THE HOTTEST RELIGIOUS SITE IN THE WORLD

The heavy iron doors of the shopfronts on David Street are still in place as we descend to the Western

Wall. It’s too early for sellers to push their wares.

Security – belt off – money purse on the table and through the electronic arch. Chris’s shoulders

don’t require covering as we walk across the sacred area leading to the Western Wall - her top is

adequate. A left-turn is required to climb the monstrosity of the wooden covered walkway constructed

by the Jews to allow Muslim access to the Temple Mount. Security check again – no need to remove

belt. Devout Jewish men are ‘davening’ at the Wall as we climb.

Muslims have claimed The Temple Mount. It’s the third holiest site in Islam. They believe, from the

rock contained in the gold-domed shrine, Mohammed ascended into heaven.

For Judaism, it’s the holiest place on the planet. The Talmud teaches from here, God gathered dust

and formed man; the centre of civilisation. For Jews and Christians, Genesis refers to this place as

Mount Zion where Abraham bound Isaac for sacrifice. The Ark of the Covenant rested here in the

time of Solomon’s Temple, in the Holy of Holies. This is where God’s divine presence is manifest

more than any other place. Also it’s been identified as Mount Moriah in a number of Old Testament

references.

The area covers 150,000 square metres; stairs, raised sections, arch ways, vast open courtyards, all

constructed in beautiful, cream, Jerusalem Stone. I can understand how over 300,000 Muslims could

pray here as they did during Ramadan.

Since 2015, Jewish and Muslim lawmakers have been banned from entering the Temple Mount.

Clashes in the past have been violent. Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to lift that

restriction this month.

They say it’s the hottest religious site in the world and I can understand why.

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© 2017 by David Kerr