News from the Temple Mount. Also known as Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount is one of the most contested religious sites in the world. Judaism and Islam both claim sovereignty of The Temple Mount. Israel captured the Temple Mount during the 1967 Six-Day War. It is currently managed by a Muslim council.
The Setting: The Temple Mount; situated in the Old City of Jerusalem
The Story: The Temple Mount contains the holiest site in Judaism. Jewish Midrash holds that it was from here that God gathered the dust he used to create the first man, Adam. Controlled by Israel since 1967, both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim sovereignty over the site, which remains the focal point of the Arab-Israeli conflict.1
The History: Canaanites established a settlement in the vicinity of the Temple Mount around 1850 BCE. This settlement was named Jebus. Around 1000 BCE, King David captured the city and renamed it the City of David. David purchased the area (known as Mount Moriah in the Bible) and built the first temple of the Israelites in Jerusalem in 960 BCE. This temple was destroyed in 586 BCE by Nebuchadnezzer II of Babylon. Around 516 BCE, construction of the second temple was completed under Cyrus. Herod the Great expanded the Temple Mount and rebuilt the temple around 19 BCE. He employed 10,000 workers for this project. The Second Temple was destroyed by Roman Empire troops under general Titus in 70 CE. In 363, Emperor Julian II ordered the temple rebuilt. In 691 a Muslim building, known as the Dome of the Rock was built at the southeast corner of the Temple Mount. In 1920 the dome was covered in gold. The third temple has not yet been built. However, the Temple Institute in Israel is actively engaged in research and preparation for the resumption of the service in the holy temple. They are preparing operational blueprints for the construction of the temple according to the most modern standards. Rabbis and craftsmen are building what they call "a temple in waiting." A new generation of Levi priests are being specially trained for temple service. Three thousand years after the first Solomon built the first temple, a Salamon is making preparation for rebuilding the third temple. Muslim law forbids archaelogical digging on the site of the Temple Mount.