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“SOLOMON BEGAN TO BUILD THE HOUSE OF THE LORD IN JERUSALEM
 ON MOUNT MORIAH WHERE THE LORD HAD APPEARED TO HIS FATHER DAVID"
SECOND CHRONICLES 3:1

 

Gila's Tips for Tours

Ten Tips for a Terrific Temple Mount Tour

  • Stand on the rock of Mount Moriah
Mount Moriah is where Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac.  Just as Abraham lifted the knife to slay his son, a voice cried out, “Lay not thy hand upon the lad” and a ram that was caught in a thicket was sacrificed instead of Isaac.  Nearly a thousand years later, Mount Moriah was the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.  King
David bought the threshing floor for fifty shekels of silver, as recorded in Second Samuel chapter 24. 

It’s believed that the Dome of the Rock is built over the rock of Mount Moriah. Although the Dome of the Rock is closed to Jewish and Christian pilgrims, one can see and even stand on the bedrock under the Dome of the Spirits, just north west of the Dome of the Rock.

Stand on the rock of Mount Moriah at the Dome of the Spirits

Photo:  Gila Yudkin

The "floor" of the Dome of the Spirits is the rock of Mount Moriah

  • Walk along the plaza above “Solomon’s Stables” and try to imagine the huge underground vaults put into place by Herod the Great’s builders
“Solomon’s Stables” is a folk name given by the Crusaders to underground halls, arches and vaults which support the artificial Temple Mount platform in the south.  Herod had wanted to level the mount so that tens of thousands of pilgrims could congregate in the courtyard during the pilgrimage festivals.   Above Solomon’s Stables, many moneychangers operated in the temple courtyard at the time of Jesus.  See the Gospel of Mark, chapter 11.

Beneath the pavement all the way to the Al Aqsa Mosque lies the fabled Solomon's Stables

Photo:  Gila Yudkin

Standing above Solomon's Stables, looking at the Al Aqsa Mosque

Tour the Temple Mount with Gila's MP3 audio tour in the company of Abraham and Isaac, David and Solomon, Jesus and the disciples, the angel Gabriel and Mohammed.  Meet many other luminaries, both real and legendary.

LISTEN free to the first two minutes of Gila's Temple Mount audio tour:  Click here and then click "download" at top right

Gila's Temple Mount tour is now also available as a written 24-page PDF with a Temple Mount plan, guidelines for passing the security check and ten recommended reads on the Temple Mount from Gila's bookshelves.

  • Stroll along Solomon’s Portico by the eastern wall
Solomon’s Portico by the eastern wall is where Jesus would have spoken with multitudes of pilgrims during Tabernacles and Hanukkah. (See the Gospel of John and if you like, email me asking to receive my FREE highlight on Solomon’s Portico).  First century AD Jewish-Roman historian Josephus identifies Solomon’s Portico as being on the east.
  • Peek into the El Aqsa Mosque
For now, the El Aqsa, built in 711 by Omayyid caliph al Walid, is closed to Jews and Christians.  But if you look carefully, you will find a place to peek in.  The building is huge and the carpets were a gift from the King of Morocco.  More specific directions for peeking are given on itsGila Temple Mount audio tour.

The Al Aqsa Mosque, originally built in 711

Photo:  Gila Yudkin

A peek inside the Al Aqsa Mosque

  • Check out the Tomb of King Abdullah
On July 20,1951 Abdullah, King of Jordan was killed by Palestinian assassins as he was attending a Friday prayer service at the Al Aqsa.  Hussein’s survivor story is recounted in Gila's Temple Mount audio tour.  (Also available in PDF format)

King Abdullah’s Tomb is on the western side of the Haram, which is what the Temple Mount is called in Arabic.  The tomb can be identified by the Jordanian flag adorning the elaborate Jerusalem stone-work.  It's just north of the Gate of the Cotton Merchants.

The Dome of the Chain was built before the Dome of the Rock

Photo:  Gila Yudkin

The Dome of the Chain is located to the east of the Dome of the Rock

  • Stand at the center of the Dome of the Chain
The Dome of the Chain was the first structure built on the Temple Mount or the Haram es-Sheriff (meaning the Noble Sanctuary in Arabic) at the end of the seventh century AD.  The center of the Dome of the Chain is believed to mark the center of the universe.  It is, in fact, the center of the Temple Mount.  For the legend of the chain and King David’s tribunal, listen to itsGila Temple Mount audio tour.

The Dome of the Chain is believed to mark the center of the universe

Photo:  Gila Yudkin

View from the inside of the Dome of the Chain

  • Admire the calligraphy on the Dome of the Rock
At the top of the octagonal structure of the Dome of the Rock, below the 24-carat gold dome, is the first verse of Sura 17 which tells of Mohammed's miraculous night journey to Jerusalem.

During much of the Islamic period, Muslim artists did not portray human or animal figures.  Thus evolved a highly stylized art of calligraphy.
  • Note the mosque dedicated to Mohammed's horse

According to a ninth century Arab historian, Mohammed's transport to Jerusalem was named al Burak meaning lightning.  Al Burak was a white beast, between a mule and an ass in size, with two wings on its thighs.  The beast had the face of a woman, the body of a horse, ears of emerald, eyes of gleaming pearl and the tail of a peacock.  Mohammed journeyed together on al Buraq with the Prophet Gabriel to the "farther" mosque.  Al Aqsa means "the farther."

The mosque dedicated to Mohammed's steed is called Masdjd al Burak.  It’s located right inside the Mograbi Gate on the left where you enter the Temple Mount.  It's said that Mohammed tied al Burak at the southwest corner of the Haram.
  • Visit the Temple Mount early morning as soon as it opens

For the most spectacular views with the sun rising in the east, it’s best to be as early as possible on the Temple Mount.  During much of the year, the Temple Mount opens Sundays through Thursday at 7.30 a.m.  By reporting early, you can also beat the crowds of pilgrims.  It’s definitely worthwhile!

Arrive early to experience the Temple Mount in all its glory

Photo:  Gila Yudkin

Early morning at the Dome of the Rock before the crowds arrive

  • Don’t forget to ponder the mystery of the location of the Ark of the Covenant
On every tour of the Temple Mount, I am asked about the location of the Ark of the Covenant.  I reply first that only Indiana Jones knows for sure!  But then when we get more serious, I share the Jewish Talmudic point of view.  I’ll just have to keep you in suspense for now, until you come on tour with me....

Tour the Temple Mount with Gila's MP3 audio tour in the company of Abraham and Isaac, David and Solomon, Jesus and the disciples, the angel Gabriel and Mohammed -- and Gila.  Meet many other luminaries, both real and legendary.

Use your smart Phone to tour with Gila!

Gila's Temple Mount tour is now also available as a written 24-page PDF with a Temple Mount plan, guidelines for passing the security check and ten recommended reads on the Temple Mount from Gila's bookshelves.

During Gila's Temple Mount audio tour, you will hear an intriguing story related to the following sites:

Did Solomon construct stables under the pavement of the SE corner?

How did King David's Tribunal operate?

Where will the souls of the departed be weighed on the Day of Reckoning?

What will happen here when the Messiah comes?

Did the Ark of the Covenant once rest here?

How did the Prophet Mohammed reach Jerusalem?

Copyright 2009, 2016 Gila Yudkin.  Permission needed to reprint in any medium.

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GILA YUDKIN TCHERNIKOVSKI 64A JERUSALEM ISRAEL
gila@itsgila.com

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Holy Land Photography by Gila Yudkin