Thursday, October 9, 2014

Expelled from the Temple Mount on Sukkot

Yesterday's edition of israeltoday stated:
"Arab Muslims set an ambush for Jewish and other non-Muslim visitors as they attempted to ascend Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on Wednesday to mark the start of the biblical holiday of Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles.
Sukkot is one of three biblical festivals during which the people of Israel were commanded to come to Jerusalem and ascend the Temple Mount. Many still adhere to that precept. Or, they try to, at least.
For the past decade or so, Muslim mobs occupying the holy hill have erupted in violence each and every time the Jews try to ascend in honor of one of their festivals.
Sukkot has annually seen the worst holiday confrontations. And Wednesday was no different. The moment that the single gate accessible to non-Muslims was opened, masked Muslims began hurling firebombs and stones at Jewish visitors and police officers. Four police officers were hurt."
This reminded me of my time in Israel during Sukkot in Jerusalem. Our group of nine people went up to the Temple mount and looked around as any good tourists would. The Dome on the Rock was the main attraction. While its tiled exterior and gold dome were the most impressive parts, the inside bare rocks were the most expressive in that they are reminders of the ancient past and are certainly part of the complex of Biblical times. After walking around looking at the outside of the two mosques that are there and the backside of of the Golden Gate, through which the Messiah will walk someday, we congregated around a small structure to the north of the dome called the Dome of the Spirits. A few people began singing praise songs softly. It was quite casual and not loud; but it was loud enough to raise the ire of a Muslim guard who promptly came to our party and told us we had to leave. So we had to follow him as he escorted us to the street that is on the north side of the Mount. Though we did not have rocks thrown at us, I can still say that I have shared in the indignity of being expelled from the Temple Mount. 
By the way, Happy Sukkot!

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