On Tisha B’Av Jewish people in Israel and around the world mourn the destruction of the ancient Jewish Temple.
The destruction of the Temple meant the destruction of the centerpiece of Judaism, tearing apart of the foundation of Jewish culture and the Nation of Israel.
This and the exile that followed should have been enough to eliminate the Jewish people. It wasn’t.
2000 years did not make the Jewish people forget.
The image people around the world today have of the Temple Mount is that of the golden domed mosque which was built on the ruins of the Temple in 691 C.E. Since that time the Dome of the Rock has been a holy place for the Moslem people – although not central to their religion. Considered the third holiest location in Islam, it is not mentioned a single time in the Koran.
Within the Dome of the Rock is the Foundation Stone, the foundation on which it is believed that God created the earth. This was the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant was placed, within the ancient Jewish Temple.
Today Jews are not allowed anywhere near the site that is most holy to us. We may not enter the Dome of the Rock, not even to look. Ascending to the Temple Mount is highly restricted and prayers are strictly forbidden.
Today we mourn what was lost to our people.
Today is a day of fasting for religious Jews around the world – the 9th day of the month of Av (Jewish calendar) is the day when both the first and second Temples were destroyed, the first by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E.; the second by the Romans in 70 C.E.
The destruction of the Jewish Temple meant the destruction of the most holy, pivotal location to the Jewish religion, culture and people. Destruction of the Temple was an attempt to destroy the Jewish nation – take out the cultural linchpin, the one element that ties everyone together and everything will fall apart.
It is written:
As the navel is set in the centre of the human body,
so is the land of Israel the navel of the world…
situated in the centre of the world,
and Jerusalem in the centre of the land of Israel,
and the sanctuary in…
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