A fascinating story appears in today's Jerusalem Post: Israeli archaeologists have recovered fragments of floor tiles from the Beit HaMikdash Sheni, the Second Temple, rescued from the truckloads of excavation rubble dumped during illegal construction projects by the Islamic Waqf, which exercises control over the Temple Mount. In the course of expanding Al Aqsa Mosque, the Waqf has ignored Israeli law and has destroyed findings of great archaeological and historical importance from all eras of Jerusalem's history, but particularly the Second Temple era. Indeed the Waqf, like the Palestinian Authority, deny that the Second Temple ever existed. But truth rises out of the earth. Now, using patterns found in the floor tiles of palaces and other structures built by King Herod the Great, who expanded and renovated the Temple, and also contemporary Roman buildings, the archaeologists believe that they have restored tiles as they originally appeared in the Temple. For Jews, these are the floors on which our great sages, such as Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai and Rabbi Hillel walked. For my Christian friends, yes, Jesus would have walked on these tiles when he visited the Temple.
Restoration of floor tiles is a start. May we merit witnessing the restoration of the entire Beit HaMikdash, soon and in our time.