Housing Minister Ariel launches virtual Temple Mount tours on Tisha B'Av

Tour begins with drawing of Temple laid over shrine.

July 16, 2013 14:29
2 minute read.
Temple Mount Virual Tour with the Housing Minister Uri Ariel

Temple Mount virtual tour370. (photo credit: harhakodesh.co.il)


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According to tradition, the Messiah will come on Tisha Be’av and the Holy Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem.

That hasn’t happened yet, but you can take a virtual tour of the Temple Mount, complete with a rebuilt Temple, as part of a program launched this week and led by none other than Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi).

“On Tisha Be’av, the media is full of articles about people in Tel Aviv who are bitter because their cafes and restaurants are closed, and I understand them,” Ariel said.

“They weren’t taught, so they don’t know anything about the destruction of the Temple,” he continued.

“They think the Temple Mount is a place where rocks are thrown and right-wing people make provocations.

How can we expect them to mourn?” A new website, HarHakodesh.co.il (Har Hakodesh means “the holy mount”) opens the Temple Mount to virtual 360-degree tours hosted by Ariel, linguist and radio personality Avshalom Kor, archeologist Gabi Barkai and others. It is sponsored by “Heart of the Nation,” an NGO that seeks to educate about the Temple Mount, and includes a look at areas that the Wakf Muslim religious trust does not allow Jews to enter.

The “tour” begins with a rendition of the Temple laid over the current Temple Mount, with the Dome of the Rock at the center.

“Heart of the Nation” explained that the virtual tour was meant to show the Temple Mount as a historic and spiritual site, rather than a political or archeological site, and connect the wider public to the place that is “the heart of Jewish existence from the days of King David until today.”

“This website is only the beginning,” Ariel said.

“Schools will teach about the Temple Mount and there will be a museum here [on the Mount] that will deal with its connection to the Jewish People and all of mankind.”

Ariel charged that secular schools currently do not teach about the Temple’s destruction, claiming one can visit the Israel Museum and not know the Temple ever existed.

“A thousand years with the Temple got lost among the Christian art in the Israel Museum, so now we’ll have our own museum showing the history and findings from archeological digs that describe the role of the holy mount in the life of Jewish people over millennia,” he said.

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