…One of the most famous such sources is a recounting in the Talmud of a story that occurred after the destruction, when several of the most prominent sages of the time, including Rabbi Akiva, went up to the Temple Mount. All of them began to cry over the ruins, the Talmud relates, when they saw a fox running over the Holy of Holies, but Rabbi Akiva laughed, seeing in the experience the fulfillment of one prophecy and thereby expecting the future of fulfillment of the Temple’s restoration….
To build or not to build, that is the question. And when. And Why? And why in Jerusalem of all places. Hardly convenient. There is really no known reason that can be connected with the geographic location of Jerusalem unlike any other city in the world. It seems randomly bolted onto some hilltops without water or port, natural resources or commanding location. Its a mystery that’s never been satisfactorily explained. But yet Jerusalem is central to the idea of the Messiah and the discussion of whether or not a third holy temple should be built before the arrival; a sort of -ready-made.
According to some religious texts, the possibility of the Holy Temple being rebuilt even before the Messiah’s revelation is plausible. This concept took place a short time after the destruction of the Second Temple and was based on the Roman Empire directive for the Jews to rebuild the temple, though the Messiah had not appeared. And apparently plans were started. Shovel ready fiscal stimulus, but ultimately the plans were cancelled based on the instigations of “nefarious” elements, whatever they were. Still, the fact that the ostensibly wise and savvy were prepared to rebuild despite the non presence of the Messiah shows the matter was not dismissed out of hand. Or at least out of god’s hand.
It doe seem sacreligious, even heretical, that Jewish exiles could rebuilt without attribution to the Messiah. Jewish chutzpah aside, it has even be asserted that the creation of modern Israel and the ideology of Zionism in particular has even delayed the arrival of the Messiah, with Zionism’s emphasis on atheism and the “new jew” and its Dadaist trashing of tradition, but that has not stopped the “build it and he will come” faction. However, none other than Maimonides ruled that only the Messiah could rebuild the Holy Temple. Frankly, who wouldn’t have more faith in the messiah than Pope Benedict, Shimon Peres, Netanyahu, and a host of other bad actors.
Why did Maimonides accept the interpretation he arrived at? Mainly by the later established view among sages that became the religious ruling valid for today. In all likelihood it took more than an afternoon of tea and dates to nail down that ruling. Its still a hymn of exiles yearning for city and temple and without divine commandment no reason to build.
( see link at end) …Jerusalem, “City of Peace” has known nearly two dozen wars and destructions since its existence was first known to us from the Biblical record. Abraham’s meeting with Melchizedek about 2000 BC reveals that there was in the city (known then as “Salem”), even at that early date. A righteous Gentile king, Melchizedek, ruled there as “priest of God Most High” (El Elyon). Abraham’s family had lapsed into idolatry living in Babylon (Ur of the Chaldees), in spite of his legitimacy of his being in the line of Noah’s son, Shem. It is possible that Melchizedek was Abraham’s teacher and spiritual mentor who gave Abraham additional information, and possibly even ancient documents, concerning the God of the land of Israel who had called him there.
During the time period after 70 A.D. Jerusalem should have long since fallen into obl
n. This city with no natural wealth, no oil reserves, and no great strategic military value. Ancient trade routes passed up and down the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea or along the Jordan Valley. The “King’s Highway” ran North and South on the plateau of Jordan – Jerusalem was out of the way. Why should anyone pass by there?…
…Today, centers of modern commerce and trade are in Tel Aviv or Haifa. Jerusalem is more of a city of religion, art, culture, and museums than an economically viable regional marketplace or a center of business activity. …
As never before in history, Jerusalem is at the center of today’s headlines. The city which grew up around the small walled-village captured by King David from the Jebusites 3000 years ago is the focal point of never-ending debate among the great superpowers. No other city has been desired and fought over has Jerusalem. In its history Jerusalem has been fought over by armies of the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids, Romans, Byzantines, Persians, Arabs, Seljuks, Crusaders, Mongols, Mamelukes, by the Turks, the British, and the Jordanians. Today the nations of all the world consider it their responsibility and obligation to meddle in her politics and destiny.
…As a religious center Jerusalem remains sacred to (and fought over by) all three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It is an open secret that the Pope aspires to set up his world headquarters there, having claimed for many years that the Holy Land has all along really been under Roman Catholic “stewardship.” UN debates, Arab neighbors, and the PLO urge the “internationalization” of this modest city, though it is no secret that the actually want the city all to themselves without any Jews. All the while, religious pilgrims from all nations continue to flock to the Holy City in droves numbering millions per year.
Thus all the eyes of the world are upon Jerusalem, City of Peace, today as never before. This is a city that has been besieged about forty different times and destroyed (at least partially) on thirty-two different occasions. The rulership of Jerusalem has changed hands some twenty-six times. Since 1948 Jerusalem has experienced four wars. Read More:http://www.templemount.org/tempprep.html
For eight hundred and thirty years there stood an edifice upon a Jerusalem hilltop which served as the point of contact between heaven and earth. So central was this edifice to the relationship between man and G-d that nearly two-thirds of the mitzvot are contingent upon its existence. Its destruction is regarded as the greatest tragedy of our history, and its rebuilding will mark the ultimate redemption-the restoration of harmony within G-d’s creation and between G-d and His creation.
(see link at end)…On June 7th he blew the shofar and prayed intensely. He also suggested to Major General Uzi Narkiss that the latter could go down in history by taking a hundred kilos of explosive and destroying the Muslim shrine, the Dome of the Rock.
This was revealed thirty years later when Narkiss was dying and told a newspaper reporter the story. The power of identity and the power of the historic moment possessed Goren. He said to Narkiss: “You don’t grasp the immense meaning of this. This is an opportunity that can be exploited now, this minute. Tomorrow it will be impossible.”
It was Goren’s conviction that the Jewish temple should be rebuilt. In this he was supported by the minister of religious affairs, Zerach Warhaftig, who held that the Jews own the Temple Mount as a result of the Israelite King David’s purchase from Araunah the Jebusite.
The capture of the Old City set in motion many radical changes to meet the Israelis’ newly released latent identification with their holy places. Using the language of latency and identification, Israeli author A.B. Yehoshua wrote, “The Six Day War was labelled ‘the Jewish War,’ and with good reason, for the old Jewish spirit within us was roused like a ghost.”
On June 19, Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban addressed the U.N. General Assembly. He spoke in detail about the origins of the war and its outcome. With respect to Jerusalem he said:
“In our nation’s long history there have been few hours more intensely moving than the hour of our reunion with the Western Wall. A people had come back to the cradle of its birth. It has renewed its link with the mystery of its origin and continuity. How long and deep are the memories which that reunion evokes.”
Evidence of the power of identity and ideological elements when they reemerge after long periods is found in the reactions of many Israelis who visited the Wall soon after its capture. Israeli scholar, Arthur Hertzberg wrote:
“Within hours of the conquest of the Old City, generals who had seldom, if ever, been to synagogue were disregarding snipers’ bullets and walking toward the Western Wall. They were not embarrassed to follow the time-honored custom of writing prayers on chits of paper and pushing them into the crevices of the Western Wall or of kissing its stones.” Read More:http://causesofconflict.vision.org/causes_of_conflict/?Tag=identity
(see link at end)…Jerusalem’s psychiatrists and mental institutions have learned to expect, and to professionally render aid to a growing number of insane or marginally unstable individuals who flock to Jerusalem every year. Some pilgrims claim to be the True Messiah, or the Virgin Bride of Jesus, or the Two Witnesses of the Apocalypse. Moses, Elijah and Nehemiah, usually in costume, announce their return from the dead fairly often in the public square. Quickly these problem children are whisked off to wards now accustomed to the bizarre and the unexpected as regular parts of living in “the City of a Great King.” The problem is so significant it has been labeled “the Jerusalem Syndrome.” The City of Peace” preserves its tranquillity and peace one day at a time, sometimes by a slim margin indeed. Read More:http://www.templemount.org/tempprep.html