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Places to See in Jerusalem

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South Africa
posts: 471
reviews: 6
Places to See in Jerusalem

We are trying to make a list of places to see in Jerusalem so that we can work out if we can stretch to a week there.

We do not

First Temple museum (second time around)

Second Temple museum

Third Temple museum (second time around)

Herodian Temple

Western Wall Tunnel (have to do this again!)

Burnt House

Mount of Olives

Garden of Gethsemane

St Peter in Galicantu

St Anne's church

Hezekiah's Tunnel

Canaanite Tunnel

St Joseph's Hospital (have to go back to say hello !!!)

Israeli Museum

City of David

David's Citadel

Windows at Hadassah

Garden Tomb

We do NOT want to "do" the Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Outside of Jerusalem

John the Baptist's Cave




Any other ideas?



Cincinnati, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 12,124
reviews: 135
11. Re: Places to See in Jerusalem

Sorry, Suzanne, I can't buy that particular brand of reassurance. In my book, to talk about "rebuilding the Third Temple" while ignoring the practical implications of such talk is naive at best, extremely dangerous at worst.

If this group were content to wait for the coming of the Messiah to reestablish the Temple, then I'd be content. My fear is that one of those crazies will try to "hasten the day" by taking matters into his or her own hands. And given what we saw when Israel was simply trying to repair an entrance ramp to Temple Mount/Haram es-Sharif, we all know what would happen if one of the Muslim holy places were destroyed to "make way" for the rebuilt Temple. That isn't paranoia, by the way. There have been Jewish terror groups, intellectually if not directly affiliated with groups like the Temple Mount Faithful, whose plots to do just that were foiled. And you are well aware of that.

You and I see the world very, very differently, and that's fine. But I want to make sure that people who see that "pretty menorah" in the Cardo or this museum understand the very dangerous theology and politics behind it. I believe in a secular, democratic state of Israel that is a Jewish state but with full acceptance and equality for its non-Jewish citizens and, if possible, a peaceful Palestinian state beside it. You and others may believe differently, and that is your right. But I will continue to share my views of what lies behind the "vision of restoring the Third Temple" because people have a right to know all sides of the issue. To that extent, your explanation gives a different side. It doesn't change how I feel -- that groups like that are plying a very dangerous, extremist ideology under a soothing veneer of "biblical values."

Not to mention that most Jews I know, in Israel or the US, don't exactly long to return to a faith based on blood sacrifice rather than prayer, tzedakah, and tikkun olam. Rabbinic Judaism is a very different faith from the Temple cult. But that, of course, is a question for Jews, not for me or other non-Jews.

With that, I'll return to travel issues.

Douglas Duckett

Jerusalem, Israel
posts: 904
12. Re: Places to See in Jerusalem

The problem, Doug, is that you are making out like all Jews who worship G-d in a Torah-based way, believing in a more literal interpretation of the Torah and in the need to fulfill the mitzvot outlined there are all crazies bent on world destruction. In fact, it was just such Jews who brought morality and ethics to the world through the Torah (and, in my opinion, why the world (beginning with the Pagans and continuing until today) hates the Jews so much).

And it was, in fact, G-d who brought animal sacrifice to the world as a replacement for the human sacrifice required by gods such as Moloch and Ba'al, prominent gods of this region at the time of the Israelites. In fact, my own interpretation of the aborted sacrifice of Isaac is that the G-d "El" was telling Abraham that, unlike those other gods, he would not accept human sacrifice. While I don't cotton to animal sacrifice, still, I would like to see a world in which we all worship one G-d in the way he outlined in the Torah. There's nothing fanatical about that...

In fact, the best news is that at the time of the building of the Third Temple, there will be NO "Court of the Gentiles", since the prophecies say that all peoples of the world WILL be worshipping that one G-d and so no separate area for non-Torah-observant people will be needed! I happen to think that will be a very good thing. That also doesn't mean that I or any of those I know who work in places like The Temple Institute are involved in doing anything that you seem to think that we are. Mostly, I think it's your imagination working... and also in fact, while one crazy Israeli (dressed in an army uniform) tried once to do damage on the Temple Mount, it was a Christians who, over the years, have done much more damage there (Byzantine Christians, for instance, used it as a garbage dump, and Crusader Christians turned the Dome of the Rock into a church). And of course, the Muslims continue to destroy everything they find that shows any link of the Jews to the place.

The Jews I know here, while desiring to see the Temple rebuilt, also believe it is G-d who will do it, in his time, not in ours - there is certainly nothing fanatical or dangerous about that!

One last note on that: one thing I have learned from many Orthodox friends here is a main difference between Judaism and Christianity in the way each relate to everyday life. Christianity (at least the version I know) seems to place it's emphasis on what will happen in the future (am I saved? will I go to heaven? etc. etc.), while Judaism is concerned with the here & now - worshipping G-d every day with, as you said, prayer, tzedakah, and tikkun olam. By understanding this, I think, people will see that "even" those of The Temple Institute do not desire to harm anyone but rather, just want to do their research and, in doing so, become, themselves, closer to G-d.

JENHAK - if you are still reading down this far, I think a return visit to The Temple Institute is a good thing - it's quite exciting, really, and educational to see what the good people there have done in recreating the Temple items. Anyway, who knows if the things that were in the Temple at that time (the menorah, the table of shewbread, the incense altar, etc.) will be made in exactly the same way as in the Second Temple Period... perhaps G-d has something else in mind altogether!

suzanne pomeranz, jerusalem, israel

13. Re: Places to See in Jerusalem

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Jerusalem, Israel
posts: 904
14. Re: Places to See in Jerusalem

Condescending or not (and I'd say your comments to me are quite that), it's interesting to note your objections are based on your own bias and not on any attempt to actually know or understand these good folks.

How's about next time you visit Israel (Mr. Israel Expert), you spend a day (full day at least or even more) in their company, asking all sorts of questions, but trying to be OPEN to hearing what they have to say and what they think and feel and how they interpret the Torah for themselves... not for you or anyone else, just for themselves since they never insist that others live the Torah the way they do.

WOW - what a good idea - A good open DISCUSSION, not a debate, not anything ugly or condemning, just LISTENING in a gesher-building exercise... might make you a "liberal" after all...

suzanne pomeranz, jerusalem, israel

Cincinnati, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 12,124
reviews: 135
15. Re: Places to See in Jerusalem

If mutual tolerance were a shared value with fundamentlist extremists such as this, I would. But it's not. So I'll pass. Again, Suzanne, I know what I know about their values, and dialogue with those who do not recognize the right of others to exist as full equals in the Land is no more worthwhile than dialogue with Ahmedinijad or Pat Robertson. When someone is convinced he has God's Whole Truth, what is there to talk about?

If you, or anyone else, wants to hang out with those who dream of a Jewish theocracy, you are welcome to do so. That is not my vision. I'm a classical Zionist. I believe in a secular, democratic State of Israel with equal rights for all of its citizens.

And as for hurling the "liberal" label at me (the quotes are a nice touch; get that from Bill O'Reilly?), the people on this board know my values, and I am content to leave it at that. Now they know more of yours, and they can make their own judgments.

Now, I'd suggest we both get back to travel discussions, as that is the purpose of this forum, not political or religious debates.

Douglas Duckett

Northern California
posts: 60
reviews: 7
16. Re: Places to See in Jerusalem

Nothing better than an open discussion among people who share a love of Israel. We never will agree on all things. :-)

As a New Testament believing Christian I am forced to recognize that a third Temple will be built in spite of the overwhelming obstacles. The Torah demands it and the New Testament declares it. The timing and circumstances are unclear and I will leave those in God's hands.

It seems to me that actually seeing the recreation of Biblically correct sacred vessels and tools necessary for temple worship would be an incredibly valuable and informative activity. This would be true from both a historical perspective and looking forward to what, in my beliefs, is an absolutely certain future event.

On the other hand, I sometimes avoid doing business with those who support causes I find objectionable. The real question, for me, is whether or not the Temple Institute "supports causes I find objectionable".

I went to their website at http://www.templeinstitute.org and read their Statement of Principles.

The Temple Institute is dedicated to all aspects of the Divine commandment for Israel to build a house for G-d's presence, the Holy Temple, on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. The range of the Institute's involvement with this concept includes education, research, activism, and actual preparation. Our goal is firstly, to restore Temple consciousness and reactive these "forgotten" commandments. We hope that by doing our part, we can participate in the process that will lead to the Holy Temple becoming a reality once more.

My thoughts - education, research and preparation is good and proper. This part of the Temple Institute mission should be praised. "Activism" can be good or bad. Can anyone expand on how their funding is used? Any insight as to whether the Temple Institute supports or funds "bad activism"?

There are crazy people in every country and in every religion. The trick is separating the human crazies from those who God has chosen and just SEEM crazy to the rest us.