Landmarks of Israel

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Temple of Jerusalem

 

The Temple of Jerusalem, or, Holy Temple, is the resting place of The Divine Presence (God) according to Judaism. It served for hundreds of years as the center of ancient Judiasm. The original temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century BC. It was destroyed by the Babylonians 400 years later. The miracle of Hanukkah was said to have occurred during the dedication of a second temple. According to legend, during the re-dedication sometime around 515 BC, there was only enough sacred olive oil available to light an eternal flame for one day. Miraculously, the oil lasted for eight full days. Thus, Hanukkah is celebrated by Jews for eight days. About 435 years later, the second temple was destroyed by the Romans.
Today, there is a mosque on the site of the original temple. The only portion of the original temple that still exists is known as The Western Wall.

 

Western Wall

 

The Western Wall, or Wailing Wall, is the only remaining ruin from the Second Temple of Jerusalem, built in 515 BC. Jews have prayed at the Western Wall for hundreds of years because it is said to be the resting place of the Divine Presence (God), and because the entrance to heaven is said to be located above it.

The Western Wall is also a holy place for Muslims. The prophet Muhammed was said to have made a spiritual journey to the area in the year 620 on a winged creature named al-Buraq. Some Muslims believe that Muhammed teathered the creature to the Western Wall during his journey. Hence, the wall is known as Al-Buraq_Wall to Muslims.

 

Dome of the Rock

 

 

Dome of the Rock is an Islamic mosque completed in 691 AD in the Noble Sanctuary (known as Temple Mount to Jews and Christians) of Jerusalem. It is the oldest extant Islamic monument. Dome of the Rock is widely considered one of the world’s most significant religious sites.

According to Islamic legend, the rock in the center of the dome, known as the Foundation Stone, or Pierced Stone, was the spot in which the prophet Muhammed rose to heaven with the angel Gabriel. During his ascent, he was said to have been given Islamic prayers by Moses.

The rock in the center of the dome is also of high religious significance to Jews. According to the Torah, the rock was site in which Abraham agreed to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to God.