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Hanukkah Affirms History Over Fantasy

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During the eight-day festival of Hanukkah, it’s worthwhile to connect the celebration to recent controversies surrounding Jerusalem. The joyous holiday celebrates the purification and re-dedication of Jerusalem’s Second Temple in 164 BC, but today the official Palestinian position denies that this Temple ever even existed. That absurd notion not only contradicts hundreds of references in both Old and New Testaments, but also goes against incontrovertible historical and archaeological evidence.

This unbending extremism under-girds Palestinian insistence that Jewish people have no valid claims to any portion of Jerusalem—and their furious reaction to President Trump’s recognition of the Holy City as Israel’s capital. Neither the Trump administration nor the Israeli government rules out the idea that peace negotiations might one day establish a Palestinian capital in some section of Jerusalem. But until Islamic extremists recognize the region’s actual history and drop the ridiculous fantasy of “Temple Denial,” there can be no progress—and no peace.

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  1. Rick Schwab  •  Dec 14, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Your background studies in history provide such wonderful information about so much of what is going on in the world. Although Pres. Trump has chosen to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the historical background of why that would be the right thing to do is nowhere to be found. FOX News has not explained the background, nor have any of the other television networks. It is as though that particular background is being kept from us intentionally but that would surely not be true. The powers that be need to explain the history of the city of Jerusalem. Why is that information so hard to come by? Michael, would you consider writing an entire column on that subject, and explain it from beginning to end? We know so little about the most important country on earth, and that is a genuine tragedy.

  2. Ezra  •  Dec 16, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Two temples of Yahweh have been located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in times past. Solomon's Temple called by the Jews, the "First Temple" was destroyed by the siege of Nebuchadnezzar and the armies of Babylon on the 9th of Av in 586 BC. Some seventy years later, Jewish exiles were allowed to return to Jerusalem to build an altar, the "Second" Jewish temple, and finally the walls of the city. Although modest compared to the First Temple, the Second Temple was greatly enlarged and expanded by Herod the Great. This magnificent Second Temple was destroyed by General Titus and besieging Roman armies on the 9th of Av in AD 70. Since AD 70 no Jewish temple has been built on the Temple Mount, therefore no blood sacrifices for sin have been possible for religious Jews, up to the present day. The present Golden Gate in the Eastern Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is walled shut. Jewish and Arab tradition teaches – probably because of a misinterpretation of this passage in Ezekiel – that the Jewish Messiah is to enter the Golden Gate. For that reason the gate was walled up by the Arabs in the 11th Century after the Crusades, (if not earlier) or perhaps by Suleiman the Magnificent in AD 1539-1542 – to prevent the Jewish Messiah from entering. Does that help?

    • Luke  •  Dec 18, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      Amazing history. Thanks.

  3. Gina  •  Dec 16, 2017 at 12:33 am

    Thank you Michael for this insight. I didn't know there was Temple Denial, but it evidently exists much like Holocaust Denial and you can read about it in Wikipedia. An effort to disconnect Judaism from Jerusalem.
    Thanks Ezra, that is a good start to Rick's request and a good history of the temples. Thank you! More info on the history of Jerusalem is what I think Rick is asking for.

    • Rick Schwab  •  Dec 18, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      Right on, Gina, right on!

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