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Solomon's Temple is also known as the first Beit Ha Mikdash (the First Temple).

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The Second Temple was remodeled several times, but reached its most magnificent form during the reign of King Herod the Great (37-4 BCE). The Second Temple period ended with the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE.The Jews of Israel are currently locked into a conflict with their Palestinian Arab neighbors.While the media bombards us with constant reports of violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, there is no doubt that the epicenter of the conflict lies in Jerusalem and more specifically on the Temple Mount in the Old City.According to Jewish tradition the story of the Binding of Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19) also takes place in the "land of Moriah" on the site of the present-day Temple Mount.Abraham chooses the site specifically because he sensed how God's presence is strongly connected to this site. This is the metaphysical center of the universe, the place from which spirituality radiates out to the rest of the world.Later patriarchal stories in Genesis are also connected with the site: We see from here that for thousands of years, the Jewish people have always associated Mount Moriah as the place where God's presence can be felt more intensely than any other place on earth.

That is why, for the Jewish people, the Temple Mount is the single holiest place.

This forced exile on the road to Babylon is mentioned in the famous verse from Psalm 137: "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion." Fifty years later, after Babylon was captured by Persia, the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem.

Under the leadership of Zerubavel and Nechemiah, the Jews rebuilt both the Temple and walls around the city (Nechemia 4-6).

Is either party's claim for Jerusalem stronger, or is it merely a case of "might makes right?

" The purpose of this article is not to prove or disprove anyone's claim to Jerusalem, but rather to help clear up some of the fog clouding this controversy and enable us to better understand both the Jewish and Muslim connection to this holy site.

The great Jewish historian, Josephus, who lived during the end of the Second Temple period, gives detailed descriptions of both Herod's construction and the layout of the Temple compound (see "Antiquities" ch. It is possible that the Jews tried to rebuild the Temple at later periods, but they were never successful, and for over 600 years the site of the Temple Mount lay in ruins.