Michael Skir

Temple Mount -Mount Moriah

The mountain

Mount Moriah is the Temple Mount.  The Temple was built in the time of King Solomon and was rebuilt a second time after it was destroyed in the days of Zechariah and Nehemiah and renovated by King Herod.
But why?  Was the temple built on Mount Moriah?  
According to tradition, Mount Moriah is the beginning of the world and its center, from which light comes into the world, is the place of biblical paradise, and is the burial place of the skull of the first man.
 David decided to conquer the Canaanite Jebus and made it the capital of his kingdom, and has since been called the “City of David”.  The Temple Mount was then out of town !!  And according to the Bible served as a threshing floor or vineyard of Arvana the Jebusite who was king.
 David bought the threshing floor from Arvana for fifty shekels of silver, following an incident that stopped a plague that threatened Jerusalem.  He built an altar there, and sacrificed  sacrificions to the God of Israel ,to stop the plague of the thing that had afflicted the people, as a punishment for the commander made by David.
 David planned to build the temple on the site, and even began to do so, but Gad the prophet stopped him and ordered him to leave the craft to his son who would reign after him.  His son Solomon built the first temple on the Temple Mount around 967 BC, around a huge stone that was in place, known as the “Foundation Stone”.
 It is claimed that around the same stone stood in the past a pagan Jebusite temple, however according to biblical simplification it seems that the place served as the residence of Arvana the Jebusite who remained there even after the conquest of the city.
 That is, in the space of time( from the time of Abraham who goes to bind his son on the foundation stone, to the Canaanites Jebusites) Arvana plants , vineyard there.
 What is the foundation stone?  Comes from the word infrastructure/base.. in Hebrew. On which the world is founded. On which the world arose.
 The stone itself is actually a rock, a large rock protruding from the ground of the Temple Mount, inside the Dome of the Rock structure, named after the stone, meaning the Muslims when they built the magnificent structure built it as a stone dome.
 The rock is surrounded by an iron frame, and its height above the floor is about two meters.  According to the Mishnah, the Holy Ark of the covenant was placed on the foundation stone and the Spirit of God rested in it.  And this identification is important and essential although it can be assumed that above the position of the stone existence stood the Holy of Holies.
 According to the Talmud, in Tractate Simchot (Book of the Composition of the Tomb, Chapter 1), the process of creating the world from the foundation stone is described as the process of creating a child in its mother’s womb:
 “God wisely founded the land of the heavenly drive wisely, to teach you that when the Blessed One created his world, as a newborn woman they created.  It is called the rock of foundation from which the Blessed One began to create his world. “

And in research
 The tradition on stone (the foundation) “from which the world was founded” reflects one tradition among many, who lived among the people, and entered into ancient universal foundations, which Judaism adapted to its perception and worldview (since the story in the Bible contradicts the story of the drinking stone ….  , Because when God created the world, it was the first place that was created, and from here the world grew and expanded in waves, until the rest of the universe was created).
 The  role of the foundation stone  and its reference to the Temple is unclear.
Many of the early Jerusalem scholars tended to see it as the altar of the sucrfitions.  In the cave at the bottom of the rock is  the “House of the Shittin”, to remove the remains of the sucrfitions, and in the pit at its bottom the gutter to remove the water and blood of the sucrfitions that floweded into the Kidron river

 Summary of Prof Yadin on this subject – The rock has always been considered the most sacred object on the Temple Mount.  Nevertheless, opinions were divided as to its exact location;  The main question is whether the altar that stood to the east of the house was built on the ‘rock’, or the exterminator himself.  The first opinion holders claim that the ‘rock’ was used in ancient times as an altar … The others claim that if the altar was on the rock, then the area for the temple, which is west of it, was not enough.  

 According to the sub-testimony, “A stone was there from the days of the first prophets, and it is called a foundation, three fingers higher on earth,the high priest on Yom Kippur would lite the censer with the incense”  It was therefore in the Holy of Holies, and on top stood the Ark of the Covenant.

 An ancient Jewish tradition identifies this place with the stone on which Jacob slept in Beit El.  This tradition seems to have originated in the period after the division of the kingdom, when Jeroboam son of Nebat tried to establish a rival temple in Beit El.  Stood up and interpreted “Beit El is Jerusalem, the city of God” … Most of the traditions associated with the foundation rock are from the Second Temple period, when the Temple in Jerusalem was a religious and spiritual center for the Jews of the land.
 The spiritual conception strengthened the metaphysical element, enveloped it in an aura of radiance, and led to the weaving of traditions and legends around it.  The starting point for these traditions is the idea that the temple (the foundation rock) is the center of the world.  By doing so, the motif, which is mythological, was given a rational character,

 To describe Jerusalem as the center of the world, at a time when the Holy City served as a target for pilgrimages from all over the Diaspora.  This is not the place to expand on the origin of this idea, which was widely used in major temples in ancient times, but it is impossible not to mention in this connection the famous temple in Delphi in Greece, where a stone pointed out by the Greeks as the center of the world.  On this stone were two golden eagles, which according to legend were sent at that time from both ends of the earth and met at Delphi.  Some believe that we have a Greek Hellenistic influence

 The foundation stone recieved most of its importance from the temple, and most of the supernatural features and legends associated with it were roughly attributed to other major temples in the ancient world.  Underlying this idea is the fact that the temple is the center of the world, and that the temple is the source of the world, just as the center is the source of the fetus.  It was further believed that the temple constitutes the connection between the upper and lower worlds, and that it is the source of all blessings, and through it the world is nourished.  These ideas found expression in the Temple in Jerusalem, and most of them focused around the foundation rock.  Their prevalence in the temples of the ancient Near East explains why they were so well absorbed by the Arabs in the seventh century.

In the Muslim tradition
Chapter 17 of the Qur’an tells of a night journey made by Muhammad from the holy mosque in Mecca, the Kaaba to the extremist mosque, al-Aqsa.  Tradition has it that the journey was made on a winged horse named Al Burak and so during one night Muhammad came from Mecca to the Temple Mount.  That night Muhammad climbed up the Western Wall, reached the large plaza that had stood desolate for 600 years, since the destruction of the Second Temple, and found in the plaza one very specific stone – the stone of foundation.  According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad climbed the stone and ascended seven heavens into the sky. In heaven Allah met Muhammad who gave 50 prayers and for him and his believers whom he would have to pray every day.  Muhammad conducted tough negotiations with Allah that ended in 5 prayers a day and to this day every Muslim anywhere in the world is required to pray 5 prayers every day and connect to Jerusalem.

 It seems that it was a Jew who discovered the holy place of Islam
 A story is told of a Jewish convert named Kaab al-Ahmar who revealed the holy place to Omar.Later in the Muslim period 700 …. it is said that it was Jews who took care of the cleanliness and purification of the mosque.
Al-Aqsa Mosque
 It was built by Omar in the south of temple mount, first as a simple place of worship, made of wood like the ancient Muslim mosques, and then in the center of the building were the Dome of Hassala and the Al-Aqsa Mosque and later the Umayyad Palaces south of the Temple Mount.
 The Dome of the Rock is not a mosque.  Its main purpose is to serve as a superstructure, which will express respect and value to the rock, and will allow visitors to huddle next to it and perform the ceremonial rounds around it.  De Vega testifies that “this building does not belong to the ordinary Jama mosques; it is not a mosque at all. It is closer to the revered tombs.  Since it was not a mosque, it was not necessary for it to be particularly large.  Most of the architects’ efforts were concentrated in that part of the awning on the rock directly, while the other parts, which were intended only for functional value – to house the pilgrims – could have a low and less luxurious ceiling.  The dome, which was already common at this time in the East to indicate sacred places, was chosen as the most suitable superstructure, due to the impressive space it created above the rock.  Indeed, the essence of the structure is the dome and the rock, as the name Dome of the Rock (Qubat a-Tzahra) also indicates the name of the Omar Mosque, it is fundamentally wrong that it is not a mosque, and it was not hooked by Omar.

 In 691, ‘Abd al-Malik built a magnificent shrine above the rock, which bears the name of the site on which he awns.  This is not the place to go into the set of problems that led him to this step.  In our case, the reasons that led him to choose the foundation stone as the focus of the sacred structure are important.
The Muslim tradition received many of the Jewish traditions, and the biblical figures who were associated with the place.  The integration of these traditions into the new religion and the construction of the Dome of the Rock and other structures were done as part of the “Islamization” of the Temple Mount by the Muslim rulers.
 The role of this rock in the Islamic tradition in the context of Muhammad’s “night journey” and his ascent from the rock to heavens;  This is the main source of sanctity of the rock in the eyes of the Muslims.  It is based on two different traditions: one, the night journey (to Isra) and the other – the ascension to heaven.  The Prophet ascended to heaven from the rock with the help of a miracle ladder “made of gold with steps of silver after tying to the Western Wall his winged horse -” El Burak “.

 The Dome of the Rock was erected as a monument of victory and as a counterweight to the many churches in Jerusalem, to glorify the Muslim world just as the Christians glorified theirs.  That is why the magnificent structure was erected in splendor,
Rough in today’s terms
 Before ‘Abd al-Malek started his factory, he passed a proclamation and asked his subjects to express their opinions.  He began his work only after receiving the support of the Muslim world.
 Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are not mentioned at all in the Qur’an.  The existence of the Temple Mount is alluded to in the first verse of Surah 17, it is “Surat al-Asra” (night journey) and Surat Asrael (Bnei Yisrael:)  His surroundings, to show him our signs;  For he (Allah) hears, sees. “

Al-Aqsa Mosque
 The name “al-Aqsa” means “the most distant,” or “the most extreme” in Arabic and is originally intended for the Temple Mount area in general and only later did the name shrink to the current mosque.
 The name is related to Muhammad’s night journey from the “central” to “extreme” Mecca of Jerusalem, that is, secondary in importance to Mecca. The rulers of the Umayyad dynasty had a religious and political interest in raising the importance of Jerusalem and creating a center for believers and pilgrims.  This was done by erecting the magnificent structure of the Dome of the Rock (691) and building a suitable mosque next to it – al-Aqsa shortly afterwards.
 The 12-year-old geographer writes: “Al-Aqsa has built the largest mosque in the world … apart from perhaps the largest mosque in Córdoba.”  And a third of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
 The mosque is capable of holding about 5,000 worshipers at a time, more than 2,000 than in the Dome of the Rock.  The building was 80 m long  (240 feet)and 55 m (155 feet) wide (excluding the annexed buildings).

The mosque During and after the Umayyad period
After the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem, a mosque was built in the southern part of the Temple Mount.  There was a simple wooden mosque, which did not withstand the ravages of time.  This mosque was described some 30 years later by Bishop Arcolphus (670) as an open courtyard made of wooden beams:  In all simplicity, I accept the assumption that the mosque was built in the southeast of the Temple Mount and stretched east to the “cradle of Jesus,” and west to the present-day Al-Aqsa.  The scope of the Temple Mount is the Al-Aqsa Mosque established by the Umayyad Caliph al-Walid, the son of ‘Abd al-Malik.  About 300 years later.
 The certificates tell us  about trained workers from the years 714-709 who were sent from Egypt to Jerusalem.The days of the mosque erected by El Walid were short, and it was destroyed in an earthquake in 746.
 With the Crusader conquest the mosque was converted into a palace for the Crusader kings and later a residence for the Templars.  They made some alterations to it, remnants of which have remained in place to this day.  After the Muslim conquest, most of the Crusader remains were removed by Saladin.
 In the new era the mosque served as a field of occurrence for dramatic events, which gave it much publicity.  For the first time, in 1951, when King Abdullah of Jordan was assassinated at its gates, and most recently, That the mosque was set on fire, and was a cause for political incitement, which far exceeded the boundaries of the event.
 At the same time, the mosque was badly damaged, and is undergoing thorough renovations for the third time in the current century, lasting 17 consecutive years.
Al aqsa Crusaders period In 1118 several knights were organized, who took it upon themselves to guard the holy places of the Christians and to protect the lives of the pilgrims.  The Crusader king of Jerusalem, Baldwin II, gave them a place in the royal palace, which was located in al-Aqsa.  But after a short time a plant from this humble knights’ organization grew up, the famous “Order of the Templars,” which was intensified by its influence and the number of its people, and the place was too small for it.
 The Crusader kings evacuated from the mosque  and made it available to the Templars.  From now until the end of the Crusader period, the Templars remained in al-Aqsa, making alterations to and outside the mosque.  Idrisi (1154) relates that in the interior of the mosque the Crusaders built rooms for their use.  But that was not the only change.  A wide wall was built before the Mahrab, and the additional hall thus obtained served as a grain barn.  A portion was also allocated to toilets, which angered Muslims.  In part of the eastern wing of the mosque, the Templars built a church, which John Würzburg defines as “a new expanse, the construction of which has not yet been completed.”  Most of the changes the Crusaders made were from the outside, adjacent to the building and its wings

Jesus and the Temple

 Some of the important events in the life of Jesus focused on Temple Mount during the Second Temple period.The presentation of Jesus in the temple and the purification of Mary (Luke 2:22);  The prophecy of the destruction of the temple (Mark 13: 1-2); tearing of the veil of temple at the time of the crucifixion (Matthew 27: 5).

 Of all the events that have taken place, Christianity attaches special importance to the purification of the sanctuary.  On his last journey to Jerusalem.  Jesus came out as a buffer against the  priests the marchants,and the changers of the Temple Mount  Especially against the bargaining and addiction that took place within its walls.

Herod and the Temple

The surface of the Temple Mount as it looks today, is Herod’s factory.
 In the 18th year of his reign, Herod renewed the Temple Mount.  He convened the people and made it clear that he did not intend to rebuild the Temple, but only to “restore the crown to its former glory.” Herod even made sure to prepare everything necessary before going to work.
 He gathered a thousand carts for transporting the stones and ten thousand workers, including a thousand priests who had specially learned the craft of building and stonemasonry.  The sacred walls were covered with mats so that a foreign eye would not rule over it.
 The stones for the construction of the altar and the Menora ( lamb ) were brought from virgin land, from the Beit Hakerem Valley, without the iron being lifted on them. The building was built in great splendor from three types of marble.  Shisha, Marmara and Kahala.
 Gold is used in the temple decorations, from the back wall of the hall, over which a golden vine hangs, to the ends of the “raven bride” above the roof.
According to Josef ben Matityahu, the construction work lasted forty-six years.
 The shrine itself was erected for two and a half years while the work of the stewards lasted eight years.  Herod spent most of his efforts on the Temple Mount plaza, where he established the largest cult complex known to the classical world.  He even changed the face of the city in the Temple Mount area, with great planning built access roads, bridges, streets and arrangements for pilgrims.
 Growing up on Greek culture and classical architecture, Herod saw precision and symmetry as an architectural achievement worthy of imitation.  
In front of his eyes must have been the Bell Temple in Tadmor in Syria from the end of the first century BCE, where a spacious relief structure surrounded by staves and walls, in the Corinthian style, was erected around the temple.
 However the mentioned temple was erected in a flat area, to build the leveled extension, Herod was forced to change the channel of two streams.
 The small valley in the northeast of the Temple Mount was blocked by a wall that rose to 38 m above the bedrock.
 In the southwestern corner, the central valley channel was deflected by a wall 32 meters high.
The most amazing construction was in the southeast corner, where the wall rose to a height of 43 feet.  Vaults were built at a height of 9 m (27f), extending along 80 m (240f) from east to west and 60(250f) m from north to south.  The retaining walls around the Temple Mount were built of large ashlars with a thickness of 5 m. The average height of each course is 1 m and more.
 One of the cornerstones of the southeastern wall excels in its impressive dimensions and weight reaching one hundred tons.  The stone was slightly damaged and Chic tried to tie it to the “Maaso Habonim Stone” which was “Rosh Pina”(Mathew 21:42)  A stone discovered in the Herodian retaining wall to the west is 12.5 m long, 3 m high and weighs 350 tons!
 The Temple Mount plaza was leveled and widened to the south and surrounded by huge retaining walls, including five gates: two “Hulda” gates in the south, Kipinus gate in the west, Teddy gate in the north and Shushan gate in the east.

 Although most of the city stretched from the west, the main entrances were from the south, perhaps as a continuum and as an expression of the historical connection between the City of David and the Temple Mount.
 The eastern wall was lower than the other walls, so as not to hide the entrance of the shrine from the eyes of the high priest when the red cow was burned at the top of mount of olives.
 The Temple Mount plaza was surrounded by double columns, the largest and most magnificent of which to the south, was the royal Stoa, 185 m (555f)long
 It was a kind of basilica built of a nave and two citrus trees with four columns in between.  
In the basilica the merchants and money changers concentrated, who converted the Roman money into shekels, and the merchants sold pigeons and sacrificial necessities (Matthew 21: 12-22)
 The “sacred area” in the center of the Temple Mount, covered five “hundred square amot”, and included the temple and the courtyards.
 It was surrounded by a lattice with Greek and Latin inscriptions, warning the foreigners not to cross it.
 The women’s aid from the east included an incense court, with four lodges in the corners:
 Chamber of Monks in the southeast, Chamber of Lepers in the northwest, Chamber of Oil in the southwest and Chamber of Trees in the northeast.  
Around the women’s courtyard was a partition from which the women could observe what was happening without being allowed to interfere with the crowd.
 To the west of the women’s courtyard stood the Niknor Gate, also known as the Corinthian Gate for its no coating of Corinthian copper.  In the Christian tradition, the beautiful gate (Ma’as C, B) was called a 15-degree figure of a half-threshing floor, and next to them were chambers where the Levites kept the musical instruments.

 The temple is divided into a hall, a shrine and an exterminator.  The hall was a kind of narrow entrance room.
 Behind it was the magnificent hall and all its walls were covered with gold, its hair was the “great gate” of the house, above which was a golden vine. In the temple stood the incense altar, the face bread table and the golden lamp, Was at the western end of the shrine which was empty and only the high priest was allowed to enter it once a year on Yom Kippur.

In the Crusader period

 The Crusaders referred to the Dome of the Rock as a Christian church, which the Muslims turned into a mosque, an opinion that was also prevalent among some scholars in the previous century.  Most of the sanctity of the place was concentrated in the foundation rock, around which many ancient traditions focused: the foundation stone was the seat of the corrupting angel in Goren Arvanach the Jebusite, after David counted the people (Shmuel 24:17).  The Holy of Holies in the Temple of Solomon.
 Muhammad’s footprint in the rock is nothing but the foot of Jesus, while he expelled the changers. Here Jesus saved the adulterous Hasha from the Pharisees (John 8: 3-11).  The cave at the bottom of the rock served as the confessional of the church, in which Zechariah was informed of the birth of John.
After the kings of Jerusalem left the Temple Mount, in the times of Baldwin II, and moved to their new palace near the Tower of David, the building was handed over to the Knights Templar, the Knights of the Temple who renovated it.

 The subterranean halls in the southeast of the temple mount were also restored and converted into warehouses and huge stables and access to the site was opened through the “single gate.”

Some saw it as a Christian church founded by  S Helena  (Constantine  & Justinian’s mother), in honor of Jesus and Mary, which became a mosque.

 It was one of the most important sites in Crusader Jerusalem, and second in importance only to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

 It was handed over to the Augustinian monks of the “Temple of the Lord, erected especially for this purpose by Gottfried of Bowen.

 Beginning in 1115, renovations were carried out on the site that lasted about twenty years, during which time the building was prepared for its new purpose.  The foundation rock, which centered around the traditions pertaining to the temple of the Lord, was covered with marble and an altar was erected on it.  It was surrounded by a metal lattice, and could no longer be touched or even seen except from the north.  Thus ceased the custom prevalent among the guards of the temple to break pieces of stone and sell them to pilgrims for gold !!!.

The walls of the building were decorated with pictures and inscriptions that referred to its history, and on the dome of the building was a large cross that stood out in the distance.  The inauguration of the building was held in 1136 in all its glory, with the participation of the papal emissary, the patriarch of Jerusalem, bishops and European leaders.

 Foundation of the Order of the Templars (1118) The purpose of this order was to ensure the lives of pilgrims in the Holy Land and to provide appropriate accompaniment to their caravans.  The Dome of the Rock underwent appropriate alterations to qualify it for its role as a church and as a sacred place for Christians.  The rock was surrounded by a fine metal lattice, which existed until modern times.  It was no longer possible to touch the rock or see it, except from the north.  Alongside the Arabic inscriptions now appeared Latin inscriptions and pictures with Christian motifs.

 The figure of Jesus is made of a gold plate and is set with diamonds.  Beside them were pictures with distinctly Christian motifs, which sometimes included

 Biblical events in a Christian interpretation: Jacob is described as sleeping in Beit El ,over a stone (link to the stone of foundation) with ascending and descending angels, etc.  Other pictures depict Simon holding the baby Jesus.  Miriam was described as a child and with her seven maidens (the client motif from Hieronymus’ interpretation of Miriam’s birth).

 Another picture depicted Joseph’s choice with the help of a staff decorated with lilies.  And many pictures of altars, carried on tiny intertwined pillars.

 Finally, the crescent at the top of the dome was replaced by a large cross, which lived from now until the end of the Crusader period in Jerusalem – to the displeasure of the Muslims.  The conversion of the Dome of the Rock to the church began in 1115 and ended about twenty years later.  For its official splendor opening, an official delegation came on behalf of the Pope.  The Dome of the Rock played an important role in the life of the Crusaders as a social and ceremonial center. Festive processions were held from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to the Dome of the Rock, in part as they celebrated the conquest of the city.

Even on religious holidays and ceremonies, the Dome of the Rock, and its surroundings, were an important focal point in the ceremony, for example, on the “Holy Palm Day.”

 In 1967, a general permit was announced for Israeli Arabs to visit the Temple Mount freely.  Indeed, on the following Friday, 5,000 worshipers gathered at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, about a quarter of them Israeli Arabs.  Jews, on the other hand, were forbidden to pray at the site, in order to avoid friction with the Muslims.  It was a move designed to maintain the delicate balance between the two sides in this sensitive place.  This aroused great resentment at the time, especially among extremist Jewish circles and a petition was even filed with the Supreme Court in the case, but to no avail.

 This decision remains in until today, and all attempts by Jews, including the “Temple Mount faithfuls organization” to go up and  pray again, failed.  Entry for Orthodox to the Temple Mount was prohibited in any case, also by virtue of halakhah,  The laws of impurity and purity as their walk were nullified after the destruction of the temple (purity in the ashes “red cow” …). Therefore, at the main entrance to the Temple Mount, above the Mughrabi Gate, the Chief Rabbinate hung a sign in this language: “It is forbidden by Torah law for any person to enter the Temple Mount area because of its sanctity.”

 It has no buildings and sites, mainly because it is built on artificial spaces and vaults that are not beautiful to build.  The south of the Temple Mount borders the southern wall.  The wall, which extends to a length of 281 m, is one of the most impressive in the Temple Mount walls, and it has been well preserved.

 In ancient times the place was of great importance: in the days of the Second Temple, when it served as the main entrance to the Temple Mount, and in the Umayyad period

The double gate

 The testimonies of the pilgrims indicate that in the past it was possible to visit the double gate, and even Jewish pilgrims visited it.

 An inscription of Jewish pilgrims from Sicily was engraved on the central pillar of the gate in the past.  Mondrill (1697) and Horn (1750) are said to have visited here.  Mondril explicitly states that entering here from the south …, we entered a garden located at the foot of Mount Moriah in the south.  The site showed us a number of vaults adjacent to the mountain from this direction, extending at a length of at least 46 m (140 f)below the ground.  They were built of two passages above them huge stone vaults, supported by monolithic stone pillars, about 2 m in diameter.We may have watching ,works designed to increase the area of ​​the Temple Mount.  “From Horn’s description we learn that in the past Christians were even allowed to pray there.

 The gate is built of double passages, ending south of a kind of corridor or entrance room.  Instead of four proper domes, the arches separating them are supported by a large central pillar and half-pillars glued to the walls.  A number of clear periods can be seen in the building: in the south (in the entrance hall), the edging and the prominent firecracker stone, typical of the Herodian period, can be seen.

Whole stables

 The southeastern part of the temple mount  is built of artificial stationary of filling works and arches.  Instead of elongated underground halls, which are known for having warm entire stables and a gated and triangular gate.  It is not inconceivable that similar arches also exist in the west to the temple mount but there is no grout.  It is customary to attribute the construction in this area to the extensive restoration and leveling work of Herod the chosen house, but the place underwent changes in a later period.  The building of the arches was intended, among other things, to reduce the pressure on the retaining walls (and some say to overcome the problem of the impurity of the dead due to the “tombs of the field” – Mishnah, Tahorot C.)  Due to the topographic difficulties in the southeast of the Temple Mount, where the rock fell into the Kidron Valley to a depth of 47 m below the level of the Temple Mount plaza.

 To create halls, which later became known as Solomon’s Stables.  They are 80 m ( 250 f) long, east-west, and 60 m (180 f)north-south.  They are 9 m high, and their floor is 12 feet low.  5- m  (15 f)from the Temple Mount plaza.  This mighty work was supported by the Temple Mount wall, which reached a height of up to 47 m, but due to cover and accumulation of effluent, it is visible in a south-east corner “only” up to a height of 25 m.  The halls are made of columns of art connected by wide, rounded arches.  The pillars, which are 1m ( 3 f ) thick, are made of clumsy stones, some of which are in secondary use.  Which are typical of the Herodian construction with the prominent protrusion and edging.  Some believe that the work was mostly done by the Muslims, and was done after the Muslim conquest.  The halls are made of 12 pillars, which are different in length.  The wall to the south incorporates a beautiful stone, which may have served as a lintel of a gate during the Second Temple period.  Tin and there are stones in the chiseling typical of crusaders.  The ground slopes moderately from west to east.  In the southeast corner they were lifted during renovations, which were carried out on the site.  1890- As a result the “single gate” (blocked) was covered up to the height of the upper arch.  From the Crusader period the place was called Shlomo Stables.

 The legendary connection to Solomon testifies to the power and the extraordinary impression the place made on the Crusaders.  In the same way that they linked the Dome of the Rock (Temple of Solomon) and Al-Aqsa (Solomon’s Palace) to the same king, so they did in this place as well.

 The names “Armon Shlomo” and “Mikdash Shlomo” were not preserved by the Arabs, who were interested in exterminating any Crusader relic.  .
 From the time of Herod to the tenth century we have no clear information about the place.  The Muslim origins prior to the Crusader period refer mainly to the “Crib of Christ.” During the Crusader period, the underground chambers were used as stables for the Knights of the Cross.  They apparently opened a special gate in the southern wall, to allow entry for their horses.  Their use as stables will be roughly testified by the holes and gaps in the pillars for tying the horses, as well as the remains of the manger (near the southern wall).

 John of Würzburg testifies: “On the descent from the main street is a large gate, through which one can enter the temple courtyard. On the right, to the south, a palace built according to Solomon. There are huge stables, capable of holding over 2000 horses, or 1500 camels.  The Knights Templars have many large houses and a new church, the construction of which has not been completed”

 They have a lot of property and a lot of income in this area and elsewhere.  “Solomon’s stables are also mentioned by the Jewish pilgrim Benjamin of Tudela:” And there in Jerusalem in the house that Solomon lived in, horse stables, which he built a very strong building from large stones, do not look like that building in the whole country.  “Southeast Temple Mount is  mostly on artificial spaces and vaults: Solomon Stables in the southeast corner;  Vaults and spaces of the triangular gate to the west and large cisterns near and north of the al-Aqsa Mosque.  The area between the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the eastern wall and its surroundings is one of the largest and most uniform paved areas on the temple mount.

Gate of Mercy

 There is no other gate in Jerusalem or outside it that has been given so many names as the Gate of Mercy, in contrast to the prosaic names of most city gates (mostly devoid of the names of the cities or sites to which they turn), borrowing the names of the Gate of Mercy as if from another world.  They also expresses the sheer emotions and the highest concepts of mercy, eternity, repentance and gold.  The names of the gate constitute a kind of silent tombstone for the longing of man throughout the generations to approach the abode of the nearby God and to gain his grace and mercy,

hopes that seem to have stopped on the sealed gates of the gate.  The gate is called in the Jewish tradition the Gate of Mercy, and the Golden Gate in European languages.  Its name in Arabic its Bab a-Dahriya – “Eternal Gate.”  “Gates of Mercy,” a name that was common to many Jewish travelers in previous generations.  The earliest relic that can be seen today in the gate is from the Herodian period.  It is part of a large stone gate mezuzah, incorporated in the Gate of Mercy by the Byzantine builders.  These made grooves in it at regular distances, to suit the appearance of the structure, which was built of smaller stones.

is one of the oldest buildings in Jerusalem that has been fully preserved and one of the only ones who’s time have hardly damaged over the generations.  The gate is now sealed, but unlike the other obscure gates, its importance remains as it is revered by members of the three religions.   The gate is shrouded in traditions and legends, and the fact that it has been closed for centuries but increases the sense of mystery that surrounds it.  Contributing to this are also the architectural details that have no parallel, that have always misled and slashed the scholars and critics.

The arches – a canter (“around the upper surface an arcuate system delimits the upper surface from all its directions). This number corresponds to the octagonal structure of the mosque.  Libra at the head of these arches, and the fate of the souls of the believers will weigh on the tribe or grace. The arches differ from each other in size, shape and time of construction.

The arches west of the surface excel in their integrity.  This direction also excels in a wide staircase, which penetrates deep into the upper surface.  This area seems to have received more attention, as this is the direction from which worshipers come to the Temple Mount.  The length of the arches and stairs will not be fully realized.  Ibn al-Fakiya, (903) is the first to describe them.  It is removed on six stairs.  According to al-Mukdasi, (986) four of them are built in the direction of the four winds of the sky, right in front of the openings of the Dome of the Rock.  The first detailed description is by Nasser Khusro, (1047) which indicates six staircases, two from the east and two from the west.  They all end in arches called “maqam,” i.e. a sacred place.  They were built or restored according to his testimony between the tenth and tenth centuries.  The 13 southwestern arches are a late addition, from 1472

The Dome of the Chain (Kubat a-Silsala)
 The chain dome is one of the oldest and most important secondary structures on the Temple Mount and is mentioned as early as 852. It is reminiscent in shape of the rock dome to the west.  Hence the opinion that it was established by ‘Abd al-Malik, as a model for the Dome of the Rock.  However, this is a late tradition, first mentioned by Mujir a-Din.  1495-B Moreover, the resemblance to the Dome of the Rock is only external, since it is a structure with 12 sides, while the Dome of the Rock has eight sides.  According to another tradition, which is often quoted in the pilgrim literature, the chain dome was erected as the treasury where the funds intended for the maintenance of the Temple Mount were kept, similar to the “treasury” located near the Great Mosque in Damascus.  But there it is a closed structure, while here it is an open structure carried on pillars that is not beautiful for this purpose.

 According to popular Muslim tradition here was the court of King David, hence the name of the building: “Dome of the Chain” Kubat a-Silsala.

 According to the narrator, King David used to sit here three days a week and judge the people with the help of the chain of wonders,

 That dangled from the ceiling of the building: the defendants were asked to hold the chain and swear that justice was with them.  But miraculously, it always eluded the debtors.

 According to Schick, the connection of the present building to the place of trial is not accidental, since it stands on the site of the Niknor Gate, and next to it was the Gazit Chamber, the seat of the court during the Second Temple period.  It is not inconceivable, therefore, that the Muslim tradition, in spite of its distinctly legendary character, derives its origins from tangible historical facts.  The structure is carried on eleven outer pillars and six inner pillars.  The pages are arranged so that from wherever they are viewed they can be seen at once.  The page titles are markedly different from each other, and the earliest of them are from the Byzantine period.  The dome of the chain was subjected to many changes over time, the fruit of many renovations.  This fact is also confirmed by the contradictory descriptions of Muslim historians about the nature, character and function of the structure.  The structure was originally carried on twenty pillars, but is different in the Mamluk period to its present form.  During the Crusader period, the dome of the chain became a church dedicated to Jacob, the brother of Jesus, who was tortured instead before being killed.  In the glorious Suleiman period the structure was lined with Kashani tiles, similar to those in the Dome of the Rock.

 Fatma Cube (roughly known as the Prophet Maharab, or the Dome of Gabriel)

 It is a small, open structure located northwest of the Dome of the Rock, with a dome that stands on eight pillars.  On its floor is a round stone in the shape of a basin, which serves as a ruin.  The place is dedicated to the angel Gabriel, who stood
 Here at the time of the ascension of Muhammad to heaven, but he is also called “Kubat Fatma,” after the daughter of the Prophet.  There is no consensus among scholars as to the original nature of the structure, or as to its exact nature.


 Name of the book: Ariel: A journal for the knowledge of the Land of Israel – the Temple Mount and its sites

 Editor: Eli Schiller
 Place of publication: Jerusalem
 Name of publisher: Ariel Publishing
 Year of publication: 1989

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