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
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.