Last updated on: 5/20/2008 5:32:00 PM PST
What Is the Jewish Temple?


General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Joseph Telushkin, author and Rabbi of the Synagogue for the Performing Arts, Los Angeles, in his 1991 book entitled Jewish Literacy, wrote the following:


Image source: USF Theology Department
"The crowning achievement of King Solomon's reign was the erection of a magnificent Temple (Beit ha-Midkash) in Jerusalem…

Until the Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians some four hundred years later, in 586 B.C.E., sacrifice was the predominant mode of divine service there. Seventy years later, a second Temple was built on the same site, and sacrifices again resumed. During the first century B.C.E., Herod greatly enlarged and expanded this Temple. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E., after the failure of the Great Revolt...

As glorious and elaborate as the Temple was, its most important room contained almost no furniture at all. Known as the Holy of Holies (Kodesh Kodashim), it housed the two tablets of the Ten Commandments. Unfortunately, the tablets disappeared when the Babylonians destroyed the Temple, and during the Second Temple era, the Holy of Holies was a small, entirely bare room…

To this day, traditional Jews pray three times a day for the Temple's restoration. During the centuries the Muslims controlled Palestine, two mosques [Dome of the Rock & Al-Aqsa] were built on the site of the Jewish Temple. Since any attempt to level these mosques would lead to an international Muslim holy war (jihad) against Israel, the Temple cannot be rebuilt in the foreseeable future."

1991 - Joseph Telushkin