Posted by Cheryl Young on July 10, 2000 at 14:59:48:
In Reply to: Solomon's Temple - Jerusalem, Israel - Great Buildings Online posted by Lewis Rosser on August 01, 1999 at 21:13:27:
This is a copy of an email I sent July 7, 2000
Date July 7, 2000
To: President William J. Clinton
Subject: Camp David Summit
From: Cheryl Young
20315 Hunt Club
Harper Woods, Michigan 48225-1761 USA
cc. Chairman Yasir Arafat
cc. Palestinian delegation:
cc. Prime Minister Ehud Barak
cc. Israeli delegation:
Foreign Minister David Levy
Internal Security Minister Shlomo Ben Ami
Attorney General Elyakim Rubenstein
Dear Mr. President,
In yesterday's announcement of your invitation for Israeli Prime Minister Barak and Palestinian Chairman Arafat to attend a summit meeting at Camp David next week, you urged, "For all those who are truly committed to the cause of peace and to the well-being of the Israeli and Palestinian people, now is the time to lend their support to the peacemakers." It is for this reason that I am writing to you.
Furthermore in your announcement you commented, "We all know what the deal is. We know what the issues are. We know at least within a range what the options are."
There is an alternative option that perhaps no one has considered. This option concerns the resolution of Jewish worship at the summit of Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem.
You are aware that at this point in time, the recent subterranean excavation and restoration by the Muslim Wakf of the Al-Musalla al-Marwani mosque is a particularly sensitive issue.
According to what I have read, Muslims feel justified in restoring this subterranean mosque as an overflow to the Al-Aqsa mosque. On the other hand, Jewish relics are allegedly being haphazardly discarded and Jewish archeologists are apparently neither allowed to investigate the excavation or whatever is removed.
Therefore, I believe that it is vital to reach a settlement. A great benefit to the Jewish religious community would be to worship on the spot where the octagonal Qubbat As-Sakhrah "Dome of the Rock" mashad "shrine" is situated. The octagonal dome encircles the summit of Mt. Moriah. "The Sakhra is a portion of the natural rock, the summit of Mount Moriah; its highest point stands 4 feet 9.5 inches above the marble floor of the shrine, and is 2,440 feet above the level of the sea."
The cavity beneath the rock is called Bir al-Arwah (the Well of Souls). The small flat mihrab "prayer niche" is believed to be belonging to the original period, and thus, the oldest preserved place in the Islamic World. It is unclear to me whether this is the same mihrab that is described as situated in "the cave beneath the Holy Rock" Mihrab Dawood (David's Mihrab) in the wall of Bait al-Maqdis. (al-Istakhri 1870: 57; Ibn Hawqal 1870: 141).
Adjacent to the Qubbat As-Sakhrah is the Qubbat As-Silsila "Dome of the Chain" also known as Qubbat al-Mizan. Other structures include Qubbat al-Isra' wa'l-Mi'Araj "Dome of the Ascension" and the Qubbat Al-Nabi "Dome of the Prophet". It is the Al-Aqsa Mosque where the Muslims actually worship and their increase in numbers justified the excavation and restoration of the subterranean chambers of the Al-Marwani Mosque for overflow.
I have a suggestion how the Jewish community might "rebuild" the Temple without damage to any of the structures in the 35-acre Haram al-Sharif "Noble Sanctuary" quadrangle where all the above structures are situated.
In exchange for Muslim tolerance of Jews to construct and worship in the sacred quadrangle, the Palestinians might accept recognition and control over land in the West Bank and Gaza. Let me explain.
First, as reported in Israel's Ha'aretz of July 18, 1999, Prof. Abd el-Hadi Fallacci, the head of the Islamic Institute in Rome stated at an international conference in Jerusalem,
"There is nothing in Islam or in the Koran that prohibits the prayer of Jews on the Temple Mount."
Second, following the battle of Yarmuk led by ben Jarah, to the people of Jerusalem (CE the Emperor Hadrian declared a new city on the site of Jerusalem, called Colonia Aelia Capitolina)the second Calif 'Umar Ibn al-Khattab "Commander of the Faithful" proposed a treaty of surrender ("aman") and assurance of safety Sulh ('Ahd)which was accepted by Sophronius, the patriarch of the city. The contents of this assurance are under the covenant of Allah, are the responsibility of His Prophet, of the Caliphs, and of the Faithful, attested to by: Khalid Ibn al-Walid,'Amro Ibn al-'Asi, 'Abd al-Rahman Ibn 'Awf, and Mu'awiyah Ibn Abi Sufyan. This assurance was written and prepared in the year 15 [A.H.]" (636A.D.) The original document is contained in the Byzantine Library at Al-Fanar in the administrative district of Istanbul, which it claimed was 'Umar's Assurance. (Library of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem, Document No. 552.) This document grants assurances of freedom of religious worship to ahlal-Ard "the inhabitants".
Third, in a Testimony before the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights
House Committee on International Relations
Washington, DC, October 6, 1999, Robert A. Seiple,
Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor very eloquently summarized,
"We are all aware that religious liberty is the "first
freedom" of our own Bill of Rights, and is cherished by many Americans as the most precious of those rights granted by God and to be protected by governments. This Congress was wise in recognizing that freedom of religion, and--in a religious context--freedom of conscience, expression, and association, are also among the founding principles of international human rights covenants. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights, as well as other human rights instruments, grant citizens of the world the right to freedom of religion. As a consequence, when we go to officials of foreign governments to urge them to protect religious
freedom, we are not asking them to "do it our way." We are asking them to live up to the commitments they have made--both to their own people, and to the world.
Mr. Chairman and Members, as you well know, on October 27th of last year, President Clinton signed into law the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. Section 102 of that bill calls for the submission to Congress of an Annual Report on International Religious Freedom to supplement the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. P.L. 105-292 (105th Congress) cited as the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.
Fourth, Harold Hongjiu Koh, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor affirmed, " The objective of the United States is to help those persecuted because of their religious faith. One important means to that end is emphasizing the value of religious freedom in articulating and
safeguarding the dignity of the human person. All men and women, whether religious or not, have a stake in protecting the core truths expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: each of us is "born free and equal in dignity and rights" and is "endowed with reason and conscience." To preserve religious freedom is to reaffirm and defend the centrality of those truths--and to strengthen the very heart of human rights."
Fifth, if my understanding is correct, it would be lawfully correct to construct a tzuras hapesach, a mishkon, which would be considered as the enclosure for the outer court of worship "Court of Gentiles".
I have read thet:
"The most popular method of enclosing an area al pi halacha is a tzuras hapesach (literally: the form of a door way - the familiar two poles with a wire across the top and the variations on that theme). The rationale of this solution is that a door frame is a halachically valid form of enclosure. Eruvin of this sort enclose areas as small as a backyard and as large as entire neighborhoods."
Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
8 Tishrei 5753, Chicago, IL
Yeshivas Yesodos HaTorah
7/2 Otzar HaGeonim St.,
Jerusalem, 97493, Israel
Telephone: 9722-656-1890 ; Fax: 9722-583-5965
and I have read that:
"And they brought the Mishkan to Moshe" (Shmos 39:33)
"hukam hamishkon - the mishkon was erected", meaning it erected itself. (Midrash Tanchuma quoted by Rashi)
Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald
485 Fifth Avenue, Suite 701
New York, NY 10017
(800-444-3273) or 212-986-7450
Finally, it is interesting to me that the most recent Erev Rosh Chodesh, coincided with Shabbos. The Haftorah is exclusive for a Shabbos that coincides with Erev Rosh Chodesh. The Haftorah is from Shmuel.
Dovid had already been anointed by Shmuel to succeed Shaul as king, and his relationship with his mentor, King Shaul, had deteriorated to the extent that Dovid had to flee for his life. Yehonasan, wanting to ascertain the extent of Shaul's hatred for Dovid, devised a plan, whereby Dovid would be absent from Shaul's Rosh Chodesh meal. If his father acted lovingly in asking about Dovid's absence, then it would be safe for Dovid to return. If not, Dovid would flee. In the end, Dovid was forced to flee Shaul's wrath.
The Gemara states that the greatest love ever manifested between two people was the love that existed between Yehonasan and Dovid. The extraordinary aspect of Yehonasan's love for Dovid was the fact that he protected Dovid with his life, even though he knew that Dovid would succeed Shaul as king, rather than himself.
Had Yehonasan succeeded Shaul, there might not have been a Temple to rebuild!!!
I pray that through love the temple may be rebuilt.
The descendants of Abraham's two sons Ishmael and Issac may be reunited, and Noah's curse on Canaan may be peacefully resolved.