REDEEMING THE TEMPLE MOUNT
by Bernard J. Shapiro
Back in 1993, I started inviting people to explain the significance of rebuilding the Temple Mount in Jewish history and its affect on the World. Rabbi Moishe Traxler was very helpful in explaining to me the Lubavitch position regarding the rebuilding of the Temple. They very clearly prohibit any activity on the Temple Mount until the coming of the Messiah. The Israeli Consul General (Houston) Meir Romem was quick to tell me about the horrible international consequences of attempting to rebuild the Temple.
Others, including Rabbis of great note, told me the rebuilding of the Temple would require the introduction of animal sacrifices. A friend, a vegetarian and animal rights activist, was horrified by such a prospect.
All the myths were refuted. Rambam explained that animal sacrifice is not necessary if the Temple is rebuilt. He talked about a process of REDEMPTION. First regain control of the Temple Mount. Second remove the Moslem buildings that desecrate our Holy Mount. Then the Temple (Beit Hamigdash) should be built. He was very clear on this: Building the Temple is preparatory process for Redemption. It is not an end in itself. Worship at the Temple would still await the Messiah. It is important, We must PREPARE and WORK for Redemption. In other words, the Messiah will not come to Israel and reclaim the Temple Mount and rebuild the Temple. We must do those things BEFORE the Messiah comes, in order to CAUSE him to come.
What about the Arabs? Wouldn't they object to the removal of the Mosque of Omar (Dome of the rock) and the Al Aqsa mosque from the Temple Mount? Of course they would, but they have no legitimate rights in the area. In fact, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are not even mentioned in the Koran. From my Hindu friends I have learned how Moslem conquerors built mosques on Holy Places of other people in every part of the world. They did it to humiliate, degrade and acquire the spiritual power of their subject nations. There is no reason the sovereign State of Israel, needs to allow this desecration Jewish Holy Places to continue."
Today on the Mount, the Arabs are supreme. They are destroying all archaeological remnants of Jewish sites. They are storing weapons in their mosques to kill Jews. They have built a museum to Palestinian nationalism, including gut-wrenching pictures from the battles of Sabra and Shatila. Tourists from the world over are told Jews committed these killings ( It was Christians).
I am not competent to discuss Halacha with reference to the Mount. I do know that it is wrong for us to allow the Arab desecration of our people's most Holy Site. What about the consequences of our asserting our rights to the Temple Mount? The Moslems cannot hate us anymore, and the Christian world will be electrified with anticipation of coming of the Messiah.
In fact, Christians the world over will raise millions of dollars to help us rebuild the Temple. As in the days of Solomon, the nations of the world will send their best architects, artisans and materials to help build the Temple. Jews in the Diaspora will be inspired to "go up to Jerusalem" and join in the sacred process of Redemption.
(From my mouth to G-d’s ear).
Bernard J. Shapiro is the Chairman of the Freeman Center For Strategic Studies <www.freeman.org> and Editor of its Publications. [This article has been revised from the original published on July 15, 1993 in the Jewish Herald-Voice (Houston).]