This is a vision about transforming the
Temple Mount from a place of contention to a place that is truly God's Holy
Mountain, a house of prayer for all people (Isaiah 56:7). It is a vision of fulfilling
the ultimate mission of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and the original purpose
of the Temple, for the entire world to worship the One God together in peace. This
vision is proposed by observant Jews, supported by background papers researched
over five years and presented here. Of particular importance is one, published in
Tehumin, the leading periodical of halachah (Jewish law)
in Israel, about the
Role of the Prophet in specifying a precise location on Mount Moriah for
a rebuilt Temple.
In Torah, prophets, Talmud, and Jewish history, the first and second temples were
not just for the Jewish people, but for the entire world (see The Universal Temple). References in sacred Jewish texts
to the role of non-Jews in the Temple are explicit, repeated, and striking. The
Temple was to be constructed by Jews to fulfill their God-given mission, as commanded
through Abraham and later prophets, to bring knowledge of the One God to the whole
world, so that the world would worship the One God together in peace.
When the Romans conquered Israel and destroyed the Temple, they changed the Temple
Mount from what was a place of common worship of the One God by Jews and non-Jews
of the time to a place of violence and conflict. Using the scheme of divide and
conquer, Caesar and his descendents throughout history set one people against another,
fomenting conflict as a diversion from their extortionate schemes. They did so despite
the central teaching of all to serve the same One God, as stated by the Jewish prophets,
Jesus, and Mohammed. Regrettably, the world continues this destructive legacy for
the Temple Mount today through dark assumptions about inevitable conflict between
people of different faiths. By viewing the Temple Mount as a place to contest every
square inch of space, we are perpetuating the ways of Caesar, not of God.
The image shown depicts a rebuilt Temple in peaceful proximity to the Islamic and
Christian shrines in Jerusalem, in fulfillment of the purpose of the Temple to manifest
the One God to the entire world. This vision is absolutely not about compromise
for Jews, Muslims, or Christians. Rather it is about radical fulfillment of a basic
tenet of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, and other religions of the world, to
manifest the One God on earth by worshipping the One God together in peace. It is
about a transformation of the Temple Mount to reflect the ultimate prophetic character
of God’s Holy Mountain.
After initial consultation with rabbis of stature in Israel, this vision is being
presented for thoughtful contemplation to Jews, Muslims, Christians, and those of
other religions, including scholars, rabbis, imams, ministers, and the general public.
We are observant Jews (see about us), and therefore
bound by the principle of Jewish law (halachah), which means basically that an idea,
even if it seems right in our hearts and minds, may not be God's will, and thus
should follow these guidelines. Within Judaism, it is the purview of rabbis to weigh
such issues based upon the vast body of Jewish scripture, teachings, and law. We
believe, however, that this vision is possible according to halachah based upon
the Role of the Prophet
in determining the location of a rebuilt, Third Temple on Mount Moriah. It is thus
possible that a prophet could rule according to the vision proposed and therefore
acceptable according to Jewish law to contemplate and discuss this vision.
We propose this vision with the fervent hope that it can remind Jews, Muslims, Christians
and others of the core teachings of our common prophets and of the mission that
God calls us now to fulfill. The world is at a crossroads today between following
the way of Caesar toward destruction or following the way of God toward redemption.
Let us be very clear that it is not the place of any group of Jews to know the will
of God or to present a plan for rebuilding the Temple. We present this vision in
humility for contemplation and discussion. Should it be the will of God, we hope
that one day it will be realized (See The Jewish Temple and
God's Holy Mountain).