Sunday, February 4, 2018

Bill O'Reilly on the Third Temple

It was disappointing to read the following passage in Killing Jesus (2013) by (the now disgraced) Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard.
In A.D. 637, Muslim forces defeated the Byzantine and predominantly Christian army that occupied Jerusalem. The Muslims later built a mosque on the site of the former Jewish temple. As long as it remains there, Jewish hopes of rebuilding the temple on the original site will remain unrealized. (p. 269.)
After the destruction of the temple Jewish religious authorities came to the consensus that it would not be possible to rebuild the temple. It was taught that the temple would be rebuilt by God upon the arrival of the Messiah. The Jewish religious authorities ordered Jews not to approach the site of the temple lest they should walk upon the Holy of Holies.

It is only in recent times that a numerically small minority of Jews, often associated with the national religious community within the Holy Land, have chosen to overthrow this Jewish religious prohibition and have walked onto the grounds of a Muslim mosque seeking to have some of Jewish shrine on the grounds of the third most revered shrine of the Islamic religion, offending the neighboring Palestinian people. Some of them have even called for the creation of a third temple. One rally by these national religious Jews in 1990 set off a tragic chain of events culminating with about twenty Palestinians being killed by Israeli police personnel on Monday, October 8, 1990.

It is disappointing that this book which because of the popularity of Bill O'Reilly at the time, was widely sold and has gained over ten thousand reviews on, should speak of this inflammatory call among a numerically small minority of national religious Jews as though it was perfectly normal and unremarkable despite the tragedy this idea has helped to bring to pass.

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