Tuesday, November 1, 2016

1925 Wakf Temple Mount Guide or AL-HARAM AL-SHARIF - JERUSALEM - r2

1925 Wakf Temple Mount Guide or AL-HARAM AL-SHARIF - JERUSALEM - r2

1925 Wakf Temple Mount Guide or THE MOSQUE OF AL-AQSA or Temple mount 

taken by force 16 pages.

Page 1 Cover and page 2 picture view of the Haram area from North to West

In 1925 Muslims that controlled Temple Mount produced this guide which as it turns out is a pretty accurate history showing that they do NOT hold the original claim to the mount, but instead, took it by force. Admitting that even their own scholars admit it belonged to the Jewish people.
Before 637 CE/AD Jerusalem was the Capital of the Jewish people for over a thousand years. Thereafter it was occupied by various conquering Nations as Occupied territory, It was allocated to the Jewish people after WWI under the 1920 San Remo Treaty and confirmed by the 1920 Treaty of Sevres and Lausanne.

Read it for yourself and decide. Don’t take my word for it.


Text only transcription of the guide for ease of reading.


Published by the Supreme Muslim Counsel


The Sacred Enclosure will normally be open to visitors between 7.30 a.m. and 11.30 a.m. daily (Fridays excepted).
Admission may be gained by the gate known as Bab al-Silsileh.

Jerusalem 1925


Visitors should bear in mind that the whole of the Haram Area, and not only it’s edifices, is scared to Muslims; and that they will be expected to pay due regard to its sanctity. In particular, they must abstain from smoking anywhere in the Area, and from bringing dogs with them.
The visiting-hours are from 
7.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. daily, (Fridays excepted) and visitors are particularly requested to leave punctually at 11.30 so as not to hinder the observance of the midday-prayer.
Admission may best be gained by the gate known as Bab al-Silsileh. It would save trouble and delay if visitors were to make it a point of entering the Haram by that gate.

N.B. The photographs in this Guide are reproduced by courtesy of the American Colony.

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The words al-Haram al-Sharif, which can perhaps best be rendered by “The August Sanctuary”, denote the whole of the sacred enclosure which it is the object of this Guide to describe.
Its plan is roughly that of a rectangle whose major axis runs from north to south; its area is approximately 145,000 square meters.
If you wish to have some idea of its extent and to see it whole before proceeding to examine it in detail, you would be well-advised to begin your visit by walking to the north-west corner, and there ascending the flight of steps which lead up to the disused building on the right, you will see the whole area spread before you. The view shown on the frontispiece (Fig. 1) was taken, although at a considerable altitude, from the very spot where you are standing.
The two principal edifices are the Dome of the Rock, on a raised platform in the middle, and the mosque of al-Aqsa against the south wall. Other buildings which we shall consider later lie dotted about here and there. On the left along the east wall the double portals of the Golden Gate appear. On every side, trees break the prospect, which lend a peculiar charm to the scene.
The side is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest (perhaps from prehistoric) times. Its identity with the site of Solomon’s is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which “David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings”. (1)
But, for the purposes of this Guide, which confines itself to the Muslim period, the starting-point is the year 637 A.D. In that year, the Caliph Omar occupied Jerusalem and one of his first acts was to repair to this site, which had already become sacred in the eyes of Muslims as the place to which the Prophet was one night miraculously translated. The site had long since been neglected. The Caliph and his four thousand followers found little more than desolation and rubbish. There were the ruined walls of the Herodian and Roman periods, the remains of an early basilica (probably on the present site of al-Aqsa), and the bare Rock. Yet from this rock had the Prophet according to the tradition, ascended to heaven on his steed. So the Caliph ordered a mosque to be erected by its side. His orders were executed, and the building was seen and described by Bishop Arculf who visited Jerusalem about 670 A. D. But no vestige of it remains today, save for the name “Mosque of Omar” which is still, but quite wrongly, sometimes used for the Dome of the Rock.
With the reign of’ Abdul-Malek ibn Marwan, the Umayyad, 685-705 A.D., the history of the present buildings begins. 

2 Samuel XXIV, 25.

Page 5 - Pic. The fountain Sabil of Qait Bay

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was a holy city, to Muslims as well as to others, and to the energetic and pious caliph its glorification seemed an obvious duty. He collected large sums of money, amounting (say the Arab historians) to “seven times the revenue of Egypt”; and with that he built the Dome (691 A.D.), and the mosque of al-Aqsa (693 A.D.), both of which, according to medieval Arab travelers and chroniclers, were of unsurpassed magnificence. But in subsequent years, the buildings suffered much from earthquake shocks and underwent various restorations. In the year 407 A. H. (1016 A.D.), an earthquake shock caused the Dome to collapse, and it was re-erected six years later by the Caliph Hakem.
A new chapter begins with the capture of 
Jerusalem by the Crusaders in 1099. They occupied the Haram Area and turned its monuments to different uses. The Dome of the Rock was turned into a church and an alter erected on the Rock itself. The edifice was regarded by them as the veritable Temple of the Lord (Templum Domini) from which the Knights Templar whose Order was formed there take their name. It is interesting to note also that, as Temple of the Lord and symbol of the Order, it served as a model for churches which were later erected at various places in Europe, such as Aix-la-Chapelle, Metz, Leon, and the Temple Church in London; and that it figures in Raphael’s famous picture of the “Sposalizio” (Brera, Milan,) and, still more recognizably,
in the picture of “The Maries at the Sepulcher”, attributed to Hubert von Eyck. The mosque of al-Aqsa, on the other hand, was transformed in to a royal residence known as the 
Palace of Solomon; while the vast substructures below the south-east corner of the Area were used by the Knights as stables.
The end of this chapter came in 1187, when Saladin captured 
Jerusalem and drove the Crusaders out. One of his first acts was to put back the buildings to their former use as places of Muslim worship, and he caused every vestige of the Templar's occupation to be removed. At the same time he carried out important embellishments.
In the Dome of the Rock, he caused the walls to be covered with marble, and set up the beautiful inscription which may still be seen above the open gallery of the cupola.
He also restored the stucco incrustation of the inner dome, which remains to this day. In the mosque of al-Aqusa, he carried out restoration and embellishments, of which the chief were the fine mosaics on the drum of the dome and the beautiful pulpit adjoining the prayer-niche.
The Haram Area has remained in Muslim hands ever since.
For although 
Jerusalem was again occupied by the Crusaders (1229-1244), yet their occupation did not extend to the sacred enclosure which it had been agreed should remain in Muslim possession. During the three centuries which followed, various repairs and additions were made; but the most important restoration was that which was carried out, after the Turkish conquest.
In the reign of Sulaiman the Magnificent (1520-1566). This sultan whose works are still to be found all over the 
Holy City, carried out a wholesale renovation of the Dome of the Rock. A large part of the decoration in glazed tiles upon the exterior of the shrine and most of the windows were added during his reign. Since then,

Page 7 - Pic The Southern Arcades (Mawazine) and pulpits Burliancddin 

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both buildings have undergone different restorations which have for the most part marred rather than enhanced their beauty.
This is more particularly the case with the tiles on the exterior of the Dome of the Rock, which the hand of the restorer has here and there shifted or replaced most unhappily; and it is the present concern of the authorities of the Haram to try and undo the damage and restore to these decorative features something of their former harmony.

The Dome of the Rock stands on an irregular platform whose level is some 12 feet above that of the Area. It is approached from every side by flights of broad steps surmounted at the landing by graceful arcades (Fig. 3) known as Mawazin, that is to say ‘scales’, because of the traditional belief that on the Day of Judgment the scales of good and evil will be suspended there.
Having ascended the steps on the raised platform, you should, before entering the edifice, walk around it and examine it from the outside first. Its plan is that of a regular octagon inscribed in a circle of 177 ft. diameter. It has four entrances, each of which faces one of the points of the compass: on the West, The Bab al-Gharb, or west gate; on the north, the Bab al-Janna, or gate of paradise; on the east, the Bab Daud, or gate of David; and on the south, the Bab al-Qibla or south gate. This last gate fixes the direction in which prayers are to be said, namely the direction of 
Mecca. The walls of the building are decorated with marble facings on the lower courses and with colored glazed tiles above.
The tiles which form this decoration date for the most part from the end of the reign of Sulaiman the Magnificent (v. page 6) when the art of Oriental ceramic decoration was perhaps at its height.
Unfortunately, a great many of the original tiles have fallen off, and others have at various times been set in their stead without apparent regard for the harmony either of color or pattern. Still, the effect is striking and, especially in certain lights, beautiful.
The frieze is inscribed with verses from the Koran. Above rests the Dome, as rebuilt by the Caliph Hakem in 1022, slightly flattened on one side, and surmounted by the Crescent. The edifice itself is substantially that which was erected by ‘Abdul-Malek ibn Marwan; but the outer decorations that we have just seen are mostly due to Suliaman the Magnificent, and to later restorers.
On the east side of the Dome of the Rock, facing the Bab Daub. or gate of David, stands an elegant little edifice, also surmounted by a dome, which look at first sight like a miniature representation of its larger brother. The room which supports the Dome and it’s drum rests on two concentric rows of columns neither of which is encased by walls. On the south side is a Mihrab, that is to say the prayer-recess. The edifice is variously known as Mahkamat Daud, (i.e. Tribunal of David) and Qubbat al-Silsileh (i.e. Dome of the Chain), from the legendary belief that on its site was the place of Judgments where verdicts were given by a miraculous chain. For as the legend has it, a chain was once suspended

Page 9 - Pic The Dome of the Rock (from the North-East)

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from heaven over this spot, to which it was the practice in Solomon’s time to appeal in cases of conflicting evidence. Each witness was made to grasp the chain in turn: if he succeed in holding it, his truthfulness was thereby vindicated, but if it eluded his grasp, then he was a manifest liar. The edifice is said by some historians to be contemporaneous with the Dome of the Rock; but it is an established fact that it has been rebuilt more than once, albeit with the original columns which are in the Byzantine style and were undoubtedly taken from other buildings. Their number has varied: at the present time there are eleven in the outer, and six in the inner rows. (Fig. 4) We will now enter the Dome of the Rock (Qubbal al-Sakhra) by the west gate. The metal doors on either side of the entrance are worthy of notice; and inscription which was only recently discovered proves them to have been made and set up during the reign of the Mamluk Sultan Qait Bay, towards the end of the XVth. century. A few steps further, we find ourselves in the interior of the building. At first sight it is almost too dark to see; but as the eye gets used to the subdued light, the beauty of the structure and the splendor for the ornamentation reveal themselves. In the centre, vertically below the dome, is the Sacred Rock, an irregular mass of yellowish stone. This is where the Crusaders had set up an altar and traces can still be seen of the steps which once led up to it. The dome rests on an inner system of piers and columns forming a circle and connected with each other by a wrought-iron grille, dating from the XIIth. century — a unique remnant of the Crusaders’ decorations. This inner row is formed of four rectangular piers, beautifully adorned with marble facings dating from the XVth. century, and twelve monolithic columns with Byzantine capitals carrying semicircular arches. Above is the drum with its rich mosaics, its delicate inscription on bands and medallions, and 16 windows; while, resting on the rim above the clerestory windows, is the inner (wooden) cupola, with its remarkable stucco ornamentation, ordered by Saladin in 1189.
Concentric with inner system which we have just described is the outer octagonal row of piers and columns supporting the roof. The piers in this row are eight in number and are of massive size, covered with XVth. century marble facings; while the columns, of which there are sixteen, are marble monoliths
taken from some older building, probably Hadrian’s 
Temple of Jupiter. The capitals, which are of varying design, belong to the late Greco-Roman or the early Byzantine period. Above each capital is an abacus on which rests the decorated beam which runs round the octagon and serves as an “anchor” beam from pier to pier–an interesting architectural feature, probably of Arab origin, which is characteristic of the earliest mosques. Between each pair of piers are three arches richly adorned with old mosaic dating, except for certain later restorations, from the VIIth. century. Above is a narrow band of blue tiles on which runs an inscription in gold Cubic letters, which is of great historical importance, for it records the date of the construction of the edifice and the name of the builder, with a chronological inconsequence which tells its own tale. The date is given as A.H. 72 and the

Page 11 - Pic The Rock

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name as that of the Caliph al-Mamun who reigned in A.H. 197-218: an obvious anachronism, of which the explanation is that the name of the later Caliph was substituted for that of his predecessor, ‘Abudul-Malek ibn Marwan , the real builder of the Dome of the Rock, while the original date remained unchanged.
The walls of the edifice, which as we have seen form a regular octagon, are covered with marble slabs and pierced with windows dating, for the most part, from Sulaiman’s restorations.
The slabs are of beautiful marble specially chosen for its smoothness and remarkable veining. The windows are made of plaster, and their pattern consists of an intricate openwork tracery in which are inserted bits of colored glass. The effect is one of great softness and richness of color, and this is partly due to
the skill with which the tracery is hollowed out of the plaster and cut away towards the inside in such a way that the openings become provided with a kind of cone for the softer diffusion of the rays of light.
A detailed description of the Dome of the Rock would be beyond the scope of this Guide. Its principal features have been mentioned and described in sufficient detail, it is believed, to give the visitor an adequate summary of its history and some help towards the appreciation of its magnificence.

Leaving the Dome of the Rock by the west gate, the visitor will notice, some 50 yards away on the right, a small octagonal domed edifice of semi-oriental and semi-Gothic appearance. This is the Qubbal al-Mi’raj or Dome of the Ascension. It was originally built in commemoration of the Prophet’s miraculous ascension, and rebuilt in its present form about the year 1200 A.D., that is to say some thirteen years after the capture of the Holy City by Saladin and at a time when Gothic influence in building, which had been imported by the Crusaders, was still at its height.
The monument is not open to visitors.
Turning towards the south, we cross the platform to the arcades on its southern side, passing on the way the marble pulpit of Burhaneddin (Fig. 3) which was built by the judge of that name in the middle of the XVth. century. The pulpit is crowned by a dome supported by trefoil arches resting on columns,
and is an interesting as well as a beautiful example of the work of that period. Beyond the pulpit are the steps leading down to the court of the mosque of al-Aqsa. Immediately in front is the fountain of ablutions, and beyond that is the mosque itself.
The porch, which is the most recent part of the building, was added by the Sultan al-Mu’azzam, a nephew of Saladin, in the XIIIth. century. An inscription above the middle archway records the date as 634 A.H. (1236 A.D.). The porch consists of a facade of seven pointed arches, corresponding to the seven
front doors of the mosque, and affords yet another example of the Crusaders’ influence, although not a very happy one.
The interior of the mosque is unfortunately only partly accessible

Page 13 - Pic The Al-Aqsa Mosque (front)

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to visitors at the present time, on account of the considerable repairs which have to be carried out to that part of the buildings which supports the dome. But visitors are admitted to the nave and aisles and can gain some idea of the whole. The nave, formed by two rows of massive columns with capitals, is the oldest part of the mosque. On either side of it, is an aisle, both of which date also from the earliest period; the outside aisles are of more recent construction. The columns of the nave were probably taken from Justinian’s basilica; while the capitals, which are mostly of the acanthus-leaf and wicker-work patterns,
date from Byzantine times and are probably contemporaneous with the construction of the mosque itself. The columns support a system of pointed arches of which the exact date is not known for certain. Their pointed form, however, shows plainly that they belong to a later period that the VIIth. century, for in that period the pointed form had not yet been evolved and the horse-shoe arch, as we have seen in the interior of the Dome of the Rock, was still prevalent. The columns are connected by wooden tie-beams, which as we have seen (page 10) is a device characteristic of early Arab monuments. Above the arches are two rows of windows; the lower open on the inner aisles, the upper are clerestory windows admitting air and light from the outside. (Fig. 7).
Above the crossing stands the dome resting on a circular drum supported by a system of arches and pedantries, which are themselves borne at the tour corners by groups of pillars and capitals. The dome, which is of wood protected on the outside by a covering of lead sheeting, is ornamented with a handsome stucco incrustation of the same style as that of the dome of the Qubbat al-Sakhra. This decoration may, like its counterpart in the Sakhra, date from the time of Saladin; but be this as it may, it was completely renovated, if not actually made in the first instance, but the Sultan Muhammad ibn Qalaun in the year 728 A.H. (1327 A.D.), as the beautiful inscription on the blue band around the cupola testifies. The drum and the four arches with their pedantries are covered with a beautiful mosaic on a gold ground dating from the end of the XIIth. century, that is to say from the restoration carried out by Saladin (v. page 6).
To the west of the crossing runs the broad transept with its colonnade of pillars taken from older buildings. A few interesting Byzantine capitals of wicker-work design are worth noticing. The transept is continued into a vaulted gallery which dates from the occupation of the Crusaders, and was used as quarters by the Knights Templar.
The Mihrab (or prayer recess) in the south wall, facing the nave, is ornamented with mosaics and flanked with splendor and elegant marble columns. According to an inscription in mosaic above the niche, the work is due to Saladin. To the right of the Mihrab stands a handsome pulpit made of wood and beautifully ornamented with inlaid ivory and mother-of-pearl. It was made in 
Aleppo, as the inscription on it testifies, by the Sultan Nureddin in the year 1168 A.D., and was brought to Jerusalem by order of Saladin towards the end of the century. Above the prayer-niche are windows dating from the XVIth. century.

Page 15 - Pic The Al Aqsa Mosque (interior)

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Leaving the mosque of al-Aqsa by the front entrance, we turn to the left and proceed to the south-east corner of the Haram Area where a staircase leads down in to the vast subterranean substructures known as Solomon’s Stables. The first flight of steps takes us down to the small chamber, now used as a place of Muslim worship, which was believed in medieval times to have been associated with Jesus Christ’s infancy. This belief was prevalent long before the advent of the Crusaders and was subsequently accepted by them. In the angle between the west and south walls of the chamber is a little dome borne upon four marble columns; and underneath the dome is a small niche lying horizontally, which was believed in early times to have been the Cradle of Christ and referred to under that name by several Arab historians.
In the west wall of the chamber, a door opens into a staircase descending to Solomon’s Stables. This is a vast subterranean chamber, of roughly rectangular shape, of which the chief feature is the imposing size of the piers. Of these, there are fifteen rows of varying size and height supporting the vaults on which rests the roof. Little is known for certain of the early history of the chamber itself. It dates probably as far back as the construction of Solomon’s 
Temple. According to Josephus, it was in existence and was used as a place of refuge by the Jews at the time of the conquest of Jerusalem by Titus in the year 70 A.D.. We also know that this space was used by the Knights Templar as stables, and the holes to which they tethered their horses can still be seen in the masonry of the piers. Such evidence as is afforded by the masonry itself, and more particularly by the contrast between the lower and the upper courses of the larger piers, would tend to show that they belong to two distinct periods, and that the upper parts and the vaults were of Arab construction superimposed upon ancient foundations.
The substructures supporting the nave of the mosque of al-Aqsa are not accessible.

The best way out is across the esplanade, past the porch of the mosque of al-Aqsa, and back to the Bab al-Silsileh. An alternative would be to continue northwards past the Bab al-Silsileh to the gate known as Bab al-Quttanin, a handsome gate dating from the reign of Sultan Muhammad ibn Qalaun (1336 A.D.) and typical of XIVth century Arab work. To the south-east of this gate is the Sabil (or drinking fountain) built about the year
1460 A.D. by 
Mamluk Sultan Qait Bay – an attractive building, perfect of its kind. (Fig. 2).

G. A.

Franciscan Printing Press, 
Jerusalem - back page

1925 Wakf Temple Mount Guide or Temple mount taken by force.
In 1925 Muslims that controlled Temple Mount produced this guide which as it turns out is a pretty accurate history showing that they do NOT hold the original claim to the mount, but instead, took it by force. Admitting that even their own scholars admit it belonged to the Jewish people.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Relationship of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel

The Relationship of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel
Rabbi David Rosen

When anti-Israel rhetoric increases, one inevitably comes across new attempts to minimize the Jewish connection with the Land of Israel and impugn thereby the very existence of a Jewish state.  Paradoxically this sometimes comes from certain Christian quarters, when one would have thought that anyone with even a cursory familiarity with the Hebrew Bible (that Christians refer to as the Old Testament) would be familiar with the bond between the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the Promised Land.  Yet even where this historical relationship is acknowledged, it is often argued that this bond was something of the distant past and bears no relevance let alone justification for the contemporary context.

However, contrary to anti-Zionist propaganda, the return of the Jewish people to its ancestral homeland did not begin just a half a century ago, following the Holocaust, nor even a hundred years ago with the advent of modern Zionism.  For the past almost twenty centuries, ever since their expulsion from Palestine by the Romans (70 C.E.), Jews have striven continuously to reestablish their bond with the Land of Israel, although the foes of the Jewish people did their best to obliterate the Jewish connection with the Land.  Indeed, the Romans introduced the name Palestina in order precisely to erase the usage of the name Judea, just as they renamed Jerusalem, Aelia Capitolina.

Spiritually, the Jewish people never left the Land.  Even in exile, Jews the world over turned to Jerusalem in prayer as they continue to do today.  These daily prayers and grace after meals which Jews have recited over the centuries are replete with references to the restoration of and return to Zion.  The solemn service for the Day of Atonement, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, concludes with the words “Next year in Jerusalem.”  At the end of their day of fasting and communion with God, Jews the world over throughout the generations, reaffirmed their hope for a “return” to their Homeland, not at some indefinite date in the remote future, but “next year.”  This affirmation was similarly made at the conclusion of the Passover meal.

Indeed the liturgy and religious observances of Judaism are closely bound up with the physical aspects of the Land of Israel – the produce of its soil and the course of its seasons.  On the Feast of Tabernacles, the festival of the harvest ingathering, which comes at the start of the “rainy season” in Israel, Jews wherever they may dwell, recite prayers for rain.  On Passover, when the “dry season” begins in the Holy Land, Jews from Alaska to Australia beseech God to bless the Land of Israel with life-giving morning dew.

It is accordingly evident to anyone with a cursory knowledge of the Jewish religion, that the attachment of the Jewish people to their ancestral land has transcended both time and space.

But if all this is so, the opponents of the Jewish State demand, why did the Jews stay away from Palestine for so many centuries?  While it is certainly true that many chose to remain in exile; the neglect of the land by successive conquests over the ages and the hazards of travel, made repatriation a precarious option.  Nevertheless, as late as the seventh century of the Common Era – six centuries after the conquest of the country by Rome – there were in Palestine a sufficient number of Jews to give material help to the invading Persian armies.  Even after the conquest of the country by Arab tribes some two decades later, the Jews of the Holy Land remained strong enough to be a factor of significance during the Crusades of the eleventh and twelfth centuries.  The mere recorded historical fact of the Crusaders’ slaughter of the Jews of Jaffa, Ashkelon, Caesarea and Jerusalem, is ample proof that there was a substantial Jewish presence in Palestine theretofore. 

Throughout the centuries, each persecution and expulsion in the Diaspora brought a new influx of Jews to the Holy Land.  The Spanish exile of 1492 was followed by a wave of repatriation to the Land of Israel, and in fact, by an attempt to establish an independent Jewish entity in the Galilee in the sixteenth century.  This “state” was to be ruled by Don Joseph Nasi, Duke of Naxos and Cyclades.  During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, great popular messianic movements involving entire Jewish communities in the European Diaspora, sent masses of Jews on their way to the land of their fathers.  There have even existed some settlements in the Galilee where Jewish families lived uninterruptedly for two millennia, such as the village of Pekiin, tracing their origins back to the first century of the Christian era.

Anti-Israel propagandists suggest that during the whole period of Jewish exile, there was some kind of continuous local non-Jewish rule.  This of course could not be further from the truth. 

The first exile by the Babylonians lasted only half a century and was followed by a period of Israelite autonomy under Persian and then Greco-Syrian rule, until the Maccabean revolt in 165 B.C.E.  Jewish independence was subsequently reestablished and maintained until the Roman conquest, destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 C.E. and subsequent exile of the majority of the Jewish population.  However thereafter, the Holy Land was subject to continuous foreign conquests.

Byzantine rule came to an end in 638 with the Arab invasion of Palestine.  The rule of the Caliphates however, came to an end in 1071, followed by Turkish Seljuk rule.  The Crusader conquest in 1099 was followed by Ayyubid rule in 1187, Mameluke (Albanian) rule in 1260, and Ottoman conquest in 1516.  The Turks ruled for the lengthy period of exactly four hundred years and were replaced by the British in 1918 until the establishment of the State of Israel.

Thus, since the end of Jewish Hasmonean rule, during the whole period of recorded history, Palestine was never ruled by the local inhabitants.

At the beginning of the British Mandate there were in the whole of Palestine 557,000 Arabs (both Moslems and Christians) and 84,000 Jews.  Only 30% (some 186,000) of these Arabs lived in the area which is now the State of Israel.  The Arab population increased rapidly during the Mandatory period, in direct relationship to the increase of Jewish population.  Palestine, which was an area of Arab emigration prior to 1922, suddenly became a locale for Arab immigration.  The principal cause was the Jewish settlement which improved the general conditions (e.g. Moslem infant mortality which was 19.6% in 1922 declined to 14% by 1939).  Between 1922 and 1939 the resident non-Jewish population of Palestine increased by 75.2%.  During the inter-war period there was an increase of 375,000 in the Jewish population in Palestine and 380,000 in the non-Jewish population in Palestine.  Moreover, the Arab increase was greatest wherever Jewish development was most marked.  Thus, in Haifa the Arab community increased by 216%, in Jaffa by 134%, and in Jerusalem by 97%.  All these were within the area of Jewish development.  On the other hand, where there was no Jewish settlement, in Nablus, for example, the Arab increase was only 42%; Jenin 40%, Hebron 40%, Bethlehem 32%, Beit Jalah 23%.

The following statistics regarding the faith communities in Jerusalem from the middle of the nineteenth century, demonstrate the preponderance of the Jewish population in the city already well before the rise of modern Zionism as well as thereafter.






Encyclopedia Britannica
Calendar of Palestine
Encyclopedia Britannica
Chambers Encyclopedia
Colliers Encyclopedia
Chambers Encyclopedia
Z. Vilnay, Jerusalem – The Old City, 1962
Israel Central Bureau of Statistics

It is interesting to see that the Christians constituted even a larger group than the Muslims in most of the second half of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries.

Among some of the most unfounded claims of Israel’s enemies that have recently been made, is the assertion that at the end of the nineteenth century Palestinian Arabs lived in 90% of the land.  However anyone who knows anything about geography knows that even in the most densely populated areas, human beings do not occupy ninety percent of land.  More pertinent, however, is a reading of Mark Twain’s account of his visit to the Holy Land that makes it clear how little of the land was actually populated at all.  Moreover, Jewish purchase of arable land was limited by the major owners of such, who were overwhelmingly absentee Arab landlords who leased the land to local peasants.  Not for nothing therefore, were most kibbutzim built on drained swamp land and desert and Israel’s largest city was erected on the sand dunes north of Jaffa!  Notable are the statistics provided by the Christian journalist Terrence Prittie, who in his book on the Israel-Arab conflict (p. 120) writes that in all of Palestine in 1945 there were just over 1.1 million Arabs, roughly 650,000 of them in areas that subsequently became part of Israel.

Nevertheless, the evident and overwhelming unique Jewish historical attachment to the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, does not mean that the attachment of Palestinian Arabs to this land should be ignored.  Precisely because two peoples do live in and are attached to the land, we need to find the way to enable both the local Arab and Jewish populations to enjoy national self determination with dignity and security.  Sadly we could have already been there in 1947.  As a result of the Arab refusal to accept the United Nations proposed partition that would have allowed two states to live alongside each other and instead the launching of all-out war against Israel; the local Arab Palestinians bore the brunt of the conflict.  Indeed perhaps the greatest tragedy of the Palestinian people has been their leadership and that of the Arab world, which time and again has encouraged fantasies of destroying Israel and has rejected the opportunities for compromise.

Those anti-Israel propagandists who seek to deny the continuous bond and relationship between the Jewish People and the Land of Israel, only play into this delusion which just encourages the violence that has boomeranged on the Palestinian population and continues to prevent them from seeking the compromise that can provide them and their children with a decent future of dignity, sustenance and security.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011



Posted: Monday, July 07, 2008 4:50 PM by Alan Boyle

Posted: Monday, July 07, 2008 4:50 PM by Alan Boyle

AFP - Getty Images
A foot-wide stone tablet is said to bear Jewish
messianic messages from the first century B.C.

Scriptural scholars are abuzz over a stone tablet that is said to bear previously unknown prophecies about a Jewish messiah who would rise from the dead in three days. But there are far more questions than answers about the tablet, which some have suggested could represent "a new Dead Sea Scroll in stone."
Do the tablet and the inked text really date back to the first century B.C., as claimed? Where did the artifact come from? Can the gaps in the text be filled in to make sense? Is the seeming reference to a coming resurrection correct, and to whom does that passage refer? Finally, what impact would a pre-Christian reference to suffering, death and resurrection have on Christian scholarship?
Such questions are being addressed this week in Jerusalem, at an international conference marking the 60th anniversary of the Dead Sea Scrolls' discovery. They're also being addressed in reports about the "Vision of Gabriel" tablet that have trickled out over the past few months.
That trickle flooded onto the front page of The New York Times on Sunday, in a story that quoted one professor as saying some Christians would "find it shocking" that Jewish scriptures prefigured Christian theology.
But Herschel Shanks, founder of the Biblical Archaeology Society and editor of the Biblical Archaeology Review, said that such a linkage really isn't surprising, let alone shocking.
"The really unique thing about Christian theology is in the life of Jesus - but in the doctrines, when I was a kid, you had little stories about the Sermon on the Mount and the people listening to this saying, 'What is this man saying? I never heard anything like this! This is different,'" Shanks told me. "Today, this view is out. There are Jewish roots to almost everything in Christian experience."
This revised view comes through loud and clear in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which chronicle the spiritual and even the sanitary practices of a Jewish sect that existed around the time of Jesus. It was the similarity to the style of the scrolls that first brought the "Vision of Gabriel" tablet to the attention of archaeologists.
How the tablet came to lightThe 1-foot-wide, 3-foot-tall (30-by-90-centimeter) tablet has a checkered past: According to the tale that has been woven around the stone, it was found near Jordan's Dead Sea shore and sold by a Jordanian dealer to Israeli-Swiss collector David Jeselsohn a decade ago. A few years ago, Jeselsohn showed the stone to Ada Yardeni, an expert on ancient Semitic scripts, who consulted with another expert, Binyamin Elitzur.
Yardeni's take on the tablet, published in the Hebrew-language journal Cathedra and in the Biblical Archaeology Review, was that the text was of a style going back to the late first century B.C. or the early first century A.D. - right around the time when Jesus would be growing up.
The 87-line text was written in ink, not inscribed in the stone, and it was laid out just the way one would expect on a scroll, in two nearly even columns. "If it were written on leather (and smaller) I would say it was another Dead Sea Scroll fragment - but it isn't," Yardeni wrote.
The text appears to be a set of apocalyptic pronouncements from a personage named Gabriel - hence the name given to the text, "The Vision of Gabriel" or "Gabriel's Revelations." Biblical Archaeology Review has put the Hebrew text as well as an English translation online.
As you'll see by reading the text, there are so many gaps that it's hard to make out exactly what is being said - but even those fragments were intriguing to Israel Knohl, a Biblical scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Back in the year 2000, Knohl had written a book titled "The Messiah Before Jesus," contending that there was plenty of Jewish precedent for the Christian messianic story. When Knohl read the Cathedra article and looked into the tablet further, he saw new evidence for his thesis:
  • He reconstructed one phrase to read, "In three days, you shall live" - which would be an eerie parallel to the Christian account of Jesus' resurrection on the third day of his entombment.
  • He deduced that the phrase was addressed by Gabriel to a "prince of princes" who was slain by an evil king.
  • Based on his previous research, Knohl even suggested that the text referred to a Jewish rebel leader named Simon, who was killed by Herod's army in 4 B.C.
Knohl laid out his case for interpreting Gabriel's vision last year in an essay for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and wrote up a more scholarly analysis for April's issue of The Journal of Religion (which you can read by following the links from this Web page). He's also due to discuss the tablet this week during the Dead Sea Scrolls conference.
The resurrection-in-three-days angle was the attention-getter for Sunday's Times report. But many steps in the scientific analysis of the tablet still have to be verified, starting with the origins of the stone and the inked text.
Faith-based archaeology?"This story has the big caveat of 'where did it come from?'" Mark Rose, online editor for Archaeology magazine, told me. "Someone knows where it came from, someone found it, someone sold it."
The field of biblical archaeology has had its share of controversies over artifacts that may or may not be genuine - most notably the ossuary of James and the "lost tomb of Jesus." Rose said the tablet would have to face the same kind of scrutiny - and could well end up in an archaeological limbo, neither verified nor debunked.
"You want to look at these stories as having to do with faith? Well, there's a lot of faith involved," he said.
Shanks, who was caught up in the earlier debate over the ossuary (a.k.a. the "Jesus box"), has faith that the tablet ultimately will prove genuine. Some of the most exacting judges of antiquities have been taking a close look at the artifact - and the tablet appears to be passing the tests so far.
"I don't think that you'll find any competent scholar who will call it a forgery," Shanks said.
What does it all mean?Even assuming that the stone tablet (and the ink writing) are accepted as dating back to the first century B.C., scholars will likely struggle over how the scriptural fragments are pieced together. Perhaps the best way to firm up Knohl's textual interpretation is to find parallel texts elsewhere, as others have done with the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Then there's the question of what effect the "Vision of Gabriel" might have on Jewish and Christian belief.
During the troubled times into which Jesus was born, Jews yearned for the rise of a messiah who would emerge as a powerful military leader and throw out the Roman-backed regime.
"You have in Christian theology a very different kind of messiah, a messiah who's going to shed blood and atone for your sins," Shanks observed. "Where the hell did this come from, baby? Are there elements of this in Jewish messianism?"
The Dead Sea Scrolls have already shown that the idea of a suffering messiah was part of the cultural milieu back then. If the tablet's text and its three-day messianic interpretation are verified, it could shrink the theological gap between pre-Christian Judaism and early Christianity even further. But that shouldn't come as a shock, Rose said.
"Is this going to redefine the relationship between Judaism and Christianity? I don't think so," he said.
Believers might say the "Vision of Gabriel" is yet another scriptural foreshadowing of Jesus' actual death and resurrection - while skeptics might say the text provides more evidence that the gospels fit into a tradition of untrue messianic tales.
What do you think? Will the "Vision of Gabriel" become a religious bombshell? Will it fizzle out? Or will it turn out to be just one more interesting twist in the saga of scriptural scholarship? Feel free to weigh in with your comments below.
Update for 10 p.m. ET: For what it's worth, in today's AFP report on the tablet, Knohl is quoted as saying the text could "overturn the vision we have of the historic personality of Jesus." I suspect many of the commenters would contest that claim. An unnamed Israel archaeologist, meanwhile, is quoted as saying, "It's very strange that such a text was written in ink on a tablet and was preserved until now. To determine whether it is authentic one would have to know in which condition and exactly where the tablet was discovered, which we do not."

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I don't know why this is such a bombshell. In the psalms of David the same concept is repeated with much more accuracy. A messiah will be crucified and will be resurected. It is the crux of the Messianic Jewish movement.
Even if they prove that it is real...they will never be able to prove if it was written by a genuine prophet. I think this is a debate that will last forever.
if this was so important as to shake the foundations of religious belief, it would not be released or at least certain messages will be concealed.

Just as industry silenced the genious of nicholai tesla, to safeguard profits at the cost of humanity, the great business that is church would not let things shake the faith of their flock...
even if one should rise from the dead they still will not believe!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Israel at 3,500 plus

Israel at 3,500 plus

By Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo

The Jewish State's only hope and future

 Today is the 60th anniversary of a marriage that has lasted more than 3,500 years. This may sound like a paradox but this is the inescapable truth about the land of Israel and the Jews.

No marriage has been so long, so deep in its commitment and so overwhelming in its love as the one between the Jews and their homeland. But no marriage has been so painful nor so tragic, for the partners were forced apart by the Roman Empire nearly 2000 years ago.

The bride and the groom pledged unconditional love but were not re-united for another 1878 years. But for all these years nothing absolute nothing could emotionally separate the partners even when they lived thousands of miles away from each other. This marriage was not depending on where the partners physically resided but were their souls were dwelling.

For that to happen the Jews metaphorically and in an unprecedented way, lifted the land of Israel from its native soil and transformed it into a portable homeland taking it with to all the corners of the earth. Only in 1948 were the land and its people physically reunited.

The founding of the State of Israel then is not the beginning of the marriage between the Land and the Jewish People, but rather a reaffirmation of nuptials that took place thousands of years ago between G-d and Abraham the Hebrew. The State of Israel was not established in 1948 but rather in the year 70, on the day after the Romans exiled the Jews.

But no marriage can be taken for granted. Not even after 3,500 years. When a bridegroom offers his new wife a ring as a sign of commitment, he knows that this is only the first installment of an ongoing pledge. No marriage can endure if both partners do not constantly re-invest in their relationship. The moment a marriage is counted in years rather than marked by shared striving for new opportunities, it has come to an end. Only a mission - a common dream - can sustain a marriage and only something greater than itself will allow it to succeed. Marriage is a single soul dwelling in two bodies, but a soul that has lost its purpose loses itself.

Ironically, the people of Israel today are struggling to stay spiritually wed to their land. Rampant materialism and militant secularism have eroded Israel's sense of Jewish identity and the historical consciousness that gives meaning to its national existence. Growing numbers of its people lack Jewish self-understanding and question why they should live in this country at all.

It is true that the wonderful Israeli soldiers are ready to sacrifice their lives for our country. But how long can this continue when Israel is nothing more than just a country?

People are willing to die only for that by which they have lived. And human beings can live meaningful lives only when they know that there is something eternal worth dying for.

It is thus crucial to identify the element that bound the partners together for these thousands of years. And that is unequivocally the mission to be "a light unto the nations," as pronounced by the prophet Isaiah. The marriage was created to give birth to a wellspring of religious and moral teachings that will suffuse mankind with the knowledge that life is holy and that G-d awaits man in order to redeem His world.

This then is the task of the Land and People of Israel: To elevate the human race so that it becomes a link between the divine and the earthly. For life is a mandate, a privilege --- not a game or a mere triviality. The Jewish people married the land in order to create a model society that is emulated by all mankind.

It is the rabbis who consecrate a marriage. But that is only part of their task. As pastors, their responsibility is to ensure the marriage's success and to tend to it if it flounders or gets bogged down. This is the task of Israel's religious leadership today: Religious leaders must transform the Jewish People by creating a spiritual longing for its unique mission and thereby restore their marriage to its full potential after the long and difficult separation.

Real religious leaders, as men of Truth, should stir unprecedented awe among Israelis and all Jews. Their towering personalities should attract with their overflowing love.

The hour requires strong and resolute religious and moral guidance. Like the prophets of old, the religious leaders must generate a spiritual revolution, triggering an ethical-religious uproar that shakes the very foundations of the State.

Only then will the Jewish People re-engage with its land. Only then can the Jewish people stay eternally married to its land. Only then will no third party dare to interfere in its matrimonial bond. This is Israel's hope and future.

May G-d bless Israel!