The Strange Story of the False Wailing Wall - • •

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Recall that there was also an early Jewish account that whenOmar the Second Caliph back in 638 C.E. was seeking the spot of the JewishTemple that an old Jewish man showed the Sultan where the Holy of Holies hadbeen. It was also a rubbish dump (but mentioned in the records some 900 yearsbefore the time of the Ottoman Turks). It was this earlier story that had longcirculated in the Middle East that no doubt led Selim (or Suleiman and later theJewish authorities) to think that this new rubbish dump that the Christians hadmaintained was in some way connected with the original Temple site. What isastonishing is the fact that the stories relate that it was the Christians whohad initiated the dump and had perpetuated its use from olden days. Jews andMuslims in the preceding 350 years had paid no attention to the site whatever!It was other areas that Jews and Muslims were interested in. It must beremembered that Omar was shown in his day the Temple site over and near theGihon Spring, while the accounts of the Christian women some 900 years later inthe sixteenth century had repositioned the Temple site to an area somewhere neartheir rubbish dump that was adjacent to the Western Wall of the Haram. So, firstthe Muslims and then the Jewish authorities in the middle and late sixteenthcentury began to think that perhaps the Christian identification at what becamethe Wailing Wall was indeed the correct site.

† May our Lord Jesus Christ bless you!

Meir Ben-Dov continues: ""[End of commentary cited in the book "The WesternWall."]
[The secular dates in this article rendered B.C.E. and C.E. (meaning "Before Common Era" and "Common Era") are identical to the false religious dates B.C. and A.D. ("Before Christ" and "After our Lord") which erroneously became standard in Christian countries (though 3 years off) in the sixth century of our Era.]

 

2014Bronze11 x 17 x 36 in. (27.9 x 43.2 x 91.4 cm)Photo: Ben Westoby


There is absolute proof that the present site of the Jewish "Wailing Wall" in Jerusalem is NOT any part of the Temple that existed in the time of Herod and Jesus. In fact, that particular location that the Jewish authorities have accepted represents the Western Wall of an early Roman fortress (finally built and enlarged by Herod the Great). King Herod called it Fort Antonia, after the famous Mark Anthony who lived at the end of the first century before Christ.


It was formerly called the in the proceedinghundred years and it finally became known as the in the NewTestament period (the central military edifice in Jerusalem where the commandinggeneral of a Legion of troops had his headquarters). This rectangular type ofbuilding clearly resembles most permanent military camps that the Romansconstructed throughout the Empire to house their Legions.


2014Bronze44 x 10 x 6 in. (111.8 x 25.4 x 15.2 cm)Photo: Ben Westoby

Indeed, when the Bordeaux Pilgrim visited Jerusalem in 333C.E., he looked east from an area in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre(then in its final stages of being built) and said he saw this directlyeastward with its walls (he mentioned "walls" in the plural –meaning the southern and western walls) firmly entrenched in the bottom of theTyropoeon Valley. This central valley of Jerusalem (the Valley of theCheesemakers) separated the eastern mountain ridge of the city (the originalMount Zion of the Bible) from the larger and more extensive western ridge.

2014Gouache on canvas12 x 12 in. (30.5 x 30.5 cm)Photo: Ben Westoby

But how did the present "Wailing Wall" geterroneously selected by the Jewish authorities as a holy place for the Jews? AsI have abundantly shown in my new book "The Temples that JerusalemForgot" and in my supplemental articles on the ASK Web Site, the Jewishauthorities in and around Jerusalem from 70 C.E. until 1077 C.E. (for over athousand years) only showed their religious interest for the location of theTemple at the area .This was at least 1000 feet south of what later became known as the Dome of theRock. This is the exact area that the Genizah documents from Egypt show theJewish authorities wished to live (to be near their Temple) in the time of Omar,the Second Caliph (638 C.E.). The Jewish records show (mentioned in my book andsupplemental articles) that it is without doubt the ridge ofJerusalem that contained the Temples of Solomon, Zerubbabel and that of Herod.

201011 x 11 7/8 in. (28 x 30.2 cm)Embroidered cotton

However, with the period of the Crusades, things begin tochange. After a period of 50 years (from 1099 to 1154 C.E.) during which noJewish person was allowed into the City of Jerusalem, we then have records thata few Jews began to return to Jerusalem. It was only at this time (around 1054C.E.) that some Jewish people started to imagine that the Christian and Muslimidentification of the Dome of the Rock for the site of the former Temples mighthave relevance. This was first mentioned by Benjamin of Tudela. It was thisJewish traveler in about 1169 C.E., who first suggested that the region of theDome of the Rock should be considered the site of the former Temples. This was agreat error, but within a hundred years after Benjamin all Jews in the worldcame to believe it (I will explain why the Jews erroneously did so in a biblicaland historical way in next month’s article titled: "Expansion andPortability of Zion"). So, a new area for the site of the Temple wasselected by the Jews in the time of Benjamin of Tudela. Benjamin even pointed toa low balustrade that existed in his time near the western entrance to theoctagonal edifice (this balustrade has since been destroyed) and he identifiedit with the "Western Wall" of the Holy of Holies that earlier Jews hadmentioned in their former literature. He, of course, was wrong. The"Western Wall" that the Talmuds and the writers of the Midrashimreferred to was that remnant wall that was at one time the Western Wall of theHoly of Holies from the ruins of a later Temple than that of Herod. This laterTemple was twice attempted to be built (once was in the time of Constantine from313 to 325 C.E. and again a short time later in the period of Julian theApostate about 362 C.E.). The particular site where those two later Temples wereattempted to be constructed was within the proper precincts of Herod’s formerTemple. This later Temple was built over and near the Gihon Spring on the ridge (1000 feet SOUTH of the Dome of the Rock).