, after time, Judaism developed to the point where the Torah and the synagogue became the centre of religious and community life for Jews, and the significance of the temporal Temple receded into mythological and distant significance.
It is true that the hope “next year” has been maintained over the years, but in real, practical, as well as spiritual terms, emphasis shifted from temple-centred sacrifices to a broader faith, until the twentieth century, when the secular movement of Zionism tried to revive the centrality of Jerusalem and Zion in its temporal aspect. In the present day, only a very small and marginal minority of Jews seriously contemplates the reestablishment of temple worship. This dangerous element openly plots the destruction of the Haram Al Sharif for this purpose. Although a number of attempts and conspiracies towards that aim have been unearthed, the clear consensus of the Israeli population and of Jewish rabbis and spiritual leaders is in opposition to this extremist minority, and the emphasis remains, as it has been for the last two thousand years, on the universal aspects of Judaism, rather than the temporal one.
Since the day after the Second Temple was destroyed :'( religious Jews have (fervently!) prayed (3 times a day) for the reconstruction of the Temple & the restoration of the order of offerings. It is an article of (normative, historical, i.e. orthodox) Judaism that that Temple will be rebuilt and that the order of offerings will be restored. The Torah verses, and concomitant laws regarding, the order of offerings are lovingly studied in anticipation of the day when this will happen. Thus, Kuttub's statement that
In the present day, only a very small and marginal minority of Jews seriously contemplates the reestablishment of temple worship.
is both disingenuous & just plain wrong. All
orthodox Jews seriously contemplate the reestablishment of Temple worship! Psalm 137:5-6
If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its cunning. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you; if I do not set Jerusalem above my chiefest joy.
is sung at every (orthodox) wedding & is recited at every circumcision because no Jew's joy can be complete as long as the Temple is not rebuilt. It is customary to leave a (visible!) part of a wall in one's home unpainted & unplastered in order to remind us of the Temple's ruined state (how can our houses be whole when God's house is not?). We fast on the anniversary of the Temple's destruction (http://www.jewfaq.org/holidayd.htm
). There is, however, a t-i-n-y
minority of extremists who plot to do harm to the Dome of the rock & the Al-Aqsa Mosque but the delusions of a few fanatics cannot reflect on the much wider group of orthodox Jews, try as Mr. Kuttub might. Jerusalem & the Temple Mount are the heart of Judaism much as Mr. Kuttub would like to marginalize its importance to us.
Mr. Kuttub also wrote:
Yet Islam, perhaps more so than Judaism and Christianity, has always emphasised its universal nature and its openness to all people throughout the world. Some argue that, coming chronologically after the first two monotheistic religions, it has accepted, legitimised, and shown more tolerance to the other monotheistic traditions than they showed to Islam. In Jerusalem itself, Muslim rule has reflected this openness and tolerance more often than not.
The underlined portions are simply rubbish and do not at all jibe with the historical record (I cite http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/mf20.html
; the source of every statement & direct quote cited below is given in extensive footnotes):
In violation of the 1949 Armistice Agreement (http://tinyurl.com/attz2
), Jordan denied Israelis access to the Western Wall (http://tinyurl.com/afa3z
) and to the cemetery on the Mount of Olives, where Jews have buried their dead for more than 2,500 years.
Under paragraph eight of the agreement, Jordan and Israel had agreed to establish committees to arrange the resumption of the normal functioning of cultural and humanitarian institutions on Mt. Scopus, and free access to that area; use of the cemetery on the Mount of Olives, and free access to holy places and cultural institutions.
Under Jordanian rule, "Israeli Christians were subjected to various restrictions during their seasonal pilgrimages to their holy places" in Jerusalem, noted Teddy Kollek (http://tinyurl.com/azvfe
). "Only limited numbers were grudgingly permitted to briefly visit the Old City and Bethlehem at Christmas and Easter."10
In 1955 and 1964, Jordan passed laws imposing strict government control on Christian schools, including restrictions on the opening of new schools, state control over school finances and appointment of teachers and the requirements that the Koran be taught. In 1953 and 1965, Jordan adopted laws abrogating the right of Christian religious and charitable institutions to acquire real estate in Jerusalem.
In 1958, police seized the Armenian Patriarch-elect and deported him from Jordan, paving the way for the election of a patriarch supported by King Hussein's government. Because of these repressive policies, many Christians emigrated from Jerusalem. Their numbers declined from 25,000 in 1949 to less than 13,000 in June 1967.11
These discriminatory laws were abolished by Israel after the city was reunited in 1967.
Jordan desecrated Jewish holy places. King Hussein permitted the construction of a road to the Intercontinental Hotel across the Mount of Olives cemetery. Hundreds of Jewish graves were destroyed by a highway that could have easily been built elsewhere. The gravestones, honoring the memory of rabbis and sages, were used by the engineer corps of the Jordanian Arab Legion as pavement and latrines in army camps (inscriptions on the stones were still visible when Israel liberated the city).
The ancient Jewish Quarter of the Old City was ravaged, 58 Jerusalem synagogues — some centuries old — were destroyed or ruined, others were turned into stables and chicken coops. Slum dwellings were built abutting the Western Wall.
After the 1967 war, Israel abolished all the discriminatory laws promulgated by Jordan and adopted its own tough standard for safeguarding access to religious shrines. "Whoever does anything that is likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the various religions to the places sacred to them," Israeli law stipulates, is "liable to imprisonment for a term of five years." Israel also entrusted administration of the holy places to their respective religious authorities. Thus, for example, the Muslim Waqf has responsibility for the mosques on the Temple Mount.
Les Filles de la Charite de l'Hospice Saint Vincent de Paul of Jerusalem repudiated attacks on Israel's conduct in Jerusalem a few months after Israel took control of the city:
Our work here has been made especially happy and its path smoother by the goodwill of Israeli authorities...smoother not only for ourselves, but (more importantly) for the Arabs in our care.14
Former President Jimmy Carter acknowledged that religious freedom has been enhanced under Israeli rule. There is "no doubt" that Israel did a better job safeguarding access to the city's holy places than did Jordan. "There is unimpeded access today," Carter noted. "There wasn't from 1948-67."
The State Department notes that although Israel has no constitution, the law provides for freedom of worship, and the Government respects this right.
Mr. Kuttub does not mention the criminal & ongoing destruction of precious archaeological artifacts from the Temple Mount as the Islamic Waqf pursues excavations in order to build underground mosques (see http://tinyurl.com/7onp9
How many suicide bombings have been perpetrated in Jerusalem in the past three years by Jews or Christians
? I can think of no greater desecration of this holy city (I'm at my downtown Jerusalem office even as I post) than the wanton, pre-meditated slaughter of innocents in it. (See http://tinyurl.com/2gwql
) to name just eight
. On these Mr. Kuttub is silent.
is a good listing of links about Jerusalem.