Conflict & Mystery

While there is no doubt that the Temple Mount is a unique and highly spiritual place, it is also a place of great controversy and contention. The main areas of conflict lie between the secular camp, which would like to see Jerusalem “internationalized” and the religious groups which demand the preservation of a united Jerusalem, the archeological theories vs. the Biblical references, The ARK Report and most controversial of all, the Jewish claims vs. the Muslim propaganda.

Adding mystery to the conflict is that hidden deep within the Temple Mount are many remnants and treasures of the two Temples. Chief among these treasures is the legendary Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Covenant, as described in the Babylonian Talmud (Baba Batra 14a), is a wooden gold plated box that contains the two sets of stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed. The Rod of Aaron, and a pot of Manna are located in the same chamber. The Ark was covered with a gilded lid known as the “Mercy Seat”. The only person allowed to approach the Ark was the High Priest (the Kohen HaGadol), and even that was only once a year on the holy day of Yom Kippur. If anyone else tried to enter, The Holy of Holies they would immediately perish.

The Ark was the portable predecessor to the Temple and was carried by the tribe of Levi throughout the 40 years the Jews roamed in the desert. The construction of the Ark was commanded by G-d to Moses to serve as a tangible and spiritual reminder that G-d would always accompany the People of Israel.