Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Temple-Era Inscription Found, Reading "Son of the High Priest"

Palestinian leaders frequently make the claim that there never was a Jewish Temple on Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount, now the site of the Al Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. They also insist that there never even was a Jewish commonwealth in the Land of Israel. Yassir Arafat famously made the claim at Camp David in 2007. In March 2007, Sheikh Taysir Tamimi, the Palestinian Authority's Chief Justice, and the person considered the most important Palestinian Muslim cleric after Muhammad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, said in an interview:

"Israel started since 1967 making archeological digs to show Jewish signs to prove the relationship between Judaism and the city and they found nothing. There is no Jewish connection to Israel before the Jews invaded in the 1880's," said Tamimi.

"About these so-called two Temples, they never existed, certainly not at the Haram Al- Sharif (Temple Mount)," Tamimi said.

The only problem is that those Jews who never lived in the Land of Israel left behind a lot of litter. The archaelogical evidence that Sheikh Tamimi insists has never been found actually fills museums.

The most recent spectacular archeological find is a fragment of a limestone sarcophaghus, bearing the inscription "ben HaCohen HaGadol," meaning "son of the High Priest," in Hebrew letters so clear that any 7-year old yeshiva student could read them. (See photo above.) The sarcophaghus apparently once held the remains of a son of the High Priest of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, one of the two Jewish Temples that the Palestinians say never existed. Because the portion of the sarcophaghus that would have contained the name of the deceased has not been found, scholars cannot identify to whom it belonged. They estimate that it came from the late Second Temple period, between 30 and 70 C.E.

Archaeologists discovered the fragment in the course of excavations north of Jerusalem. According to the story in the Jerusalem Post:
Pools and cisterns, public and residential buildings, and agricultural installations that range in date from the end of the Second Temple period to the early Islamic period have been discovered during the course of the excavations. The area is associated with the tribe of Benjamin where the priests resided during the Second Temple period.

The fragment apparently was moved from its original location approximately 1,000 years ago and was used in the construction of a later Muslim building that was erected atop the ruins of the houses from the Second Temple period.
That last note shows the motivation behind the lies of Palestinian leaders, including their Muslim clerics. Around the world, Muslim conquerors demolished the holy places of the religions that preceded them, building mosques on those sites. Sometimes they simply converted the existing buildings into mosques, as one sees in the spectacular Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, which was built between 532 and 537 C.E., as a Byzantine cathedral, by Emperor Justinian, and was converted into the Ayasofya Mosque when Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1453.

Of course, the Romans had already destroyed the Second Temple on the Temple Mount before the Muslim armies under Caliph Omar seized Jerusalem from the faltering Byzantine empire in 636. Omar was kinder to the Christians whom he had conquered, and to whom he offered security for their churches and worship, than he was to Jerusalem's Jewish remnant--his treaty with the Christians expressly continued the existing ban against Jews residing in Jerusalem. Omar and his successors constructed the mosques on the Temple Mount, which remained under Muslim rule until June 1967, when it was captured by the Israeli army. The Israelis promptly returned custody of the top of the Temple Mount to the Muslim Waqf, which rewards Israel by publicly denying the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel.

The only problem is that their lies keep being disproved by the facts on the ground, or, more accurately, the facts in the ground.


Blogger Fe2O3 said...

I read an article entitled Islam on the Temple Mount written by Moshe Sharon and published in the June/July 2006 edition of BAR. The article points out that immediately after the fall of Jersalem, the muslims who took Jerusalem viewed themselves as liberators of their Abrahamic brothers, not cleansers of a holy Islamic site. Access to the temple mount was shared on a daily alternating basis. The Jews still in Jerusalem at that time would burn incense on the temple mount on the days they had access. It was only later that Jerusalem became a disputed Muslim holy site and the Jews were cast out.

Unfortunately for those who wish to rewrite history, there is a lot of documentation, both written and physical to refute most revisionist claims.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 3:54:00 PM  
Blogger The Kosher Hedgehog said...

Rusty, thank you for your comment. Based on additional research that I did, inspired by your comment, I have edited my original post to indicate that Omar did not originate a ban against Jews living in Jerusalem, but merely expressly continued, in his treaty with the Byzantines whom he had conqured, an existing ban against Jews living in Jerusalem that had been in force since it was issued by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 135 C.E., after the Bar Kochba revolt.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008 6:24:00 PM  
Blogger susie said...

I was forwarded this article and I found it really annoying to read because it was so biased. But as a blog entry, it is not meant to be academic?

Even if the Muslims did recognize Jews had a historical connection to the land of Israel, which they are admittedly lame not to admit, what does that mean for Muslims and their holy site? They should tear down their own holy site or find a way to share it?

Also, I think it would be more correct to say "Muslims" than "Palestinians," as there are Christian Palestinians who probably don't care about the holy site. I think you're viewing the Middle East conflict as being about religious differences (yes, Arab world makes it that way too), when Israelis didn't care who they were driving out if as long as you weren't Jewish. I know this because my Palestinian friend is Christian and she is just as much a second class citizen, actually no citizen at all, as Muslim Palestinians are. I know that making it into a religious battle makes it much simpler to declare what side is right (Christian and Jew vs. crazy Muslim terrorists), but I don't think it's correct or helpful in having an open, honest dialogue. But again, I recognize this is a blog entry and that probably wasn't the intent here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 9:16:00 AM  
Blogger susie said...

Okay, when I said, "Israelis didn't care about who they were driving out," I know that sounded horrible and they didn't do all the driving out in the War of Independence, but since then, I think there is definitely subtle driving out. And I'm sorry, I'm sure you're very religiously Jewish and find me so offensive, I only object to the sorrows of Palestinian people that are occuring right now and it gets my back up easily against the wall, and I know this isn't a correct forum to discuss the whole breadth of the conflict, so, I'm sorry for responding at all! Thanks, and Happy Sukkot.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 9:21:00 AM  
Blogger The Kosher Hedgehog said...

Susie: Apology excepted, and happy Sukkot to you as well. Let me point out a few facts: (1)For all of the Palestinian allegations of physical and cultural genocide, the Arab population of Israel, Gaza, Yehuda and Shomron (the so-called West Bank) continues to increase. Israel must be pretty poor at genocide, to say the least. (2) The Palestinian Christian population is indeed decreasing, largely due to emigration to the U.S. and Europe, but much of that is attributable to persecution by Palestinian Moslems, not by Israel. Please research what is happening in Gaza and Bethlehem, cities that are under Hamas and Palestinian Authority control. There have been murders and arsons, and it is all largely unreported in the Western press because it is Arabs persecuting Arabs. (3) There is no doubt that if, God forbid, the Palestinians and the Iranians and Hezbollah ever achieved their declared goal of destroying Israel, the driving out of the Jewish population would not be subtle, but very bloody and very real. It is not a new story in the Middle East. Every Shabat night Jews sing a table hymn called "Yah Ribon Olam," written in the 16th century by Rabbi Israel Najara, a Damascus born kabbalist who served as the Rabbi of Gaza. Today there are no Jews in Gaza and only a few remain in Damascus, which once had a Jewish community in the tens of thousands. In the 1920s, there were over 120,000 Jews in Baghdad, where they were the largest single ethnic group, outnumbering the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. Today only about 100 Jews remain. Farther back, prior to the rise of Islam in the 6th Century C.E., the Arabian peninsula was populated by several Jewish tribes, and their doman included the City of Medina. Islamic armies under Mohammed wiped them out, killing the men and enslaving the women. So the bottom line is that Arab Moslems baselessly allege ethnic cleansing and genocide by the Jews, while it is the accusers who actually have committed ethnic cleansing against the Jewish people over the course of some 1500 years. That may sound harsh, but it is historically accurate.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger susie said...

That's interesting, I haven't heard about Palestinians muslim vs. P. Christian, I'll have to look into that. I only spoke with my friend from Ramallah who is Christian and feels like she has been forced out of the country and only has complaints against Israelis, I'll have to ask her about inside violence.

Also, I'd never assign genocide to Israelis, I don't think it's like that at all. I think part of the difficulty of viewing the conflict for me as an American is that I do have a disdain for many of the Middle Eastern countries. The leaders and laws are evil. If they kill their own people in the thousands just to show their iron grip on the country, surely they wouldn't stop with religiously different people. I just remember my own reaction after studying the Holocaust for so long and then learning in college about Jewish people driving Palestinians out of their homes only years after they themselves were driven out in Europe. I understand it logically, the need to survive, but I still can't accept it. And now the checkpoints and the degradation and humiliation of daily Palestinian life and the hopelessness of their future... Yes, I'm a bleeding heart and I make only emotional arguments. And I'm done.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 1:36:00 PM  

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