The Real Location of the First, Second, and the Third Holy Temple, Which Is Soon to Be Built, Is Only on the Holy Temple Mount in Jerusalem
The Location of the Holy Temple Mount on Mount Moriah Was Appointed by the G‑D of Israel to Be the Location of His Holy Temple and No Person or Power Can Ever Change It. Any Alternative Location That Has Recently Been Suggested Is Absolutely Wrong and not Relevant.
(This article includes the personal experience of Gershon Salomon on the Holy Temple Mount during the Six Day War.)
In the following article we are going to bring to your attention one of the most important topics which is deeply connected to end-time godly events that we are currently experiencing. The article was written after a long period of research by the Temple Faithful Movement and it will be of greater length than other newsletters that we have sent. We want to bring your attention to evidence and facts that are scientifically based and that compliment the historical, biblical, and archaeological descriptions of past events that took place on the Holy Temple Mount in Jerusalem. All of this has been used as a basis for the preparations of the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement and of Israel for the building of the Third Holy Temple in the lifetime of our generation. The Third Holy Temple is going to be an House of Prayer and Worship for Israel and all nations. Israel is called by G‑d to build the Third Holy Temple and everyone in the world should become a part of this holy project especially the Lovers of Zion and Israel. We shall be more than glad to hear from you regarding your responses to this article.
I have been extremely surprised to learn about a very strange theory that has been put forward in recent years that incorrectly claims that the location of the First and Second Holy Temples was not on Mount Moriah — the location of the Holy Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the place that has always been well-known to everyone until today. To begin with, and most importantly, I would like to say that no theory of this kind is relevant. What has been known during the last 3,000 years since the building of the First Holy Temple by King Solomon until today as the Holy Temple Mount, Mount Moriah, is absolutely the only location of the First and the Second Temples and will be the location of the Third Holy Temple soon to be built by G‑d’s people Israel. This location was given by the G‑d of Israel to King David through prophecy. This is the only place that was chosen by G‑d to be the location for His Holy House where He, His Name, and His Shekina would dwell there among His people Israel forever and in the Third Holy Temple among all of His creation. This location, according to the Word of G‑d, cannot be changed or moved to any other place and, indeed, it never was moved to any other place. This place was dedicated by G‑d since the beginning of creation to be forever the one and only location for His Holy Temple. This article comes to bring clarification of this historical fact to everyone while we are presently dealing with the preparations for the building of the Third Holy Temple on the Holy Temple Mount in Jerusalem during our lifetime.
On the day of the liberation of the Holy Temple Mount in Jerusalem in the year 1967, I had the distinct privilege to be together with the Israeli soldiers who liberated this most holy place of the Jewish people on that godly victorious day. To place this major godly event in historical perspective, we must keep in mind that the 1967 liberation of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple Mount happened after almost 2,000 years of Jewish exile from the Land of Israel where the Jewish people were repeatedly scourged, persecuted, and murdered in nearly every place where they found a haven and when their own Land, given to them by G‑d Himself, suffered from multiple occupations by various foreign empires. The day of the 1967 liberation was certainly one of the most significant days in more than 4,000 years of Jewish history. The dream of thousands of years of the people of G‑d became a reality. The liberation of the Holy Temple Mount was a true godly event that was unique in Israel’s history and will remain incomparable to any event in the future. I will not explain at this time what every one of us felt when General Motta Gur declared at that heroic and godly moment: “The Temple Mount is in our hands!” My eyes were filled with tears of joy and excitement together with the Israeli soldiers and all the House of Israel. End-time prophecy became word-by-word fulfilled in my lifetime and the lifetime of our generation. The Holy Temple Mount was, is, and will be forever the heart and soul of the G‑d and people of Israel.
For thousands of years the Jewish people have passed along from father to son and from generation to generation the known fact that the Holy Temple Mount is the only location of the First, the Second, and the soon to be built Third Holy Temple. I knew that the G‑d of Israel returned us to this most Holy Mountain, to the place that He revealed to King David and also to our forefathers and to the exact place where He wants us to rebuild His Holy Temple. I knew, without a doubt, that He returned us to this place, which is the heart and soul of the G‑d and people of Israel, for this purpose.
I want to share with everyone many important features of the evidence that confirm the historical location of the Holy Temple Mount and the Holy Temple and that serve an ongoing part of the preparations for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, the Third Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The Third Holy Temple could not and cannot presently be built, according to the Word of G‑d in the Torah, in any other place besides the Holy Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Indeed, the Holy Temple Mount and the Holy Temples were never moved from their original location. This is the place that G‑d appointed and no human being has ever been permitted to change this location, which is based on the very Word of G‑d.
The Holy Temple Mount is located on the top of the Moriah Mountain, which is also at the top of the historical City of David. This is the place where the G‑d of Israel proclaimed that His Holy Temple will be built, where His Shekina and His Name would dwell in the Holy of Holies of the Holy Temple among His people Israel forever. G‑d called to His people Israel: “Build Me a temple and I will dwell among you” (Exodus 25:8). G‑d appointed this place through prophecy to King David and consecrated it for His Name. This is the reason, as we said, that the Second Holy Temple was built on exactly the same place as the First Holy Temple. This is exactly the very same place where the Third Holy Temple must soon be built so that it will stand on the same location of the First and Second Holy Temples on the Holy Temple Mount, which is well-known until today by the people of Israel and by historical and scientific researchers in Israel and throughout the entire world. Any calculation or theory that attempts to locate the Holy Temple on any other location is in major error.
The history of the Holy Temple Mount begins during the time when G‑d created the universe. The intention of G‑d from the beginning was to create ‘first’ the place which would be the location of His Holy House where He would dwell in the midst of His people Israel. So G‑d created first the ‘foundation rock’, which is located until today on the top of Mount Moriah or the Holy Temple Mount, as it is commonly called. A very old tradition that was passed along the Jewish people from father to son says that this rock was the ‘foundation rock’ upon which G‑d created the entire universe. G‑d created the universe in circles of holiness. The first circle which is the most holy place in the world is the foundation rock. The second circle which is also very holy is the location of the Holy Temple Mount until today. The third circle of holiness is Jerusalem. The fourth circle of holiness that G‑d created is the Holy Land of Israel. The fifth circle is the rest of the world.
It is not an accident that the holy rock was called the ‘foundation rock’ of the universe and was located in the midst of the Holy of Holies of the First and the Second Holy Temples. In the First Holy Temple and situated on the ‘foundation rock’ was located the most important and holy component of the Holy Temple, which was the Ark of the Covenant. Inside the Ark of the Covenant were located the two tablets with the Ten Commandments that G‑d gave to Moses. When Israel liberated the Holy Temple Mount in the year 1967, the original ‘foundation rock’ still existed under the Dome of the Rock on the Holy Temple Mount.
The discovery of the ‘foundation rock’ after the Six Day War in 1967 completely confirms that the well-known Holy Temple Mount is the authentic location of the Holy Temple Mount and the Holy Temples. This is the most conclusive evidence that cancels any other theory concerning the location of the Jewish Temples in Jerusalem. The ‘foundation rock’ was and still is located on the peak of Mount Moriah, the Holy Temple Mount, exactly as the 1st century ce Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, described in his book “The Wars of the Jews”. Josephus, who was born in Jerusalem in 37 ce, provided an eyewitness account of Herod’s Temple and the Holy Temple Mount in his historical writings.
The Byzantines, who occupied the Holy Land from the 4th century ce, found many remains of the Second Holy Temple on the Holy Temple Mount and covered these remains with garbage in order to humiliate the Jewish people.
When the Arab Caliph Omar occupied Jerusalem and the Holy Temple Mount in the year 638 ce, he brought a Jewish companion with him who showed him the location of the Holy of Holies on the peak of the Holy Temple Mount, the location of the ‘foundation rock’. Indeed, the Caliph Omar still found on the Holy Temple Mount many remains of the Second Holy Temple, including the original western wall of the Holy Temple itself and the ‘foundation rock’ and the holy altar. He declared that the Holy Temple Mount is holy only for the Jewish people and not for Muslims or other religions. The many remains of the Second Holy Temple completely confirmed for him that this was the location of the First and the Second Holy Temples. He cleared away the garbage from the remains of the Holy Temple and also from the ‘foundation rock’.
Between the years 691-701 ce, the Islamic Caliph Abd al-Malik, who ruled from Damascus, built the Dome of the Rock that still stands today atop the Holy Temple Mount. He built the Dome of the Rock precisely on the ‘foundation rock’ of the Holy Temple Mount as a respectable and honorable building that designated the location of the Holy of Holies and the holy ‘foundation rock’ of the Jewish Temple. He anointed the Dome of the Rock to be an house of prayer for the Jewish people as he wrote about in his writings. The walls of the Dome of the Rock are filled with the Jewish symbol of the ‘star of David’ and inside the dome-capped shrine are designs of Jewish ornaments. Abd al-Malik also built the Dome of the Chain on the location of the holy altar of the Holy Temple. For both caliphates, the remains of the Second Holy Temple and it’s holy altar confirmed that this place was the location of the Holy Temple Mount and the location of the First and the Second Holy Temples. Caliph Abd al-Malik even anointed ten Jewish families and gave them responsibilities of guardianship of the Holy Temple Mount in the name of the Jewish people. Until today, the Muslims call the Holy Temple Mount “Bayt Al-Maqdis“, which is Arabic for the exact Jewish name of the Holy Temple, which in Hebrew is called “Beit HaMikdash“. These facts alone could serve as enough evidence to confirm that the Holy Temple Mount was and is the real location of the First and the Second Temples. However, we shall bring more evidence and historical facts. These will enrich the knowledge of everyone about the most holy and important godly site in the world.
For thousands of years since the First Holy Temple was built in the approximate year 960 bce and since the destruction of the Second Holy Temple in the year 70 ce, Jewish travelers have journeyed to make special pilgrimages to the Holy Temple Mount during the times when foreigners ruled over the Land of Israel and allowed them to do so. They came to the Holy Temple Mount, the location of both Holy Temples, and not to any other place in the City of David or any other site. Many of the visitors down through the centuries, Jews and non-Jews alike, described in their journals the location of the Holy Temple Mount and they documented valuable observations of what they saw when they were able to ascend the Holy Temple Mount.
On the western wall of the Holy Temple Mount, we can still see until today what one of these Jewish pilgrims engraved (after the destruction of the Second Holy Temple) from the prophecy of the prophet Isaiah found in the chapters on consolation: “And when you see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like young grass…” (Isaiah 66:14a). These words were taken from the prophecy of Isaiah that speaks about the rebuilding of the Holy Temple which will indicate the redemption of Israel, Jerusalem, and the Holy Land given by G‑d to His people Israel. It is not an accident that this Jewish traveler engraved these words on the wall of the Holy Temple Mount. He knew clearly, like everyone did, that this is the location of the First and Second Holy Temples and the location of the soon-to-be-built Third Holy Temple. This is one of the most exciting archaeological discoveries that has been identified on the Holy Temple Mount. The discovery filled every Israeli’s heart with joy knowing that we are living in the special time when this prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled. The redemption of Israel is a major historical fact, not only in the lives of the Jewish people, but also in the lives of all mankind and this includes the reality that the Third Holy Temple is soon to be built on the Holy Temple Mount during the lifetime of our generation.
When the righteous man Noah built an altar for G‑d after the flood and he sacrificed on the altar in honor of G‑d, it was on the location of Mount Moriah, next to the ‘foundation rock’. Later when the Holy Temple was built, the altar of the Temple was built on the location of the altar of Noah. This is also the place where G‑d made for the first time a covenant with His creation through His Words to righteous Noah. It appears in Genesis 8:20 and 9:8-17.
Later, G‑d sent Abraham to Mount Moriah, which is the same location as the ‘foundation rock’ on the top of the mountain, which is the Holy Temple Mount, where Abraham bound and nearly sacrificed his son, Isaac, the son whom he loved (Genesis 22:1-18).
The ‘foundation rock’ on the Holy Temple Mount is the place where Jacob had his godly dream when he saw angels ascending and descending on a ladder from heaven to earth. When Jacob awakened and saw this place on the peak of Mount Moriah, later to become the location of the Holy Temple Mount, he said that this is the gate of heaven from where the angels went up and down and he called the place the ‘House of G‑d’ (‘Beit El‘ in Hebrew). Jacob anointed the place to become the location of the House of G‑d, the Holy Temple. Let us allow Jacob to share with us his words: “And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! This is no other than the house of G‑d, and this is the gate of heaven….and this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be G‑d’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth to thee” (Genesis 28:17,22). This place was the ‘foundation rock’ that still exists until today and is also the same ‘foundation rock’ that will be located inside the Holy of Holies of the soon-to-be-built Third Holy Temple.
A very ancient tradition shares with us that as long as the Holy Temple existed, this gate from heaven that Jacob saw from this holy ground (later called the Holy Temple Mount) was ‘open’ and through it G‑d shared His Word and His Shekina (Divine Presence) with His chosen people Israel. This gate was closed after the destruction of the Holy Temples. The historical message was that this gate will again be opened when the Holy Temple is rebuilt.
I want to share a personal memory from my experience on the Holy Temple Mount on the day of the godly moment, on the day of liberation of the Holy Temple Mount during the Six Day War. I felt that this gate from heaven was once again ‘open’ for a time and from where G‑d is going to continue to appear to His people Israel when the Third Holy Temple is rebuilt. All of us who stood on this major godly day inside the Dome of the Rock in front of the ‘foundation rock’, the location of the Holy of Holies, felt as with Jacob, that angels were ascending and descending to bless the people of Israel and calling His people to immediately rebuild the Holy Temple. This was a great and godly moment, one of the greatest in the history of the people of G‑d that no words can accurately describe. It will dwell forever in the hearts of the Jewish people and will never be forgotten.
The location of the ‘foundation rock’ on the top of Mount Moriah was shown to King David to be the location of the Holy Temple that would later be built by his son, Solomon. Indeed, King Solomon built the First Holy Temple, approximately 3,000 years ago, exactly on the same location, and the holy ‘foundation rock’ was located in the midst of the Holy of Holies. G‑d appointed this place to be the location of His Holy Temple forever and it can never be changed or moved, not even one inch from this place to another.
The First Holy Temple, as was the Second Holy Temple, were the destination for pilgrimages of the children of Israel who are called by G‑d to come to the Holy Temple three times a year during the three festivals of Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot (Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles). In Hebrew, the word ‘pilgrimage’ is called “a’alot l’regal” which means ‘to walk up with your legs’ to the Holy Temple of G‑d. This walk started from the City of David and continued along the ascending slope up to the top of the mountain, where the Holy Temple Mount is located until today, in order to worship with love and joy the G‑d of Israel.
The Second Holy Temple that was built in the year 516 bce was constructed according to biblical law exactly on the same location as the First Holy Temple on the Holy Temple Mount, whose location was very well-known to the Jewish people. Some of the ruins of the First Holy Temple still remained on the ‘foundation rock’ on the peak of the Holy Temple Mount, which is the top of the slope of the mountain where the City of David is located. Jewish people continued to make pilgrimages to the Second Holy Temple exactly as they had done to the First Holy Temple.
The size of the area of the Holy Temple Mount of both the First and the Second Holy Temples was a square of five hundred cubits length. During the Second Temple period, the numbers of Jewish pilgrims coming to the Holy Temple Mount became so great that the area of the Holy Temple Mount itself was not large enough to include all of the pilgrims. King Herod, who was the greatest among the ancient builders in the Land of Israel, enlarged the surface area of the Holy Temple Mount to the south and to the north so that in the midst of it was located the Holy Temple, and this allowed a half-million pilgrims to ascend onto the Holy Temple Mount. On both the southern and northern areas of the Holy Temple Mount, Herod extended the platform length. The southern extension was constructed with vaults and with the addition of new walls that still exist today.
On the new southern wall, Herod built additional gates from where the pilgrims who ascended from the City of David could enter. These gates exist until today and are known as the double gate at the western side of the southern wall and the triple gates toward the eastern side of the southern wall. The double gate was called the Hulda Gate, named after the First Temple period prophetess Hulda, who was very much appreciated and admired by the people of Israel. From the double gate, the pilgrims who ascended from the sloped City of David, entered onto the Holy Temple Mount from one gate and exited from the other gate. In this way, the pilgrims who entered unto the Holy Temple Mount could meet on their way those who were descending from the Holy Temple Mount and they could take time to bless and congratulate those who had marriages in their families and also to comfort those who experienced death in their families.
These beautiful gates, including the construction underneath the southern platform, are described in the books written by the historian, Flavius Josephus, who lived during the 1st century ce and was an eyewitness of what King Herod added and built atop the Holy Temple Mount. Flavius Josephus even explained with many details how King Herod re-modeled the Holy Temple itself upon the same exact location of the First and the Second Holy Temples on the Holy Temple Mount. The Temple of Herod was, at that time, the tallest building in the world with a height of more than 50 meters [160 feet], which corresponds to a 20-story building of today. According to biblical law, he did not move the location of the Holy Temple on the Holy Temple Mount, but on the same exact location he was able to re-model the Holy Temple to such a height and still abide by biblical law. The Holy of Holies was located inside Herod’s Temple and the stones of this building were marble-stone and they reflected the aura of a blue color like heaven. In the writings of Josephus, it says that the edifice of Herod’s Temple was so beautiful that those who never saw this Holy Temple never saw a beautiful building in all of their life. The statuesque building was located specifically and primarily on the ‘foundation rock’ which still exists until today on the Holy Temple Mount.
Josephus, who saw with his own eyes the Holy Temple and the Holy Temple Mount that King Herod re-modeled, gives us details about the constructions that Herod built inside the Holy Temple itself and also on the Holy Temple Mount. Important details and archaeological remains of Herod’s Temple and its compound including details even from the First Holy Temple of King Solomon, were found on the Holy Temple Mount after the Six Day War. We could confirm word-for-word what Flavius Josephus wrote on this important subject, and especially that the Holy Temple Mount was and is the one-and-only location of both Holy Temples. Josephus’ descriptions have been considered by historians throughout history until today as honest and completely faithful to the facts of history measured on a serious and scientific level.
After the destruction of the Second Holy Temple in the year 70 ce, Jews who survived the destruction never forgot the Holy Temple Mount and it’s location, which always signified the time when King Solomon built the First Holy Temple. The message about the Holy Temple Mount and its location was transmitted from father to son through centuries of Jewish history. The Jewish people never allowed themselves to forgot the Holy Temple and its location on the Holy Temple Mount and were faithful to what they swore: “… if I will forget thee O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her skill. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy …” (Psalm 137:5-6). How could they ever forget the place of the house of their beloved G‑d in Jerusalem?! Throughout 2,000 years of exile, Jews were oftentimes forbidden to ascend to the Holy Temple Mount, but they did everything possible to come and make pilgrimages to the Holy Temple Mount and they even tried to sacrifice their personal sacrifices, especially the sacrifice of Passover. Their prayers, their hearts, their faces, and their hopes were always directed toward the location of the Holy Temple Mount. Even their dead were buried for thousands of years even until today with their faces directed toward the Holy Temple Mount in order to await the coming of the Messiah. This will happen when the G‑d of Israel brings forth the resurrection and every one will enter the Holy Temple Mount in order to worship their beloved G‑d, the G‑d of Israel, in the coming Third Holy Temple. All of these buried Jewish bodies have been silent witnesses, as their faces are directed toward the Holy Temple Mount, that this is the real location of both Holy Temples and the location for the Third Holy Temple. Inside Jewish homes there is a custom practiced to this day that on the eastern wall there is a portion of the wall intentionally left unfinished as a daily reminder to never forget the destruction of the Holy Temple and the Holy Temple Mount at its location in Jerusalem.
There is a very exciting and historical story about the great Rabbi Akiva who lived after the destruction of the Second Holy Temple. In approximately the year 150 ce, one day he walked together with his students on the Holy Temple Mount and suddenly they saw a fox that was running out of the ruins of the Holy Temple. All of Rabbi Akiva’s students began to weep and cry when they saw the fox coming from the location of the Holy of Holies of the G‑d of Israel. The rabbi asked them not to weep but rather to know that if the prophecies about the destruction of the Holy Temple were fulfilled, then this means that the prophecies of the redemption will also be fulfilled and soon to come. Rabbi Akiva and his students walked on the Holy Temple Mount and not on any other place.
After all of this, I want to ask: How could the title of one of the two books, which have been written that suggest an alternative location for the building of the Third Holy Temple, be called: “The Temples That Jerusalem Forgot“? How could these two books, including the book “Temple“, claim that the First and Second Holy Temples may have been built down the slope of the City of David and not on the mountain at the top of the slope where the ‘foundation rock’ is located until this very day?
In the year 638 ce, when the Muslims occupied the Land of Israel, Jerusalem, and the Holy Temple Mount, as we previously described, they cleared away the garbage that the Byzantine Christians had heaped on top of the ruins of the Holy Temple. They also removed all of the ruins of the Holy Temple and threw them out of the eastern wall of the Holy Temple Mount and the pile of ruins formed a hill that still exists until today. Later, the Muslims constructed a Muslim cemetery upon this hill which also exists until today. They believed that by blocking the Golden Gate of the Holy Temple Mount with this hill and cemetery that they could and still can prevent the coming Messiah ben David from entering to the Holy Temple Mount. They also believe, mistakenly, that the Messiah will be a priest and therefore, as a priest, he is not allowed to cross through a cemetery on his way through the Golden Gate. However, the Messiah will be a descendant of King David, who was not a priest. The Golden Gate exists until today on the eastern wall of the Holy Temple Mount but it is covered and blocked by the hill that we have described. When the Third Holy Temple will be built, this hill will be removed and the Golden Gate will be opened. The Temple Mount Faithful Movement is presently acting for the immediate opening of the Golden Gate, the most important and holy gate on the Holy Temple Mount. This gate was directed toward the location of the Holy Temple and the Holy of Holies. Every morning at sunrise when the sun’s rays shone from the Mount of Olives in the east, it was an exciting view to watch how the rays of light entered through the gates of the Holy Temple directly to the Holy of Holies. This holy gate is directed until today toward the location of the Dome of the Rock, which is the location of the Holy of Holies.
I want to share another exciting occurrence from the day of the liberation of the Holy Temple Mount during the Six Day War that happened during these great moments in history. Suddenly, there appeared on the Holy Temple Mount a civilian person speaking to me in English and he said, “I am an Arabic tour guide. My job was to guide tourists and people on the Holy Temple Mount and I know every point and place on this Jewish Temple Mount. Even in the Qur’an, it is written that one day G‑d will return the Jews to the Land of Israel and they will build their Holy Temple. And now these verses have been fulfilled. I have been sent here by G‑d to show you the exact location of the Holy Temple where you should now build the Third Temple and to show you every other location on the Holy Temple Mount that has remained from the First and Second Temples.” This Arabic gentleman took us again to the Dome of the Rock and showed us the ‘foundation rock’ and said that this is the location of the Holy of Holies where you should build the Holy of Holies of the Third Temple. Then he showed us the Dome of the Chain and said, “Here you should build the altar of the Third Temple”. Then he took us to the beautiful Hulda Tunnels from where the Jews entered in order to worship inside the Holy Temple. Then he took us to the location of the eastern Golden Gate and he said that it was covered by the Arabs to prevent the Messiah from entering. He continued, “You should clean it and open it so that your Messiah will come through this gate.” Then he took us to one of the complexes of the Holy Temple on the Holy Temple Mount (which also survived until today, which today is mistakenly called ‘Solomon’s Stables’). He said that this complex was part of the Temple compound where the Temple priests could exit in order to purify themselves. And so, he took us from place to place and then suddenly, he disappeared. Years later when we had meetings with soldiers who were the witnesses of this great and exciting occurrence, everyone was sure that the man was an angel who was sent by G‑d in order to show us the exact location of the First and Second Temples and for the Third Holy Temple and to share with us the call of G‑d: “Build immediately my Holy House”.
Aside from being the liberation of the Holy Temple Mount during the Six Day War of 1967, that was one of the greatest moments in the life of the Jewish people ever, it was also the greatest personal moment in my life. Another great moment of my personal life was when I was severely injured as a young Israeli officer during a heavy eight-hour battle on the Golan Heights and G‑d appeared with His angels during this battle. Thanks to G‑d, Who fought together with us, my unit of 150 soldiers defeated thousands of Syrian soldiers, just like in biblical times. On this day of battle, when I became gravely injured by an Israeli tank that accidentally ran over me, G‑d and His angels appeared as I laid in the field of battle completely paralyzed and He spoke to my heart telling me that I still have to fulfill an important mission in my life. Later in the hospital, there arrived observers of the United Nations who told me that the Syrian Arab officers shared with them that they could not shoot and kill me because I was totally surrounded by angels of G‑d. This was the moment that I swore to dedicate my life to the rebuilding of the Holy Temple to the G‑d of Israel on the Holy Temple Mount. Like in the field of battle, I knew that G‑d had called me and anointed me for this extremely important mission. I will share more details about this memorable event in another article.
After the 1967 Six Day War, when I founded the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement, I had the privilege to visit again and again on the Holy Temple Mount. I saw with my own eyes remains of the Holy Temples and the Holy Temple Mount. I knew very clearly and was sure that this is the exact location of the First and the Second Holy Temples and will be the location of the Third Holy Temple.
One of the most exciting places that the historian Flavius Josephus described in his book “The Wars of the Jews“, is the ‘tunnel of the priests’. He wrote that the gate of this tunnel was located on the western wall of the Holy Temple Mount that King Herod built. In the year 1981, when the righteous rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Yehudah Getz, was cleaning-out the rabbinical tunnel of the Hasmonean period that extends along the western wall of the Holy Temple Mount in a northerly direction from the Western Wall, he discovered the gate to the ‘tunnel of the priests’. The gate was blocked not by the original Herodian stones, but rather by the stones that the Arabs commonly used after they occupied Jerusalem. Rabbi Getz immediately removed the stones and opened the gate. Suddenly before him, there appeared an exciting and beautiful tunnel whose direction led directly toward the location of the Holy of Holies to one of the secret rooms under the ‘foundation rock’. He immediately knew from the Kabbalah and from the Talmud and from the writings of the historian, Josephus, that this was the original Herodian ‘tunnel of the priests’. Through this special tunnel the priests used to enter to the Holy Temple in order to worship inside it’s precincts. This tunnel enabled them to remain separated from other Jewish pilgrims who also entered the Holy Temple to worship. In this way the priests could retain their condition of extra purification.
The discovery of the priestly tunnel was another extremely exciting and outstanding moment in the life of Israel and also in my own personal life. The Ark of the Covenant was about to be discovered! It all happened in the middle of the night when Rabbi Getz first opened the gate and suddenly discovered the priestly tunnel and though it was after the midnight hour, I suddenly heard my phone ringing. When I picked up the phone, there on the line was Rabbi Getz. With greatest excitement he declared, “Please come immediately! The dream of your life is about to be fulfilled and become a reality. We are going to discover and pick-up the Ark of the Covenant. As we have heard from those who prophesied, the moment that the Holy Ark will be discovered, the Holy Temple will immediately be rebuilt!” I was so moved and excited that I had not time to even put on my shoes but only to run to this tunnel.
When I arrived and saw the tunnel, I knew immediately that this was the ‘tunnel of the priests’ that Josephus had described. Despite that the tunnel was filled with garbage and dirty muddy water that the Arabs allowed to drain through the opening on the Holy Temple Mount, I immediately felt the glory of G‑d covering every inch of the area, including the walls and the arches of this beautiful godly tunnel. My eyes were attracted to the extension of the tunnel when suddenly Rabbi Getz and I hugged each other with tears in our eyes. Rabbi Getz exclaimed, “We are so near to the most Holy Ark of the Covenant! We are so close to the rebuilding of the Holy Temple!”
Workers began immediately to clean-out the tunnel. Only a few days would be necessary to completely clean-out the tunnel and to reach the secret room underneath the holy ‘foundation rock’ where the Ark of the Covenant is located. The Ark of the Covenant has been located there since the righteous King of Judah, King Josiah from the House of David, commanded the Levites to hide the Ark of the Covenant in a secret room underneath the ‘foundation rock’:
“…and he said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to the LORD, put the holy ark in the house which Solomon, the son of David, King of Israel, did build… (II Chronicles 35:3).
King Josiah knew through prophecy that soon will come the Babylonians to destroy the Holy Temple and he wanted to prevent the Ark of the Covenant from being taken to Babylon.
Unfortunately, a few days later the media heard about the discovery of this ‘tunnel of the priests’. It was immediately published and the Arabs started to demonstrate on the Holy Temple Mount. The Security Council of the United Nations passed a resolution that the Jews are digging underneath the Holy Temple Mount in order to rebuild their Third Temple. This United Nations’ resolution called on Israel to stop the work on the tunnel and to block it. Weakness of the Israeli leadership and pressure from the United Nations led the Religious Affairs Ministry of Israel to block the tunnel.