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Study Group: According to Jewish sources Temple Mount could be a place of joint worship
Jerusalem, March, 3 2010
– In light of the renewed tensions, which erupted most recently around the Temple Mount and other sites in the Holy Land, a study group under the auspices of the Interfaith Encounter Association (IEA) announced that there is an alternative to the current dispute regarding which faith is entitled to worship on the holy site. The announcement is based on the research of Yoav Frankel, director of "God's Holy Mountain" project. In an article published in 2007 in Tehumim, a leading journal of Jewish law in Israel, Frankel showed how according to the strictest standards of Halacha (Jewish Law) God’ Holy Mountain can become a house of prayer for all people.
“The core of our initiative is to promote the concept of the Temple Mount as a place where a Jewish Temple can be situated in peaceful proximity to the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque as well as to nearby Christian Churches”, declares Yoav Frankel. “As opposed to verbal and physical violence, which erupted unfortunately once again around this issue, we invite the involved parties to join our study sessions concerning the idea of turning the Temple Mount from a place of contention into a symbol of coexistence.”
The project was launched publicly last June at the Konrad Adenauer Conference Center in Jerusalem. The launch was preceded by a panel discussion between leading Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders including Sheikh Abdullah Nimar Darwish, Founder of the Islamic Movement in Israel, the late Chief Rabbi of Rishon Le’Zion, Rabbi Yosef Azran and Fr. Dr. David M. Neuhaus, S.J., Patriarchal Vicar, Hebrew Speaking Catholic Communities in Israel. The discussion focused on the verse from the prophet Zechariah, ‘God will be One and His Name One’.
“Over the past months we have received an overwhelming number of positive responses pertaining to the launch of the project. We expect that more religious leaders will be interested in joining us in rethinking this central issue and that in the long term this will contribute to a global change towards a positive and peaceful perception of the Temple Mount”, added Frankel
The group’s study papers can be found at: www.godsholymountain.org
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