Tuesday evening May 23rd and Wednesday the 24th is the holiday of Yom Yerushalayim, the anniversary of the day, during the Six-Day-War in 1967, when the IDF re-took Jerusalem. This celebrates that day for first time since 1948, the holy city of Jerusalem was united and Jews were once again permitted to go to Mount Moriah, also known as the Temple Mount. The top of Mount Moriah, known as the Temple Mount is the holiest site in the Jewish faith, it’s where the two Jewish Temples to God, the first built by Solomon, stood.
Today the Muslims claim the Temple Mount is still theirs and claim that there was never a Jewish temple on top of Mount Moriah. Even the United Nations deny the Temple Mount’s heritage. But any claim the Temple Mount is anything but Jewish is simply propaganda which ignores the fact that the ancient Greeks, Romans, Christians, and even the ancient Muslims reported Jerusalem and the Temple Mount were the property of the Jewish people.
But I am not going to argue historical fact here today. Nor will I point to the fact that Christians across the world believe that Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers on Mount Moriah. I am not here to argue history or tradition, nor am I going to make jokes about the the fact that when Muslims in Israel face Mecca to pray, they are mooning the the Temple Mount (but it is true).
The reason I don’t have to argue about what was atop Mount Moriah is because I’ve been there. And as corny as it may sound to anyone who has never been there, I felt the presence of God at the Temple Mount. I didn’t get to go to the top of the mount (thanks to Moshe Dayan), but I did get to pray at the Kotel, also known as the Western or Wailing wall. The Kotel is part of the retaining wall built by Herod to protect against the collapse of the mount when he extended the Temple grounds (a long story).
All my life I had this overwhelming desire to go to Jerusalem and especially the Temple mount. I never understand why I had that urge until I stood in its presence a few years ago. It was my first trip to Israel.
Before we went to Jerusalem, our guide took us north to Haifa, to Tzvat, to the borders with Lebanon and Syria where I had the opportunity to take pictures of the border which scared my poor mom. When we finally approached Jerusalem, it was from the north. I remember that as soon as we drove through the hills and I got a peek at Jerusalem (from very far away) and for the first time in my life I felt comfortable in my surroundings…