b'ezrat HaShem



 

The Location of the Temple and the Holy of Holies on the Temple Mount:

The Present Dome of the Rock is the Location of the Temple
The Rock Which is Under the Dome of the Rock is the Location of the Holy of Holies

1,932 years after the destruction of the Second Temple, there are various theories as to the location of the Temple and the Holy of Holies. Some believe that the Temple was located north of the Dome of the Rock while others believe that it was south of the Dome of the Rock. Some of these theories are an attempt at compromise because of the actual situation that the rock is today located under the Dome of the Rock and because of a fear that the removal of the Dome of the Rock and the building of the Temple on this place could cause World War III. These theories do not take into account the fact that no compromise can be made with the Word of Gd Who assigned the location of the Temple and showed it in prophecy to King David.

The Third Temple can only be built on the same location which the Gd of Israel indicated to King David in prophecy and where the First and Second Temples were built. The Third Temple and the Holy of Holies cannot be relocated by even one centimeter to the north or south. Only Gd controls war and peace and the destiny of Israel. There is no doubt that Gd is testing Israel today on the Temple Mount, which is the key place in the world. Gd expects Israel to rebuild His house on the correct position on the Temple Mount with no fear of the Moslem enemy which, at the end of the seventh century CE, built the Dome of the Rock on the most holy place of the Gd and people of Israel and desecrated the hill of Gd and revolted against the Word of Gd. Gd promised the people of Israel that in the endtimes He would redeem His holy hill and Jerusalem together with the people and land of Israel and He would protect them and fight for them against the enemies who would try to prevent His prophetic endtime plans for Israel.

The conclusion that I immediately want to place before you and for which I will later bring the evidence is that the location of the Temple is in the same location as that of the present Dome of the Rock and that the rock itself is the rock which was in the Holy of Holies and on which the Ark of the Covenant was situated in the First Temple. I will also show that Rabbi Shlomo Goren, z''l, who was the Chief Rabbi of the Israeli Defence Force during the Six Day War and later became the Chief Rabbi of Israel, brought a unit of military engineers to the Temple Mount immediately after the war. They surveyed all the Temple Mount according to the Torah, the Mishnah and the Talmud and other sources. His conclusion was that the rock was the rock on which was situated the altar. However, he did not doubt that the rock was in the location of the Temple and that the Dome of the Rock is located there.

An aerial photo of the Temple Mount as it is today.
An east-west cross-section of the Temple Mount
An aerial photo of the Temple Mount as it is today. On the left is the large building of the Dome of the Rock. which is the correct location of the Temple. To the left of the Dome of the Rock is the very small Dome of the Spirits. To the right of the picture is the southern wall of the Temple Mount and the Al Aqsa Mosque. At the front of the picture is the Western Wall. Behind the Temple Mount is the Mount of Olives.
An east-west cross-section of the Temple Mount showing the rock under the Dome of the Rock as the top of the mountain (under it is the Cave of the Rock) and the altar on it according to the theory that the altar was located over the rock. As can be seen, this could not be because, as is known from all the sources, the Holy of Holies was the highest point in the Temple and as such would have to be in the air.

There are other theories on the location of the Temple. One, that of Dr. Asher Kaufman, locates the Temple north of the Dome of the Rock and states that the Dome of the Spirits is on the rock. Another theory, that of architect Tuvya Sagiv, locates the Temple south of the Dome of the Rock. Neither of these people are archaeologists.

In the following article I will bring evidence that will show that the Dome of the Rock is located on the site of the First and Second Temples and that the rock under the Dome of the Rock was in the Holy of Holies.

The importance of identifying the real rock that was in the Holy of Holies is that the size of the Temple is very well known and it is thus possible to set its lines from the position of the rock. One of the most important modern researchers and experts of the Temple Mount and the Temple is Rabbi Zalman Menachem Koren. We shall do our best to present the evidence from his Hebrew book - The Courts of the House of Gd.

  1. The Shtiah rock is a cliff. In the Talmud (Yoma) it is written that: "After the Ark was taken away, a stone remained there from the time of the early Prophets, and it was called Shtiah. The meaning of the Hebrew word Shtiah is that all the world was created from it and built on it as the foundation. There is no doubt that it was not merely a stone but a cliff. In the homiletic interpretation of the Bible, the Midrash, it was written that "The First Temple stood on a rock, the Second Temple stood on cliff of a rock and a castle" (Eov 39:28). From these sources it is obvious that the Shtiah was part of a natural rock.

  2. The identification of the rock under the Dome of the Rock with the Shtiah rock is according to the sources and is in agreement with the rabbinic authorities. The highest place on the Temple Mount today is the exposed rock which is located under the Dome of the Rock. Most of the traditional sources identified this rock with the Shtiah, which was located in the Holy of Holies.

    1. In the Midrash, The Mysteries of Rabbi Bar Yochai, it is written that the second king of the Ishmaelites will be pro-Israel and that "he will rebuild the holy place and make a place of bowing for Israel on the Shtiah rock. This Umayyad Caliph, Abd el-Malik, actually built the Dome of the Rock in 699 to 701 CE as a house of prayer for the Jews as we wrote in an article in our newsletter of 2001.

    2. In the Midrash of the New Zohar, portion Vayetze, it is written that the Shtiah will continue to exist after the destruction of the Temple and will be well-known and that Gentiles will desecrate it with their dead bodies. This description fits the rock under the Dome of the Rock because for hundreds of years even until now the Moslems bring the bodies of their important people to the rock during their funerals.

    3. The Caliph Omar who occupied Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in 638 CE discovered the Shtiah rock among the ruins of the Temple with the help of Jews who accompanied him. Later, Abd el-Malik built the Dome of the Rock on this rock. This fact appears in many sources of both Jews and non-Jews such as in the Cairo Geniza. In another source, the Geniza, it is written that Jews came to Jerusalem with Omar and showed him the location of the Temple. A similar source from the Geniza states that Jews participated in the work of exposing the Shtiah rock which was covered with garbage thrown on the location of the Temple by the Byzantine Christians as an anti-Jewish act.

    4. Non-Jewish historical sources also equate the rock under the Dome of the Rock with the Shtiah rock of the Holy of Holies. The Armenian author, Sevius, who lived in the generation of the Arab occupation of the Temple Mount, states very clearly that the Moslems discovered the place which is called the Holy of Holies. Another non-Jewish witness is the Islamic story which states that the rock under the Dome complains against Mohammed because he moved the direction of Islamic prayers from her to Mecca which is in Arabia. Another historical Arab certificate states that the converted Jew to Islam, Ka-ab abu-Ishak ibn Mani, advised Caliph Omar to build a mosque north of the rock which is today under the Dome of the Rock and to include two Kiblot (direction indicators) there, one for Moses and one for Mohammed. The one for Moses would be toward the rock under the Dome of the Rock and the other, for Mohammed, would be toward Mecca. Omar rejected Ka-ab's suggestion and accused him of still being disposed to the Jewish faith. From these sources it is obvious that the rock which is today under the Dome of the Rock was and still is the direction to where the Jews pray from Israel and every place in the world. This is the Shtiah rock which was in the Holy of Holies. Other Arabic stories exist which relate the discovery of the rock by Omar under the Byzantine garbage and on which was later built the Dome of the Rock.

    5. In the book of Rabbi Benjamin Metudelah, The Travels of Benjamin, he writes that he visited the Temple Mount after the building of the Dome of the Rock and that a tempoli domino existed there and that it was the location of the Temple. Tempoli domino was the Latin name for the Dome of the Rock. From the witness of Benjamin it is clear that he equates the Dome of the Rock the location of the Temple.

    6. Petachia Margensburg, who travelled to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, also wrote that the Dome of the Rock was built by an Arab who loved the Jews and decided to build the Dome as a house of prayer for the Jews alone.

    7. Another, anonymous, traveler, after the building of the Dome of the Rock, wrote that around the Shtiah rock the kings of the Ishmaelites built a very beautiful house of prayer with a dome and that the dome was located in the Holy of Holies.

    8. Rabbi Ovadia from Bartenuva, who visited the Temple Mount in 1448 CE, also wrote that the Dome of the Rock was built on the Shtiah rock of the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was located.

    9. One of the greatest rabbinical authorities with regard to the Temple and the Temple Mount, Rabbi David ben Zimra, maintained that "it is obvious that the Shtiah rock exists under the Dome of the Rock". No rabbinical authority rejected his position and it was a foundation for all the later rabbinical authorities and researchers of the Temple Mount. This position was consistent with all the generations including those who lived close to the time of the destruction and knew the location of the Shtiah rock from when they still worshipped in the Temple.

  3. The size of the rock which is under the Dome of the Rock and the sizes of the Holy of Holies and the altar. About three generations ago, the researchers Conrad Schick and Gustav Delman maintained that the rock which is under the Dome of the Rock is not the rock which was in the Holy of Holies but was the location of the altar. However, even they maintained very clearly that the Dome of the Rock is located on the actual site of the Temple. They based their opinion mainly on the large size of the rock under the Dome, which is 12 by 17 meters (39 by 56 feet). This is larger than the size of the Holy of Holies which was 20 by 20 cubits (1 cubit = approx 35 centimeters [1.5 feet]). This size for the Holy of Holies is according to the Mishna (t 4). However, the size of the stone can fit the size of the altar which was 32 by 32 cubits. (Midot 3:1) Also these researchers relied on the height of the rock as it is today while the rock, according to the Mishna (Yoma 5:2), protruded only "three finger breadths" above the floor of the Holy of Holies. According to this opinion, that the rock is the rock under the altar, these researchers held that the cave which is under the southern part of the rock was used as the Shittin, which was on the southern part of the altar. They said the same about the hole which is in the roof of the cave. The major researcher of the Temple Mount, Rabbi Yechiel Michal Tikatchinsky z''tl, wrote in his book , The City of Holiness and the Temple (part 4, page 8), that the large size and height of the rock, as it is today, gives the best explanation that the rock was in the Holy of Holies. He explained in his research that at the time when the Temple existed part of the rock was covered with earth and only the part which is the height of "three finger breadths" was visible. The part which was visible was much smaller and fitted the size of the Holy of Holies, especially as the visible part was the highest place on the Temple Mount which was, no doubt, in the Holy of Holies. What subsequently happened after the destruction of the Temple was that erosion and other misfortunes exposed the part of the rock which was previously covered by earth. Rabbi David ben Zimra wrote similarly that the earth around the rock was higher in the time of the Temple and that part of the rock has subsequently become visible. From what we wrote above, it is obvious that the altar could not have been built over the rock and that the location of the Temple could not be in any place other than the place where the Dome of the Rock was built.

    The rock in the Dome of the Rock as it looks today without the earth which covered part of it.
    The square indicates the position of the Holy of Holies over the rock. The portion of the rock outside the square was covered with earth.
    The rock in the Dome of the Rock as it looks today without the earth which covered part of it.
    The square indicates the position of the Holy of Holies over the rock. The portion of the rock outside the square was covered with earth.

  4. The theory which locates the Holy of Holies in the location of the Dome of the Spirits, which is northwest of the rock and under the Dome of the Rock and the rejection of that theory. In 1975 the physicist, Dr. Asher Kaufman, published a new theory which located the Holy of Holies on the site of the Dome of the Spirits which is northwest of the Dome of the Rock. We shall show that nothing in this theory by Dr. Kaufman, who is not an archaeologist, can stand in the face of critical examination:

    The oblong in the center of the diagram shows how the Temple and Holy of Holies was located together with the gates in a straight line from east to west through the Shushan/Golden Gate. Northwest of the Temple and close to the upper boundary is a small circle indicating the Dome of the Spirits. As can be seen the Dome of the Spirits is on an east/west line with the Mercy Gate. The incorrect assumption that the Mercy Gate is the Shushan/Golden Gate brought Dr. Kaufman to think that the Dome of the Spirits was the location of the Holy of Holies. The oblong in the center of the diagram shows how the Temple and Holy of Holies was located together with the gates in a straight line from east to west through the Shushan/Golden Gate. Northwest of the Temple and close to the upper boundary is a small circle indicating the Dome of the Spirits. As can be seen the Dome of the Spirits is on an east/west line with the Mercy Gate. The incorrect assumption that the Mercy Gate is the Shushan/Golden Gate brought Dr. Kaufman to think that the Dome of the Spirits was the location of the Holy of Holies.

    1. Dr. Kaufman located the site of the sacrifice of the red heifer as being at the top of the Mount of Olives from where the Temple Mount and the Holy of Holies could be seen. However the location of the site of the sacrifice of the Red Heifer at the top of the Mount of Olives does not appear in any of the sources. Topographically, the top of the Mount of Olives is also higher then the Holy of Holies, whereas the site of the sacrifice was at the same height as the Holy of Holies according to all the sources.

    2. From the Mishna (Midot 2:4) and the Talmud (Yoma 16), it can be proven that the location of the site of the sacrifice of the Red Heifer was at exactly the same height and in line with the Shushan gate (which is also called the Golden Gate) in the eastern wall of the Temple Mount and the gates of the Temple. Today the Shushan Gate is covered with earth. It was also called the Golden Gate because it was overlayed with gold and in the morning when the sun shone from the east and fell on the gate it was an extremely beautiful sight. The gate was donated by the Jews in exile in Persian.
      View of the eastern wall of the Temple Mount with an arrow showing the location of the Shushan/Golden Gate covered with earth. The gate is in a direct east/west line with the Dome of the Rock. View of the eastern wall of the Temple Mount with an arrow showing the location of the Shushan/Golden Gate covered with earth. The gate is in a direct east/west line with the Dome of the Rock.

    3. The height of the rock which in the Holy of Holies is 746.83 meters [816.74 yards] above sea-level while the height of the rock which is under the Dome of the Spirits is 742.2 meters [811.69 yards] above sea-level. In other words, there is a difference of more than 4.5 meters [5 yards] between the height that was in the Holy of Holies and the rock which is under the Dome of the Spirits. This completely eliminates the possibility that the rock under the Dome of the Spirits could be the Shtiah, the rock which was under the Holy of Holies as stated above.
      Diagram of the levels of the Temple. The highest level is that of the Holy of Holies which, as can be seen, is today the location of the Dome fo the Rock.
      Diagram of the levels of the Temple. The highest level is that of the Holy of Holies which, as can be seen, is today the location of the Dome fo the Rock.

    4. The rock which was under the Holy of Holies, on which was located the Ark of the Covenant, was the highest point on the Temple Mount. The Holy of Holies was also located on the highest place of the Temple Mount. This fits the rock which is today under the Dome of the Rock which is the highest point on the Temple Mount. The Temple was built in such a way that the Court of the Women, which was the largest, was on the first level upon entering the Temple from the east. The Court of Israel was on a higher level. Higher again was the Court of the Priests, which contained the altar. Higher than this again was the building of which contained the Holy of Holies which, as we have said, was on the highest point on the Temple Mount. All of these levels and courts fitted the topographical heights and levels. This is only possible if the Holy of Holies was in the location of the Dome of the Rock and not north or south of it.

    5. The cut stones which Dr. Kaufman found north of the Dome of the Rock when he dug in a very limited area in the 70's and 80's, and which he took to be the foundation of one of the walls of the Temple, are not in a straight line. This brought him to a conclusion that the design of the Temple was different from what is written in the ancient holy sources. According to this, he decided that the walls of the Temple were not straight walls and that the rear part of the Temple was narrower than all the sources stated. This also does not fit Ezekiel's Temple which gives the size of the rear, western wall of the Temple itself as being much longer than what Dr. Kaufman stated. There is no doubt that the stones were not part of the Temple and also the size that he used for a cubit is contradictory to all the sources and does not fit the Mishnah (Midot).

    The Mercy Gate in the eastern wall of the Temple Mount as it looks today.
    The Mercy Gate in the eastern wall of the Temple Mount as it looks today.
  5. The Mercy Gate in the eastern wall is not the real Golden Gate — which is the Shushan Gate — and which is in an east-west line with all the Temple gates as well as the entrance to the Holy of Holies. The Mercy Gate that is mistakenly called the Golden Gate today, and which can be seen in the eastern wall of the Temple Mount, is located north of the Dome of the Rock. The rock that was above it was proved to be in the Holy of Holies.

    From the Mishnah, Talmud, Josephus and other important holy and historical sources we know that the Golden Gate, or as it was called the Shushan Gate, was located in the eastern wall of the Temple Mount and was in a straight east-west line with all the gates of the Temple and the entrance into the Holy of Holies. This gate is currently covered by a mound of earth that was created by the remains of the destruction of the Temple that was thrown over the wall by the Arabs after they occupied Jerusalem in order to build the Dome of the Rock on the same place that was the location of the Holy of Holies from the evidence that still existed at that time. A year ago, when the Arabs dug on the Temple Mount to build another mosque in the area of the southern part of the eastern wall, they discovered the original Shushan/Golden Gate and immediately covered it up again so that nobody in Israel would know about it, especially as they now try to deny the existence of the Temple on the Temple Mount and their goal of converting the Temple Mount into an Islamic site.

    The northern location of the Temple expounded by Dr. Kaufman was also based on the idea that the Mercy Gate was the Golden Gate which is not in an east-west line with the Dome of the Rock under which is the rock which was in the Holy of holies.

    This fact can also be explained by another historical fact which proves the idea that the Shushan/Golden Gate was the gate which was in an east-west line and in line with all the gates of the Temple and the entrance of the Holy of Holies. (The Temple was built from east to west with the Holy of Holies on the western end.) In the Jerusalem Talmud (Eruvim 85:5,1) is written, "The first prophets prophesied and made every effort to ensure that the eastern gate of the Temple and the Temple Mount would be the gates, together with the other Temple gates, through which the first light of the sunrise would enter". The goal of this was that the sunlight would come directly through all the gates into the Holy of Holies. This again indicates that it could only be through the Shushan/Golden Gate, which is in a straight east-west line with the location of the rock under the Dome of the Rock. As mentioned above, the red heifer was sacrificed on the Mount of Olives at the same height as the Shushan/Gate so that the Holy of Holies could be seen through this gate and all the other gates from the site of the sacrifice. The Shushan Gate is located in the eastern wall of the Temple Mount about 100 meters [109 yards] south of the Mercy Gate. It also fits the report of the Jewish traveller who was called Kaftor Vaperach in the book by the same name, who visited the Temple Mount in the early centuries and could still see the Shushan/Golden Gate. In his report he wrote that this is the distance of the Shushan/Golden Gate from the Mercy Gate. (Kaftor Vaperach 3:4,5)

    A plan of the Temple showing the entrance of the first rays of sunlight through the gates directly to the entrance of the Holy of Holies.
    A plan of the Temple showing the entrance of the first rays of sunlight through the gates directly to the entrance of the Holy of Holies.

    The location of the Shushan/Golden Gate and all the other gates of the Temple and the Holy of Holies was built according to the first sunshine of the day which could only enter the Holy of Holies through the Shushan/Golden Gate and through no other gate, i.e., the Mercy Gate which is to the north. This event, which happened each morning in the Temple was one of the most beautiful sights that our forefathers could experience in the Temple. It was like Gd's creation was coming each morning to thank Gd for His exciting and beautiful creation. This moment signalled the start of the first sacrifice of the day when the Jews thanked Gd for His creation and for His goodness towards them. Nothing was an accident in the building of the Temple and its alignment.

  6. The rejection of the theory which locates the Temple south of the Dome of the Rock. In 1930, Michael Hacohen Broer published a paper in which he wrote that the Temple was located south of the Dome of the Rock. According to his theory, we have to measure 500 cubits north of the southern wall of the Temple Mount to where the northern wall of the Temple Mount existed. He based his theory on the fact that the original size of the Temple Mount was 500 by 500 cubits. This would mean that if the Dome of the Rock were the location of the Temple then the northern wall of the Temple Mount would be too close to the location of the Temple and would almost touch the Temple itself. Also, as we wrote above, about 20 years ago the architect, Tuvya Sagiv, published his theory that the location of the Temple was south of the Dome of the Rock. People also understood this to be an attempt at compromise with the fact that according to tradition the Dome of the Rock exists today on the rock that was in the Holy of Holies.

    These theories cannot be accepted and cannot stand in the light of the historical, traditional, topographical and other facts. As such they must be rejected for the following reasons:

    1. The size of 500 by 500 cubits was the size of the Temple Mount before King Herod enlarged and levelled it in the first century BCE. His goal was to make the area of the Temple Mount greater so that many more pilgrims could enter the Temple Mount at the same time. After he had enlarged the Temple Mount, about half a million people could enter the site. He did this by increasing the area to the south, east and north. To the south, in the area added to the Temple Mount, he built rooms on various levels between the original surface of the mountain and the new level. The rooms on these levels were later mistakenly called "Solomon's Stables" by the Crusaders. The rooms were used to keep the area of the Temple Mount from becoming impure in the case that graves were located under the area that he added to the Temple Mount. Although the area was not known to be a cemetery he did this because the Jewish halachic authorities requested it. Herod also built two tunnels under the surface of Temple Mount for the use of pilgrims entering from the south. Besides this he built a beautiful building on the Temple Mount along the southern wall which was called "The Royal Portico".

      According to what we wrote above, the Temple could not be in the area that King Herod added to the Temple Mount. The major part that he added was in the southern area. The second largest was to the east and the smallest portion was to the north. The Temple which Herod also remodelled could only be in the original area of 500 by 500 cubits. As such, it was a mistake to measure the original 500 cubits from the southern wall that King Herod built and in this way to include the large area that he added to the Temple Mount. Herod could only remodel the Temple in its original location, which was in the original 500 by 500 cubit area. If all the area which King Herod added to the southern part of the Temple Mount is removed from the measurement, there is not enough space to locate the Temple in the area which remains.

      A south/north cross section of the Temple Mount  showing the location of the Holy of Holies according to the Southern theory. The diagram shows the lower level of the Holy of Holies according to this theory (736.5m) while the rock under the Dome of the Rock is at a much higher level (743.7m) which is the highest point on the Temple Mount and is where the Holy of Holies needs to situated. It can also be seen that the bedrock where the Holy of Holies is located in this theory is lower still.
      A south/north cross section of the Temple Mount showing the location of the Holy of Holies according to the Southern theory. The diagram shows the lower level of the Holy of Holies according to this theory (736.5m) while the rock under the Dome of the Rock is at a much higher level (743.7m) which is the highest point on the Temple Mount and is where the Holy of Holies needs to situated. It can also be seen that the bedrock where the Holy of Holies is located in this theory is lower still.

    2. The topographical character of the southern area of the Temple Mount does not suite the area on which the Temple could be built. Firstly it was not the highest portion of the Temple Mount, which is where the Dome of the Rock was built and the rock which is under it is the top of the Temple Mount and goes down very deep. The area south of the area around the Dome of the Rock is much lower and has under it, wells, earth and the levels that King Herod added. This cancels any possibility that the Temple could be built in this area.

      It is also a fact that the Arabs, when they occupied the Temple Mount and built the Dome of the Rock, did not build it in this southern area. When they occupied the Temple Mount in the sixth century they still found the remains of the Temple and even the western wall of the Temple itself, which indicated even the location of the Holy of Holies. This is the reason that they built the Dome of the Rock on its current site. As we wrote in an article in our 2001 newsletter, the Arab Umayyad ruler, Abd el-Malik, built the Dome of the Rock as a house of prayer for the Jews whom he greatly respected together with their faith. He knew that the house should be built on the location of the Holy of Holies of the destroyed Temple which is the most holy place for the Jews.

      The greatest Jewish rabbi of the exile, the Rambam (Moses ben Maimon), who made a pilgrimage to the Temple Mount in 1165 CE, wrote that he stood and prayed in the house of prayer, the Dome of the Rock, in the place which he called, Kodesh Hakodeshim - the Holy of Holies. He could do so because in his time the pro-Jewish Arab rulers still existed in Damascus and Spain, who controlled the Temple Mount, and still considered the Dome of the Rock as a house of prayer for the Jews. It is a fact that the Dome of the Rock was never considered to be a mosque and never had the "Kibla" which makes every mosque a mosque and indicates the direction of Mecca. Only in 1947 the pro-Nazi Mufti of Jerusalem built a "Kibla" in the Dome of the Rock and declared it to be a mosque. He justified this by saying that the Jews were going to build this in the same place and by making it a mosque he believed that he could prevent this. This was despite the fact that he knew that it was built as a Jewish house of prayer by the pro-Jewish Arab ruler, Abd el-Malik, whom the Arabs in Mecca called "Kafir" (Unbeliever) because of this.

      We can also say that Abd el-Malik, in whose time the remains of the Temple still existed and the location was still very well known, would not have built such a large and beautiful building in another place and not on the place that he saw to be the place of the Temple. He wanted to honor the most holy place of the Jews to whom he felt so close. He built the Dome of the Rock for them as a temporary house of prayer until the Temple was rebuilt. He also appointed the Jews to be responsible for all the area of the Temple Mount, to manage it, to clean it, and to light candles there. The Dome of the Spirits, northwest of the Dome of the Rock, and another dome close to it, are very small and cannot even be compared to the Dome of the Rock in beauty and do not contain any Jewish elements like the many that he included in the large Dome of the Rock.

  7. The Dome of the Rock
    The Dome of the Rock
    The discovery of the Gate and Tunnel of the Priests in the western wall of the Temple Mount was final proof that the location of the Dome of the Rock is the location of the Temple. In 1982, while the Rabbinical Hasmonean Tunnel along the western wall of the Temple Mount was being cleaned prior to being opened to the public, the rabbi of the western wall, Rabbi Yehuda Getz z''l, and his workers discovered a gate in the wall which was blocked, not by the original Herodian stones, but by stones from much later. This gate was cleared and opened and they discovered a beautiful Herodian tunnel, the direction of which was straight to the area of the Dome of the Rock. Rabbi Getz identified this gate as being the gate and tunnel of the priests which was built by King Herod and was only used by the priests to enter directly into the Temple with no need to come into contact with ordinary Jews and thus keep their extra purification. This is the reason that the tunnel was called the Gate and Tunnel of the Priests. The existence of the gate and this tunnel is recorded in the Mishnah, Talmud, Josephus and other holy and historical sources as being in the same location where it was discovered. The tunnel, which led directly to the Temple and the building of the Holy of Holies when it was discovered in 1982, also went in the direction of the Dome of the Rock. This was final proof that the location of the Dome of the Rock is the location of the Temple and the rock under it is the rock which was in the Holy of Holies and that the rock which is under the Dome of the Spirits which is to the north of the tunnel of the priests and the Dome of the Rock cannot without any doubt be the rock which was in the Holy of Holies. The research of Dr. Kaufman, which was published seven years previously could not take into account this very clear fact and the knowledge about the tunnel and its direction. Perhaps if he had known this his conclusions may have been completely different.

    One of the most exciting results of the discovery of the Gate and Tunnel of the Priests could be the discovery of the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Covenant was hidden in 606 BCE by King Josiah, 20 years before the destruction of the First Temple. It was hidden under the Temple Mount when this king commanded the High Priest to hide it because he felt that the destruction was soon to come and he wanted to save this most holy item from falling into the hands of the enemy or of being destroyed. Through the Mishnah and Talmud we know that it was hidden underneath the Temple Mount and through these books, Rabbi Getz knew the secret room under the Temple Mount where it was hidden. When we were in the tunnel he told me that if the cleaning of the tunnel continued he would shortly come to the secret room where the Ark was hidden. The room was under the Temple and the tunnel led to it. This was another proof that the Temple existed in the same place where the Dome of the rock was built. The High Priest could hide the Ark which should be under the Holy of Holies and this tunnel led to this place. All of us who were in the tunnel were so excited to know that the holy Ark of the Covenant that Gd gave to Moses together with the two stone tablets of the ten commandments, Aaron's rod, and a portion of the manna which were located in the Ark would soon be recovered.

    The beautiful arch at the beginning of the rabbinical Hasmonean tunnel. Deeper in the tunnel the Priests Gate and Tunnel was discovered.
    The beautiful arch at the beginning of the rabbinical Hasmonean tunnel. Deeper in the tunnel the Priests Gate and Tunnel was discovered.
    I personally had the great privilege of seeing the Tunnel of the Priests for myself and visiting it when Rabbi Getz called me on the same night that it was discovered and invited me to come and see the most exciting thing of my life. When I entered the tunnel, which still had a lot of water and garbage in it that the Arabs had thrown in it over the centuries without any respect for the holiness of this godly place, my heart was so moved when I saw the beautiful stones and arches of the tunnel and when I knew that I was standing in the same place where the Jewish priests, my forefathers, had stood and walked on their way to worship in the Temple and knowing that I was so close to the Holy of Holies and the location of the Ark of the Covenant. I felt the tears of excitement covering my face and I thanked Gd for the privilege that He gave me to see it in my lifetime. For me it was a very clear sign that time is very short and soon the Temple will be rebuilt. The opening of this tunnel was a call from Gd - "I open the gate for you my people, Israel, to build My house". Unfortunately, the leadership of Israel was not at a high enough level which suited the significance of that great moment and they decided to block the gate again because of fear of the Arabs who started to demonstrate and under the pressure of the UN closed up the gate again. Another great moment, after the great moment of the liberation of the Temple Mount in 1967, was missed because of the weakness of the Israeli leadership who feared human beings and not the Gd of Israel and did not trust His promises to stand with them and to defeat all the powers in the world and even all the nations if they will come against Israel in the endtimes in which we are now living when Israel will re-liberate and build the land of Israel, Jerusalem and the house of Gd which should be built in only one place with no compromise, on the same location of the First and Second Temples which were on the location of the Dome of the Rock which was built after the destruction of the Second Temple by the enemies of Israel. This is the holy word of Gd and who is allowed to change it or to compromise?

In conclusion, there is no doubt that the Dome of the Rock is the location of the First and Second Temples and should, with no compromise, be the location of the Third Temple. Any Temple built in another location will be a false Temple which will never be accepted by Gd and will be considered by Him as the most terrible sin that Israel can commit, not only because Gd pointed out this place to King David more than 3,000 years ago to be the location of His house which Gd commanded in prophecy should not be changed, but also because it will show that the Israelis do not trust and do not accept Gd's Word and promises but that they are afraid of human powers and not the One Almighty Gd of Israel. This is the same sin that was committed by the ten spies in the time of Moses when they were afraid of the giants which lived in the Promised Land and not of the Gd of Israel and His Word and promises to them that He would be with them and defeat all those giants who would come against them.

Many of those who support the northern or southern theories of the location of the Temple do so because they want to compromise with the existence of the Arab Islamic Dome of the Rock on the actual location of the Temple. Again the same weakness and fear of the "giants" of our time, including the more than a billion Moslems and the UN, appears. They fear that the building of the Temple in the correct historical place where the Arabs built the Dome of the Rock will cause a world war and a major attack against Israel. Others do it because of their religious ideas. All of these compromises and other theories show spiritual weakness before Gd and are a terrible sin because they trust and fear human beings instead of fearing and trusting Almighty Gd.

The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement fear, trust, and accept only the Gd of Israel and the Universe and His prophetic Word. The Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa mosque were built as a result of an imperialistic Arab Islamic occupation and as a revolt against Gd and His Word. It was an inhuman idea to build them on the most holy place of the Gd and people of Israel, which could only be the location of the Third Temple according to the holy Word of Gd. These shrines of pagan worship are directed to the south, to Mecca, and when they — the Arabs and Moslems — pray on the holy site of the Temple, they pray in that direction and not to the Temple Mount and the Temple. The Temple Mount must be and will be the place of only the Third Temple in these endtimes in which we are now living and not the place of any other building of strange worship. According to the Word of Gd no other building may exist on the Temple Mount besides the Temple itself, especially houses of foreign pagan worship which desecrate the holy hill and the Name of Gd. The Temple and Temple Mount were dedicated by the Gd of Israel for the endtimes in which we are now living to be only a house of prayer and worship for Israel and all the nations. All the nations who try to prevent this godly prophetic endtime event are committing a terrible sin and mistake because they are trying to prevent their own godly redemption, which they need so much, especially at this time.

As stated above, I have no doubt that the Gd of Israel is testing Israel at this time, mainly on the Temple Mount with regard to this issue: Will Israel again commit the sin of the ten spies and the people of Israel in the time of Moses and fear the billion Moslems and all the other human powers of our time or will they trust Gd and His promises that He will not allow them to touch even one hair of the people of Israel? If they do trust in Him He will defend them and protect them and defeat all the enemies that will come against them and He will lead the major endtime event of the rebuilding of the Temple, Jerusalem and the land of Israel and His holy kingdom. Human power has no meaning before Gd.

We call on the Israeli Government primarily as well as everyone else in the world to trust and be faithful to the Gd of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob alone, the Almighty Gd of Israel, besides Whom there is no other god, and to obey His Word, to accept the greatest privilege of all time that He gave us to fulfil these exciting prophetic endtime causes which Gd gave to our generation. The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement will be the Caleb's and Joshua's of our time, completely faithful to Him and His Word.



The Faithful marching to the Temple Mount carrying the Hanukkah menorah. The march will not stop until the Temple Mount is purified from foreign pagan worship as the Maccabees did in their time and the Temple is built. The Faithful lighting the Hanukkah menorah. The Faithful arriving at the Temple Mount.
The Faithful marching to the Temple Mount carrying the Hanukkah menorah. The march will not stop until the Temple Mount is purified from foreign pagan worship as the Maccabees did in their time and the Temple is built. The Faithful lighting the Hanukkah menorah. The Faithful arriving at the Temple Mount.

In the Almighty G‑d of Israel We Trust!

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The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement will continue with our godly campaign and holy work. We shall proceed intensively to serve the G‑d of Israel with all of our hearts and devotion to build His Holy Temple on the Holy Temple Mount in Jerusalem and to bring to pass all of His end-time prophetic plans for Israel and the entire world. And G‑d will be with us! Everyone is called to stand, encourage, help and support the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement in her holy campaign to bring to pass this major godly end-time vision in the lifetime of our generation together with our wonderful and devoted friends in Israel and all over the world.

Everyone is called to help the Faithful Movement in her holy campaign. Together with G‑d we can do it! Let us join hand-in-hand and unite to accomplish this privileged holy work and assuredly the G‑d of Israel will be with us.

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