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RECOVERING THE TEMPLE MOUNT: THE POLITICS OF PLACE, MEMORY, AND IDENTITY BY BRITNEY SUMMIT GIL A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Dr. Uzi Baram Sarasota, Florida April, 2010
i This thesis is dedicated to all who have lost their lives in the struggle for Israel/Palestine, and to those who continue to seek a secure home in the land of their mothers and fathers.
ii Acknowledgements There a re many people to thank for the creation of this thesis. First and foremost, I thank my loving mother and father who consistently calmed my nerves and motivated me to push through. Without their support I would not have made it this far. I thank my closest friends who have spent many a late night and early morning commiserating, editing, and researching with me particularly Jessica Yocum who has with infinite patience listened to my ideas, and Roxanne Sawhill who has repeatedly guided me away from the path of procrastination. I thank my professor Dr. Susan Marks for her help throughout this process and over the last four years. Her kind words and extensive knowledge provided much of the groundwork for this thesis, and her classes have always been a pleasure to participate in. Dr. Anthony Andrews has been an excellent professor and one of New College's finest resources. I thank him for his participation on this committee. Finally, I extend many thanks to my academic advisor, professor, and thesis sponsor Dr. U zi Baram. He has patiently answered all of my questions, quelled all of my fears, responded to all of my emails, and reassured me time and again that I would eventually come to the end. More than these, he has provided me with an ear that is always willing to listen, whether the topic is academic, personal, or anything in between. Without his guidance and support this thesis could not be.
iii Contents Acknowledgements..ii List of figures, maps, and tables. iv Abstractv Chapter One: Introduction...1 Chapter Two: Building a Theory of Place.20 Chapter Three: Writing the Temple Mount...43 Chapter Four: Archaeology of the M ount..68 Chapter Five: Memories, Messianic Hopes, and Melody: The Holy Cow....93 Bibliography103
iv List of Tables: 1. Casualties during the al Aqsa Intifada4 2. Timeline of Jerusalem and Temples6 List of Maps: 1. Modern State of Israel.9 2. Old City of Jerusalem12 3. Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif13 List of Figures: 1. Photo of Haram es Sharif3 2. Solomon's Temple Floor Plan...47 3. Solomon's Temple Illustration..47 4. Herod's Temple Columns..82 5. Herod's Temple Plaza82 6. V irtual Reconstruction Old City85 7. Virtual Reconstruction Center Compound.85
v RECOVERING THE TEMPLE MOUNT: THE POLITICS OF PLACE, MEMORY AND IDENTITY Britney Summit Gil New College of Florida, 2010 ABSTRACT The Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif has been a center of religious worship and political turmoil for millennia. It is the site of an important Islamic shrine and mosque, and the Western Wall the holiest site in Judaism. Jewish tradition marks it as the site o f Solomon's Temple, Herod's Temple, and the Third Temple of the Messianic Age. The following explores the Temple Mount through Jewish literature and Israeli archaeology to understand why, in recent years, the site has drawn national and global attention. T he survey is framed in the context of social memory and identity to understand the role the Temple Mount plays in the lives of individuals and groups who hold that site to be important. The study is part of a growing body of literature focusing on place, m emory, and identity, and scholarly treatment of the Temple Mount in particular. As violence at the site and in the region continues, the need for scholarly understandings of these issues grows. Uzi Baram Division of Social Sciences
1 Chapter One Introduction Remembering and Forgetting: The Politics of Place at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem On September 28 th 2000 Ariel Sharon, then a candidate for Prime Minister of Israel and the leader of the right wing Likud Party, entered the Temp le Mount/Haram es Sharif compound. According to newspaper accounts, Sharon intended the political maneuver to demonstrate Israel's sovereign control of the site. Accompanied by a group of Israeli legislators and police dressed in full riot gear, Sharon's p resence caused a "stone throwing clash" between Palestinians and police that injured many people (Greenberg 2000). In the following months, violence in Israel dramatically increased with stone throwing, bus bombings and military assaults; the Second Intifa da, or Palestinian Uprising, began. Scholars and journalists attribute the uprising to several incidents and causes, but Sharon's visit in September of 2000 prevails as the most cited trigger (Koppel 2004, Kifner 2005, Stout and Hauser 2005, Kershner 2009) The incident "dealt the biggest setback to peace efforts in years" (Lis 2009), and inflamed tensions between Israeli and Palestinian nationalists. In February of 2001, just over four months after the Temple Mount incident, Ariel Sharon became of Prime Minister of Israel. Despite criticism of his extensive service in Israeli government, particularly accusations that he deliberately and repeatedly provoked Palestinian sensitivities, Sharon won the election with sixty two percent of the vote. The low voter turnout, down from eighty percent in 1999 to sixty two percent in 2001, reflected many Israelis' "disaffection with the candidates and the political system," particularly Israeli
2 Arabs (Sontag 2001). Voters expressed their fears that Sharon would disrupt the peace process and draw the state into war, but also their desires to elect a powerful leader to protect the state. During an interview with a newspaper journalist one voter reported, "We need a strong hand, otherwise it is the Arab's nature to exploit our weakness. But still he's pretty extreme. I'm afraid of war" (Sontag 2001). At the polls, Israeli grievances with Ehud Barak, that he "groveled before the Arabs" and would allow the nation to be "handed over to the Arabs," outweighed the public's concer ns for Sharon's "reckless" and aggressive behavior (Sontag 2001). On October 25 th 2009, tensions once again erupted between Israeli police officers and bystanders at the Temple Mount. Police claimed they entered the complex to disperse several small rio ts, countering the Palestinians' stone throwing with stun grenades. Police Chief David Cohen alleged that right wing Jewish activists and Palestinian nationalists encouraged their supporters to ascend the mount that Sunday and defend it from the enemy. Ant icipating riots, Israeli police assembled in Jerusalem's Old City, exacerbating tensions and provoking Muslim backlash. The grenades left seventeen bystanders seriously wounded the rocks struck nine police officers and caused some minor injuries (Kershner 2009). Scenes of the outbreak drew attention across the globe and were featured throughout global news media. This is one of numerous incidents at and around the Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif, indicating the sensitivity and passion that charge this site.
3 Figure 1. Photo of Haram es Sharif. Source: Shanks 2007: x
4 The al Aqsa, or Second, Intifada that broke out on September 28 th 2000, took place primarily in the territories occupied by Israel since the 1967 war. Compared to the First Intifada, which was characterized as a "popular uprising" and "symbolized by youths throwing stones at Israeli soldiers," the Second Intifada consisted more of armed attacks perpetrated by Hamas, Jihad, and Palestinian authorities and forces. After four and a half years, 1,0 00 Israelis and 3,500 Palestinians were killed. 7,000 Israelis and 28,000 Palestinians were wounded (Shamir and Sagiv Schifter 2006: 570). See Table 1 for a breakdown of Palestinian casualties. Table 1. Casualties during al Aqsa Intifada. Source: btselem. org
5 What drives Israel and Palestine to assert their respective authority at the Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif? More broadly, what provokes the tensions between Israelis and Palestinians with regards to land, boundaries, and place in both Israel/Palesti ne and Jerusalem? The most obvious answer might suggest essential requirements such as having a place to live, and means to acquire material or spiritual sustenance. These basic needs inspire much of the conflict. This answer, however, seems insufficient t o explain how Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif contributed to the violence and tension that predated that event and continues at and around the site. This thesis explores some answers to this question through literature, archaeology and nationalist politics to understand the changing nature of land claims in Israel/Palestine. I focus on the Israeli state because more information is available on Israel than Palestine. Unable to travel to Israel/Palestine, my analysis consists primari ly of the research of others within an interpretive framework. The centrality of the Temple Mount for Israel may seem self evident. I argue that the heightened emphasis on the Temple Mount as an important place in the Israeli landscape arises out of shif ting ideologies in the post 1967 State of Israel. After the Six Day War in which Israel extended it boundaries to include the Old City of Jerusalem, the emphasis on secular sites that express Israeli nationalism shifts to include those sites of more tradit ional/religious importance. This shift is not merely ideological, nor is it primarily religious. It is a politically motivated shift, one that manifests in the everyday life and death of Israelis and Palestinians in the region. It exemplifies the dynamic c ontinuity of nationalist
6 movements that legitimize themselves by identifying with the past and recreate themselves in the present, responding to political and international circumstances. Table 2. Timeline of Jerusalem and Temples. Source: Shanks 2007: ix In Israel's pre state and early state years, Zionist movements constructed a nationalist narrative that would greatly impact future generations of Israelis. This narrative focused on secular events and commemorations, particularly the Jewish
7 Revolts of Antiquity. Commemorations in Israel tended "to play up the national political aspects of these conflicts and diminish their religious significance" (Zerubavel 1994: 23). For example, while Jewish religious tradition emphasized the destruction of the Secon d Temple (70 CE) as a major turning point in Jewish history, the Zionist movement commemorated political images, for example Bar Kokhba, the leader of the Jewish resistance during the Second Jewish Revolt (132 135 CE). Those religious images that remained a part of the narrative were reoriented toward the secular goals of the state. While the new Israeli schools continued the traditional periodization of Antiquity into First and Second Temple periods, "their common representation in modern Hebrew as the Fir st or Second House' eliminates the explicit reference to their sacred dimension" (Zerubavel 1994: 23). Early Zionist narratives essentially replaced the destruction of the Second Temple with the commemoration of the Jewish Revolts, thereby re imagining th e traditional turning point in Israeli Antiquity as a secular, politically motivated event. Masada, an important site during the Jewish Revolt (67 70 CE) in Antiquity, provided a national symbol of resistance and political self determination in the pre s tate and early state periods. Nevertheless, "Masada and the Western Wall emerged during the post 1967 period as competing sites for collective rituals." This renewed interest in the Temple Mount provides "evidence of fundamental changes within Israeli cult ure since the 1970s," (Zerubavel 1994: 132) cultural changes that this thesis attempts to clarify. The 1970s re emergence of the Temple Mount as a religiously and politically contentious place signifies a
8 counter narrative to the secular Zionist movement t hat attempted to re remember images from Jewish religious tradition to fulfill the goals of the state. I investigate the Temple Mount as an emerging memory in the Jewish Israeli narrative one that challenges the secular Zionist narrative of the earlier yea rs of statehood. My model resembles that of Yael Zerubavel in her book Recovered Roots (1994). Her research investigates the process by which a self determined group of people tells its own narrative through a series of collective memories. Those memories provide the group with an identity, a sense of continuity and cohesion that crosses the borders of time and space. I have reshaped Zerubavel's model to address my question about the Temple Mount, a topic that is not central to her research. Rather than fo cusing on events and commemorations, I employ place as an analytical device that elucidates Israel's changing relationship with the Temple Mount. While Zerubavel focuses on commemoration and ritual, I focus on literature and archaeology to demonstrate the means by which narratives legitimate themselves through past, present, and future. I also conclude with a discussion of religious and political movements that rely on Temple memories to construct their own identities. Using this model I can address the imp lications for further research that Zerubavel mentions in her book the counter narratives to early Zionism that incorporate memories long forgotten by the state. Literature and archaeology provide these counter narratives with a series of images that legit imate Israeli identity as it changes and grows in response to political instabilities in the region.
9 Map 1. Modern State of Israel. Source: www.worldatlas.com I argue that literature and archaeology, two tools Israelis use to legitimate their claims to place and identity, enlighten an understanding of these changes in post 1967 Israel. I begin with literature to explore the process by which memories build upon one another to form narratives of a place. I focus on traditional Jewish literature from the Bi ble and rabbinic discourse to depict ancient conceptions of
10 the Temple. Those memories of the First and Second Temples remain important to Jewish religious tradition today, commemorated on holidays such as Tisha b'Av and Hanukkah. I investigate modern Hebr ew poetry from Yehuda Amichai to demonstrate contemporary uses of the Temple Mount as a memory that informs modern Israeli identity. I argue that changing memories of the Temple and Temple Mount in literature, particularly those expressing the religious an d political power of that place, help explain the role of the Temple in changing Jewish and Israeli identities today. Next I discuss archaeological treatment of the Temple Mount over time, focusing on the politically contentious nature of excavations at the site. In the 1967 war, Israel took control over the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount. The state left control over the Haram es Sharif to the Waqf, an Islamic organization charged with authority over religious sites. The site remains in their control today, and the Waqf allows no archaeological excavations. I investigate the archaeology within the context of Israeli nationalism and politics, exploring the complications of authority on the Temple Mount. I discuss a particular find that co ncerns conceptions of the Temple Mount to demonstrate these tensions. I describe a popular visual representation of Herod's Temple to better understand how Israelis interact with Temple memories, and how they influence the collective construction of identi ty. I conclude with a discussion of excavations at and around the Temple Mount and the controversy surrounding these excavations and their finds. Through these explorations I argue that archaeology at the Temple Mount demonstrates the important role of thi s place in
11 conceptions of Jewish Israeli identity, particularly after the 1960s. The archaeological history of the site demonstrates both the religious and political tensions that surround this place. I conclude my discussion with examples of political an d religious movements within Israeli society that utilize the Temple and Temple Mount as an important image in Jewish memory and identity. Modern day settler movements in the Occupied Territories, as well as state treatment of the Temple Mount in particula r, exemplify the dynamics I discuss in earlier chapters. I demonstrate the changing nature of the Temple Mount in Israeli political identity, from absence in the early years of Zionism and Israeli state formation to centrality in later years. After the 196 7 war in which the state took possession of the Temple Mount, it became a more important place in Israeli identity. When the "land for peace" talks began with the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israelis feared that they might loose portions of land won in the 1967 war particularly the Old City of Jerusalem at this time, tensions increased at the site. Ultimately, scholarship on the Temple Mount should address the political violence that occurs at and around this particular site, and the role of this contentious place in regional and international relations. This thesis contributes to the early steps on a long path toward such an understanding. Geography of the Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif The Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif occupies the southeast corner of the Old City o f Jerusalem, with the Kidron Valley to the east and the Tyropoeon Valley to the west (see Map 1). The complex (see Map 2) measures 488 meters on
12 the west, 470 meters on the east, 315 meters on the north, and 280 meters on the south, for an approximate tota l area of 150,000 meters square, or 35.5 acres (Finkelstein et al 1999: 43). In the center of the compound, slightly to the west, sits the Dome of the Rock, an octagonal structure topped with a large golden dome. The al Aqsa Mosque occupies the land to the southwest of the mount, opposite "Solomon's Stables" at the southeast. The Western Wall Plaza sits outside the compound, on the southern end of the western flank. Map 2. Old City of Jerusalem. Source: Shanks 2007: viii.
13 Map 3 The Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif. Source: Shanks 2007: 18 People, Place, and the Active Construction of Narrative Place as an analytical device central to this investigation, requires some definition. Human beings need space to live in, but how are no tions of utilitarian space related to those of uniquely meaningful place ? Jonathan Z. Smith provides a theoretical model for investigating notions of place in To Take Place: Toward Theory in Ritual He states, "Space is conceived as being already existent, as
14 being divided up into empty loci onto which the images by which memories would be recalled are placed" (Smith 1987: 26). He reverses this notion, arguing for place as "an active product of intellection rather than its passive receptacle" (1987: 26). Hu man beings place their memories, or the images of them, onto the space around them Jews and Israelis place memories of the Temple and Judaism onto the Temple Mount compound. In his discussion of mile Durkheim, Smith notes, "place is not best conceived as a particular location with an idiosyncratic physiognomy or as a uniquely individualistic node of sentiment, but rather as a social position within a hierarchical system" (1987: 45). Smith's analysis of place provides several key insights for this investig ation: that space exists as an undifferentiated landscape upon which people actively create place, that place and memory are intimately connected, and that place reflects and recreates social hierarchies. These and other notions of place inform the central analytical concept for this investigation how images and memories permeate notions of place, how people actively create place and create themselves in response to place, and how place influences socio political interactions and hierarchies. The framework for this analysis of place consists of two organizing themes: social memory and identity. These conceptual devices reflect much of the discourse on place, religion, and the Temple. Whether studying Jewish thought in sixth century Babylonian exile or moder n day settler movements in East Jerusalem, historians, theologians, theorists, and anthropologists often describe the processes of memory and identity. These unifying themes provide a starting point for understanding the importance of a site whose occupati on spans
15 thousands of years, and whose historical representations impact Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Memory and identity reciprocally inform one another memories allow individuals to draw upon images and understand their identities, while individuals experience and transmit memories within the framework of those identities. The personal narrative, a loose and constantly shifting interpretation of those memories, emerges as a part of the process by which identities form and grow. These identities trans cend the individual through the transmission of memories over time and space. This thesis attempts to demonstrate how contemporary notions of the Temple Mount reflect processes of memory and identity, and how memory and identity inform an understanding of the politics of the Temple Mount. As a significant place in the imagined landscape of Israel, the Temple Mount transcends the physical boundaries of space and time by existing within the memories and identities of individuals. For the purposes of this thes is, the Israeli national narrative utilizes a series of memories influenced by literature and archaeology to construct and legitimate Israeli identities. I use memory to describe the narrative of the Temple Mount the accounts in stories and scholarship, a s well as synagogues and newspapers. The purchase of the land by King David provides an early memory of the Mount. The destruction of the Second Temple constitutes another. More recent memories include Sharon's visit and the violence that continues there t oday. Identity refers to the process by which individuals draw upon these memories to form their own personal narratives, and how these interact with other institutionalized narratives,
16 such as Rabbinic Judaism or Zionism. Identity informs the actions of individuals and entities, and an investigation of identity will clarify Israel's changing relations to the Temple Mount over time. So, memories produce narratives, which inform identities in a process that re creates itself when individuals construct new m emories for generations to come. Why the Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif Matters to so Many The Temple Mount and the Western Wall, all that remains from Herod's Temple complex (19 BCE 70 CE), constitute the holiest site in Judaism. According to Jewish tradi tion, the First and Second Temples represented the seat of religious and political power in the Golden Age (approximately 1030 930 BCE) and Antiquity (approximately 500 BCE 70 CE), respectively. It was the site of important rituals and celebrations, and th e location for a variety of key Jewish symbols such as the Ark of the Covenant, sacrifice, priesthood, and destruction. The events traditionally associated with this place range from the creation of the world by the hand of God, the burial of Adam, and the sacrifice of Isaac. Jewish tradition regards it as the original location of the Ark of the Covenant and the divine center of the world. Prophecy indicates that the Temple will be rebuilt on this spot, ringing in the Messianic age of God's Kingdom on Earth Many Jewish traditions aim to commemorate and mourn the Temple's destruction. The Haram es Sharif (translated from Arabic as The Noble Sanctuary) is the third holiest site in Islam, following Mecca and Medina. The Qur'an tells that the prophet Muhammad ascended to Heaven from this spot, accompanied by the archangel Gabriel. The center of the shrine, the foundation stone, marks the
17 traditional spot from which his horse made the ascent. Islamic tradition also identifies the foundation stone of Solomon's T emple mentioned in biblical and rabbinic texts with the Dome of the Rock. Al Aqsa (The Farthest) mosque sits atop the Haram es Sharif as well both structures play important roles in Islamic religious tradition. These brief descriptions provide a glimpse of the range of interpretations and representations of the Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif. While the conflict over the site results from competing claims among many voices, I will focus on Jewish and Israeli perspectives. For the sake of brevity, I use the t erm "Temple Mount" in my discussion, as well as "Israel," in place of the more divisive but historically correct "Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif" and "Israel/Palestine" used above the choice reflects my focus on Israel's perspective, not my political beliefs Other choices of terminology will be noted where appropriate. Literature and archaeology provide people and entities with powerful tools of authority competing groups in Israel and around the world utilize literature and archaeology to validate their c laims (Zerubavel 1994, Shanks 2007, Kohl et al 2007, Shapira et al 2004) These claims range from material and geo political control over buildings, boundaries, and land to socio ideological claims of ethnic/cultural primacy, superiority, and continuity. Co mpeting claims manifest in the political arena, where power struggles determine policy, administration, military action, and the lived experiences of individuals. Present scholarship continues to struggle with the realization of these and other forces that impact
18 social interaction and cultural conflict (Kohl and Fawcett 1995 and Kohl et al 2007). Just as narratives require both remembering and forgetting, so does history prove that memories fade, and things long forgotten storm into the picture when leas t expected. The trend Zerubavel (1994) notes in Israel since the 1970s increasing competition between nationally and traditionally sacred sites boils over when Ariel Sharon enters the complex in 2000, as it had many times before. The shift from secular to religious sites is more than ideological Palestinians do not riot or protest at Masada, and an excavation in the Judean Desert will not spark an international incident, though it occasionally incites some hostility. Claiming sovereignty over the Temple Mou nt/Haram es Sharif sent a message to Palestinians that political authority over the site belonged to Israel, and could be taken by force if necessary. The message reached beyond Israel, however, and the threat of a holy Islamic site resting in the hands of a non Muslim state, allied with the West and prophesied to rebuild the Temple on that spot, aggravated tensions both regionally and globally. Through advances in technology, the internet, and modern media, people all over the world witness incidents in Je rusalem and Israel. If the modest and unadorned architecture of the Western Wall whispers one alternative ending to the Ancient Israel narrative, the Dome of the Rock shouts a golden rebuttal from the top of the Jerusalem skyline a stunning reminder of t he events that transpired during Israel's exile. Attempts to erase Arab Palestinians from the memories and narratives of Israel proved ineffective in the
19 physical dimension of politics. After two thousand years of belief in Messianic redemption, the Israel i national narrative is attempting to come to terms with the religious implications of its political enterprise. I argue that the increased focus on the Temple Mount indicates Israelis' need to rectify contradictions in the Israeli nationalist narrative s as Zerubavel's research implies. How can a narrative that denies Arab Palestinian occupation account for the Haram es Sharif? How can an ideological movement employ some biblical images to construct its identity while avoiding others? This thesis attempt s to understand a few of the memories that Zionism has forgotten, and to see how they resurface in contemporary Israeli Jewish identity. Next I outline a theoretical model for understanding these concerns and develop a vocabulary for discussing memory and identity in the context of place at the Temple Mount.
20 Chapter Two Building a Theory of Place: Memories, Identities, and the Construction of Narratives The theoretical basis for this thesis draws upon a range of scholarship. The concerns vary from social perspectives on nationalist movements to archaeological and literary treatments of religious spaces. Below I review the work of several scholars that informs my own investigation of the Temple Mount. I discuss these sources in terms of my own model of Israeli memory and identity, highlighting their contributions to my theoretical analysis of place. They are, in many ways, complementary studies each focuses on memory and identity as constructed and re constructed processes. The first is an folkl oric case study on Israel; the second is a theoretical analysis of conceptions of religious place and the importance of ritual in creating place; the third is a volume concerning the dynamics of Israeli collective memory and identity in the context of poli tical and religious movements; the fourth is a volume on archaeology and nationalism. Each work provides a foundational vocabulary for the concerns addressed in this thesis. The primary source that informs my investigation focuses on Zionism and Israeli nationalism through commemorative practices and historical narratives. Yael Zerubavel (1994) illuminates the connections among history, memory, nationalism, and identity. Her study "explores how a society of immigrants, engaged in constructing a distinct n ational identity and culture, recreated its roots in the past [and how that identity] became a driving force for change and a means for articulating new values and ideas" (1994: 3). Her analysis integrates
21 history, literature, education, archaeology, and celebrations to investigate Israeli understandings of place, memory, and identity. Zerubavel grew up in Israel and, after moving to the United States in 1973, she began studying Israeli representations of the past. She noticed the striking differences bet ween the "exclusively Hebrew environment" with its "secular national ethos" and Jewish culture in America. Assuming that the Israeli celebrations, holidays, and traditions were centuries long practices, Zerubavel was surprised upon moving to the United Sta tes by the dissonance between American Jewish culture and Israeli Jewish culture. When she learned that Israeli Jewish practices developed fairly recently, taking form primarily during the early Zionist enterprise, she became interested in folklore studies researching the origins and development of Israeli nationalist culture (1994: xiii). She writes that, "Israeli Jews have developed a unique culture that, in spite of its Jewishness, is different from that of any other Jewish community," the "result of a deliberate effort by the Jews who immigrated to Palestine to form a new nation with a distinct culture" (1994: xiv). The roots of Zerubavel's research originate from this realization, and an interest in the processes by which collective memory selectively reconstructs to the past. Zerubavel's model provides a framework and a vocabulary for understanding the diverse manifestations of place in contemporary Israeli society. While Zerubavel focuses on the secular Zionist narrative, I focus on the religious na rrative of Judaism, with the Temple Mount as a central image in this narrative. Zerubavel's research demonstrates how Israel sacralizes a multitude of nationalist,
22 secular sites. This thesis, however, investigates the process by which a sacred site becomes vital to Israel's nationalist enterprise and the formation of a "sacred identity" (Kohl et al 2007). During the pre state and early state periods of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Israeli leaders relied on history and tradition to co nstruct a cohesive narrative geared toward the goals of the state. The narrative rejected some traditions and accepted others, suppressed some memories and elaborated others. Specifically, early Zionist movements attempted to diminish the importance of rel igious/traditional notions and practices, emphasizing the "secular" aspects of "Hebrew" culture such as military valor, land cultivation, and every day use of the modern Hebrew language (Zerubavel 1994: 15). Zerubavel's study "focuses on how members of soc iety remember and interpret these events [in the narrative], how the meaning of the past is constructed, and how it is modified over time" (1994: 3). While her study focuses on secular landscapes in Israeli national identity specifically, the Labor Party w ing of secular Israeli politics my focus regards a religiously and nationally charged site. In a sense, the Temple Mount currently defies the religious/secular dichotomy. Historically religious and politically contentious, the site reveals a complication o f these terms. Zerubavel's research in the 1980s occurs before studies of religion as identity fully take shape in the 1990s (Baram, Personal Communication, 2010). I build upon Zerubavel's research by examining memory and identity in the context of a place that challenges overly simplistic categorizations such as secular, religious, and national.
23 Memory and identity develop in tandem on two levels the individual and the collective. Zerubavel employs Maurice Halbwach's notion of "Collective Memory," a soci al creation that establishes the unique identity of a people. This memory consists of the prevailing details of origins and development, allowing the group to "recognize itself over time" (1994: 4). Zerubavel describes how "collective memory continuously n egotiates between available historical records and current social and political agendas" (1994: 5). She argues, "the power of collective memory does not lie in its accurate, systematic, or sophisticated mapping of the past, but in establishing basic images that articulate and reinforce a particular ideological stance" (8). This thesis focuses on that concern the "basic images" of the Temple Mount that "articulate and reinforce" Israeli claims to the site. For Zerubavel (1994: 9 11), collective amnesia dem onstrates the "duality of the process of recovering and re covering roots," the inseparable connection between remembering and forgetting required in the construction of national and personal narratives. These processes "transform historical events into po litical myths that function as a lens though which group members perceive the present and prepare for the future" (emphasis original). Meanwhile, counter memory constantly subverts collective memory, questioning dominant narratives and suggesting new ones. In light of changing ideological stances toward the Temple Mount, I argue that increased interest in the site exemplifies a re remembering in the Zionist narrative.
24 Zerubavel often discusses Zionism without specifying which strand of the movement she re fers to. However, most of her discussion focuses on Labor Zionism, which she compares to "Practical" Zionism, "Socialist" Zionism, and "Political" Zionism; these different but related movements are often referred to collectively as "Secular" Zionism in Zer ubavel's study. This strand of Zionist thought focuses on "working the land" and settlement as the major goals of the Jewish presence in Palestine. The movement reinforced the dichotomy between exile and nation, and between religious Judaism and cultural Jewishness" (1994: 13 15). This dichotomy translated to another between the Jew of Exile and the New Hebrew, or Sabra created in the land of Israel (1994: 26 27). Socialist/Labor Zionism focused on dat ha avoda the religion of labor. The movement leaders encouraged the creation of a new settlement or community, in Hebrew Yishuv and the revival of Hebrew as the national language (1994: 29). Labor Zionism relied on symbols such as "the gun and the plow," and continued to dominate the Zionist discourse part icularly in the national educational system through these symbols until the late 1970s (1994: 157). While collective Jewish Israeli identity "forgot" or, more accurately, muffled memories from traditional Judaism to appease Zionism's aims in the early y ears of the state, counter memory recalled the Temple Mount when Israel took the Old City of Jerusalem. On the eve of the Six Day War, Naomi Shemer was invited to compose a song for the 1967 Israeli Song Festival in celebration of the nineteenth anniversar y of Israeli Independence. The song, Jerusalem of Gold became an instant success once the war broke out and Israeli forces captured the
25 Old City of Jerusalem. A website dedicated to the song reads, "during the liberation of the city, the soldiers burst ou t singing Jerusalem of Gold' at the Western Wall" ( www.jerusalemofgold.co.il accessed March 20 th 2010). One stanza reads, "How the cisterns have dried/The market place is empty/And no one frequents the Temple Mount/In the Old City." A later stanza conti nues, "We have returned to the cisterns/To the market and to the market place/A ram's horn ( shofar ) calls out on the Temple Mount/In the Old City." The song, which remains popular today, represents a moment at which certain symbols that had taken a back se at to the secular imagery of early Zionism came to the fore. While pre 1967 Israel relied on the imagery of the plow and the gun, the war and the expansion of Israel's boundaries allowed a host of new images, particularly the Temple Mount and the Western W all, to take center stage. This is not a replacement of some images or memories with others, but rather a reorientation of the popular discourse to include memories that secular Zionism had suppressed. The Temple Mount is a resurging "forgotten memory," a political myth created in an atmosphere of contentious land claims. By claiming authority over the Temple Mount, the Israeli State articulates its legitimacy for the nation and its people through a politically contentious place. The Temple Mount has alway s remained an important place in the Jewish landscape. However, it was less so in the early years of state development. While the earlier state periods muffled memories of traditionally "Jewish" places like the Temple Mount, the land obtained during the 19 67 war, and the foreseen risk of losing that land in later
26 decades, inspired a resurgence of the Temple in Israeli memory that had slowly developed throughout the previous decades. In the early days of mass Jewish migration to Palestine, around the turn of the twentieth century, religious Jews and secular Zionists struggled to agree on the fate of Israel. Many Zionists favored a radical break with exile tradition and rejected passive Messianic redemption the notion that Israel would someday be handed to t he Jews by the nations of the world as written in the Holy Scriptures of Judaism. While religious Zionists envisioned a future nation of Israel governed by the laws of the Torah and ringing in the Messianic Age, secular Zionists reshaped the past and under mined the connections between Israel the nation (ancient and modern) and the Jews of exile (Zerubavel 1994: 15). The leaders of the Zionist movement, faced with the task of cultivating a generation of Israeli citizens from a small population of immigrants, introduced an ideological opposition between exile and nation in the minds of the youth and Jews around the world. According to Zerubavel, Zionism presented exile, and therefore traditional Judaism, as a violent and dark era in Jewish history oppression, assimilation, and passive martyrdom characterized the entire Zionist reconstruction of Jewish Exile. Antiquity, and by extension modern Israel, represented all that was valuable, admirable, and powerful about the Jewish people, redrawn as the Israeli peopl e. Active, hard working, self sufficient Israelis would recreate the ancient national homeland the heroes of Jewish history to juxtapose the sanctifiers and martyrs of exile (1994: 18 19). I argue that the Temple Mount memory complicates this Other sites of this nature include The Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Jacob's Tomb in Nablus.
27 dichotomy bet ween exile and nation and demonstrates the constant shifting of narrative and identity. Zionist collective memory promoted the notion of a people land bond, idealizing Israel/Palestine as a natural, blank canvas that had waited for the Jews to come home for two millennia. Zerubavel argues, "the Zionist suppression of positive aspects of exilic life to promote the centrality of the people land bond was reinforced by its denial of centuries of Palestinian life in that land" (1994: 22). At the Temple Mount, this denial of Palestinian presence becomes more difficult. The golden dome on the Haram es Sharif reminds Israelis of their exile and the discontinuity between ancient Israel (with the Temple) and modern Israel (without the Temple). It suggests an interna l exile a continuation of the Jewish Diaspora even within Eretz Yisrael This interpretation sheds light on both the early Zionist "forgetting" of the Temple and the later Israeli remembrance of it. Zionist memories of Antiquity emphasized the national rev olts of the Second Temple period and the heroes that fought for their homeland, rather than the traditional religious emphasis on the loss of the Temple(s) and exile. Ancient Israel became a "golden age," a time and place "to which the Zionists wished to return to recover their lost national roots" (1994: 22). Commemorations of these events tended to emphasize "national political aspects" over religious significance (1994: 23). Zerubavel continues to demonstrate, "the resettlement of Palestine represente d a national rebirth The Zionist settlers regarded themselves as engaging in the work of Creation, secularizing religious metaphors and drawing upon biblical images to highlight their own contribution
28 to the formation of a new national era" (1994: 33, emp hasis original). Zionist narratives infused traditional Jewish memories with secular meanings that served the goals of the pioneers and undermined the religious significance of those traditions. When Israel became a recognized state in 1948 the Old City, i ncluding the Temple Mount, remained outside of Israel's political boundaries. In the early days of Israeli nationalist development, Hebrew identity formed without that place as a central part of the landscape. I argue that the Zionist narrative failed to i nfuse the Temple Mount with a secular meaning that reconciled the absence of the Temple and the existence of the Haram es Sharif outside of the political boundaries of Israel. Zerubavel focuses on three events in the Israeli national narrative that selec tively represent the ideals of Zionism: the Battle of Tel Hai (1920), and the Bar Kokhba and Masada revolts of Antiquity. She asserts that "while the traditional Jewish turning point signaling the end of Antiquity and the beginning of Exile was the destruc tion of the Second Temple, the Bar Kokhba revolt provided Zionist memory with an alternative turning point, enhancing the national political over the religious dimension of the periodization of the past" (1994: 52). Archaeology, specifically the interpreta tions of the charismatic politician and archaeologist Yigael Yadin, allowed the Israeli people to construct a scientifically legitimate image of their past symbolizing "the historical continuity between Antiquity and National Revival, which the Zionist col lective memory constructs and the archaeologist's narrative reinforces" (1994: 59). Given this assertion, the archaeology of the Temple Mount highlights the tensions
29 among competing narratives. As a religious site of political importance, it questions the continuity of the Zionist landscape, and the controversy surrounding any archaeological work there compounds this contradiction of Israeli claims to authority. While archaeological evidence from the Temple Mount could strengthen Israel's claim there, the d ifficulty of conducting those investigations symbolizes the limits of Israeli authority at the site. Masada quickly became a significant national landmark, and "the youth movement tradition of climbing up to Masada can be seen as a secular version of the ancient ritual that disappeared after the Romans destroyed the Temple modern Hebrew youth made pilgrimages to their own sacred site at Masada [and] thus replaced the most important religious and spiritual center in Jewish Antiquity with the ruins of a f ortress in the Judean desert" (1994: 125). The Hebrew Bible and rabbinic literature depict regular pilgrimage to the Temple, to celebrate holidays and give offerings. Zerubavel argues that the substitution marks a "cultural shift from the traditional theol ogical framework to a secular national one," and that after 1967 "Masada and the Western Wall present competing alternatives" in the national narrative. She remarks on the almost playful twist in Israeli culture since the 1970s: that "the Western Wall, th e remnant of the Second Temple and hence the most sacred religious site in Israel, has assumed a highly national significance, where as Masada, which was associated with secular national tradition has now become a religious site as well" (1994: 133). This tension between the secular and religious also arises in an understanding of one particular Jewish holiday, Tisha b'Av, the Ninth of Av. This
30 date commemorates several dark events in Jewish tradition, primarily the falls of the First and Second Temples. T he Zionist narrative, however, redirects the focus on the downfall of Ancient Israel by "replacing" Tisha b'Av with Lag b'Omer, a celebration of Jewish rebellion in Antiquity used to emphasize national unity and political autonomy over the consequences of that event. In essence, "the Zionist commemorative narrative thus shifts its focus from the outcome of the revolt to the act of rebelling" (1994: 96, emphasis original). While Zerubavel investigates the process by which a national site acquires religious significance through notions like ritual practice and holiday celebration I investigate the process by which a religious site acquires national significance in the case of the Temple Mount. Zerubavel concludes that "a dual process of recovery'" informs memory and representations of the past: "while some aspects of the past are uncovered or shift from the margins to the center other aspects of the past are marginalized or fade into oblivion" (214). She warns, "when the constructed memory is shattered by the historical record, history can become disturbing news" (220). In essence, the historical facts that Masada was a mass suicide in the face of defeat, that Bar Kokhba did not win the war, and that the Temple was destroyed contradict the Zionist narrative s. In this conclusion, Zerubavel addresses implications for future research implications that my research directly draws upon. I argue that the destruction of the Temple and the expansion of Islam to Palestine constitute other historical realities that fly in the face of the Zionist narrative realities that Israel currently struggles to address.
31 Because my model asks a different question from that of Zerubavel's research, and is therefore concerned with different aspects of memory, I supplement my investig ation with the insights of another theorist. Zerubavel focuses on commemorations, events that provide important memories in the Zionist and Israeli narratives. This thesis, however, focuses on a particular place within a wider landscape. I rely on place as an analytical device to focus on a significant topic, particularly place as described by Jonathan Z. Smith in To Take Place: Toward a Theory in Ritual While Zerubavel provides certain concepts that propel this thesis, specifically memory and identity, Sm ith ties those concepts to a unique understanding of place as a methodological trope. A theorist in religious studies, he provides this analysis with a breadth of methodological backing and supplements Zerubavel's model for the purposes of this thesis. His work draws upon philosophy, anthropology, religious scholarship, and folklore studies, giving his theoretical insights a wide foundation and a breadth of applicability. Citing Claude Lvi Strauss (1962: 17) Smith quotes: A native thinker makes the penetr ating comment "All sacred things must have their place." It could even be argued that being in their place is what makes them sacred for if they were taken out of their place, even in thought, the entire order of the universe would be destroyed. Sacred obj ects therefore contribute to the maintenance of order in the universe by occupying the places allocated to them [Smith 1987: xii]. Place allows the sacred to exist, just as it provides order in an undifferentiated landscape. The Temple Mount remains sacre d because it remains in place ; it remains powerful because it provides a cosmological order with which to navigate
32 the world. Thus, the Temple must be remembered as existing in a specific place and as per tradition that place must be the Mount. According to Smith, space describes the utilitarian aspects of geography and location, while place indicates a uniquely meaningful, ideological component that informs the significance of certain locations. Space is "already existent" and "divided up into empty loci ," and place is "an active product of intellection rather than its passive receptacle" (1987: 26). Human beings place their memories, or the images of them, onto the space around them Jews and Israelis place memories of the Temple and Judaism onto the Temp le Mount. In a discussion of Yi Fu Tuan's 1977 publication Space and Place: The Perspectives of Experience he writes, "place is best understood as the locus of meaning." He quotes Tuan: Space is more abstract than place. What begins as undifferentiated s pace becomes place as we get to know it better and endow it with value If we think of space as that which allows movement, then place is pause; each pause in movement makes it possible for location to be transformed into place [Smith 1987: 28]. He descri bes Tuan's definition of place as "a focus of value" and "intimacy;" and that only by becoming familiar to the individual does space become place (28). Smith employs Tuan's definitions to create a dichotomy between homogenous space devoid of meaning and un iquely singular place filled with meaning. Furthermore, place extends beyond a single location but represents "a social position within a hierarchical system" wherein some places are more important or significant than others (Smith 1987: 45). Place transc ends time and space by virtue of memory this allows a building that has not existed for two thousand years to live on in the lives of people today. The Temple remains an
33 important place for Jews regardless of its physical existence because Jews remember th e Temple, and because it forms a part of their identity. Smith discusses memory and Kantian notions of space, as well as hierarchy and categorization. He critiques and builds upon Mircea Eliade's work on sacred and profane space to construct a theoretica l model of ritual and place. He demonstrates the relationship between religious and political ideology, insights of certain relevance to this investigation. He provides the connections among ideology, memory, and place that inform this thesis. Smith descri bes memory as "a complex and deceptive experience. It appears to be preeminently a matter of the past, yet it is as much an affair of the present" and "it appears to be preeminently a matter of time, yet it is as much a matter of space" (Smith 1987: 25). H e investigates the "intimate connection between memory and place" (1987: 26), a connection that this thesis directly addresses. Smith argues that "the language of center' is preeminently political and only secondarily cosmological" (1987: 17), and that regardless of the context (cosmic or historic) temple and temple building are less connected with cosmogony than they are with kingship" (21). These ideas provide my own investigation of the Temple Mount with a framework for understanding the connection be tween the religious and political nature of this place. The dual assertions of political power and religious power, that of king and that of God, contribute to the confusion inherent in any discussion of the Temple Mount. In response to the question Is it a religious conflict or a nationalist conflict?' Smith allows future research to answer It is both.' He demonstrates the extent to which
34 any religious contention, like that on the Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif, is also (and perhaps more importantly) a pol itical contention. In discussing the biblical prophetic vision of Ezekiel 40 48, Smith writes that Ezekiel's Temple is not any extant building. It is an ideal construction, unconstrained by the pragmatics of architecture or the accidentalities of histor y" (1987: 49). The Temple as an idealized object exists outside of the material world, without the contingencies of fact and human documentation. He goes on to say that "there is nothing inherent in the location of the Temple in Jerusalem. Its location was simply where it happened to be built." The location is, if anything, driven by "royal prerogative at a place of royal choosing" and that "the Temple in Jerusalem was the focus of a complex, self referential system. It could, in principle, have been built anywhere else and been the same." It functions primarily as: a place of clarification most particularly of the hierarchical rules and roles of sacred/profane, pure/impure. In an apparent paradox, its arbitrariness, its unmotivated character, guaranteed its ordering role. There was nothing to distract from the system [Smith 1987: 83 84]. The Temple's location is arbitrary and politically inspired; through these machinations The Temple Mount transforms from space into place. Smith goes on to describe the literary devices later rabbinic traditions utilized to "develop a complex mythology of the Temple site and its Stone of Foundation,'" including a list of textual interpretations used in rabbinic midrash to imbue the Temple Mount with a timeless and di vine importance that would ground it firmly in place. I will reproduce the list for the purposes of
35 demonstrating the weaving of narrative; this list can be found in his 1987 publication on page 84: 1. It is the place where the waters of the "Deep" were bl ocked off on the first day of creation; 2. it is the source of the first light of creation; 3. the Temple site was the first place in the world; hence, it is the "center" of the world; 4. it is the place from which the dust was gathered to create Adam; 5. it is the location of Adam's first sacrifice; 6. it is the site of Adam's grave; 7. it is the place where Cain and Abel offered sacrifice and, hence, the location of Abel's murder; 8. the Flood was caused by lifting the Temple's Foundation Stone and releas ing the waters of the Deep; 9. the Temple site was where Noah first sacrificed after the Flood; 10. Abraham was circumcised at the Temple place; 11. the Temple was the site of Melchizedek's altar; 12. the Temple was the site of the altar prepared for Isaac 's sacrifice in the narrative of Akedah; 13. Jacob's Bethel vision occurred at the site of the future Temple; 14. the Foundation Stone was the rock from which Moses drew water; 15. YHWH stood on the Temple site to recall the plagues; Smith goes on to desc ribe one narrative in which "the Stone itself testifies to its significance in direct speech to David while he is digging the foundations of the Temple (b. Sukkah 53a b and parallels) thus guaranteeing that the Temple was built at the right' place." Furth ermore, the events in the rabbinic midrash "appear to have been correlated temporally as well as spatially; they are held to have occurred on the eve of Passover." Islamic tradition preserves these narratives through the Dome of the Rock (1987: 84 85). I n sum, Smith's insights into place and literature supplement Zerubavel's research and provide additional vocabulary for discussing the Temple Mount as a place in memory and identity, in space and time. He demonstrates the relationship
36 between political pow er and religious power, and the importance of memory in constructing place. The next work investigates the relationship between memory and archaeology to demonstrate the mechanisms by which the material past plays a role in the formation of nationalist ide ntities. One of the pioneering works in the socio politics of archaeology, Selective Remembrances: Archaeology in the Construction, Commemoration, and Consecration of National Pasts (2007) includes several case studies on the intersections of archaeology nationalism, and religion. Edited by Philip L. Kohl, Mara Kozelsky, and Nachman Ben Yehuda, it attempts to "illustrate how reconstructions of the remote past from early historical or archaeological sources may be manipulated to support and validate conte mporary political purposes, including specific nationalist agendas" (2007: 1). The authors note that "one of the most significant new trends in the scholarship on nationalism has been the increasing acceptance of the influence of religion upon identity for mation," and that "religious nationalism everywhere is on the rise" (2007: 11). They assert that: a cursory glance at archaeology in Israel, Russia, Ukraine, and many other places in the world will tell us that Western assumptions about progress of a s ecular' archaeological science have real limitations and may not even apply to or be relevant in some national traditions of archaeological research [Kohl et al 2007: 12]. Throughout scholarship, the secular/religious divide has proved unrealistic and ine ffective for understanding complex contemporary nationalist movements. In their introduction the editors argue, "using archaeology to construct meaningful memories, which can then serve in various processes of nation building and molding individual identi ties, is linked to ideologies," and that
37 "ideologies are not disconnected from religion indeed, the entire area referred to as biblical archaeology illustrates this point quite vividly" (2007: 12). Furthermore: archaeology may help to revive (or may cr eate) the memory of ancient deities, languages, clothing, and artifacts and connect them directly to attempts to place contemporary expressions of nationalism in a context of lengthy history that is informed and charged by the sacred [Kohl et al 2007: 14]. The interactions among archaeology, memory, place, and identity find expression throughout the volume, as the editors make clear in their first pages. They write, "a time long past is thus connected to the present, bridging sometimes hundreds of years, in ways that appear to integrate what otherwise must have been very different cultures into one cultural context on national platforms that produce personal and national identities," a point that speaks directly to the issues of Israeli identity and collec tive memory (2007: 14). By bridging the past, present, and future through memory, Israelis actively formulate identity on the individual and collective level, relying on a constructed continuity that legitimates claims to place. In discussing Uzi Baram's chapter on Israeli heritage archaeology and tourism, the editors write, "Ironically even when archaeology has been liberated from the Zionist goals of the state, it is still inextricably bound up in religion" (2007: 14). While this may be ironic, it shou ld be of no surprise. Since inception the Jewish pioneer movement in Palestine, and later the State of Israel, was built on heavy religious symbolism and Jewish tradition fused with secular ideology, such as "redeeming" the land and the Jewish spirit by wo rking and
38 settling in the land. As with many nationalist movements, the Israeli enterprise is entangled with religious ideology and themes. This leads to the next point, that "archaeology is a discipline that is highly susceptible to political pressures an d influences" and that "states need to use the remote past to justify their authority and exercise of rule" (2007: 18). Archaeology is one of many tools that facilitate such validation; literature provides another. In light of these assertions the authors claim, "the creation of a consciousness of togetherness and shared identity, as well as that of collective memory, has become one of the hottest issues in the social sciences and humanities." They provide a point that relates directly to the topic at hand that: times defined as "Golden Ages" are in strong demand, and if they cannot be found as such, they can be invented or manipulated creatively. Time and again analysts of cultures and societies are faced with myths of a glorious past, past traumas, or fo rmative pasts that supposedly explain current events, cultures, and societies [Kohl et al 2007: 19]. Archaeology and literature provide Israelis access to a "Golden Age" far removed from time, yet brought closer to the present my means of memory. These me mories are incorporated into the collective and individual identities of Israelis, often toward the goals of reinforcing the state's legitimacy and the nationalist narrative and at times subverting or reinventing it. These relationships between memory and identity, and nationalism and narrative, are further elucidated in the source I discuss below. Israeli Identity in Transition (2004) explores the changes in Israeli collective identity throughout the state's development. The volume's editor, Anita Shapir a writes, "since the early 1980s, Israeli identity underwent deep changes,
39 resulting in fragmentation of the old' hegemonic identity into subidentities, so much so that it is questionable whether there exists a single, coherent Israeli identity" (2004: vi ii). Of course, what ethnic or national group of people can claim a "single, coherent" identity? Was this something Israel at some time had? Those questions aside, Shapira's point speaks to the topic at hand that Israeli identity is constantly in flux and that rapid changes have occurred in recent decades, complicating an understanding of a collective sense of self. In chapter one of that volume, Mordechai Bar On writes, "it is evident that Israeli society faces today an identity crisis in which individuals are challenged to decide where they stand with respect to traditional values, beliefs, and conflicting interpretations of their past" (5). He continues to say: since the mid 1970s, a growing plurality has gained the upper hand. It seems that Israeli co llective identity is becoming increasingly segmented into a variety of cultural and ideological subgroups that coexist side by side and struggle for their independence, positive valence, and public conspicuity [Bar On 2004: 7 8]. In short, Israel has seen increasing splintering and factionalism in its collective identity following the 1967 war. These insights help to explain the diffuse nature of Israelis' claims to the Temple Mount discussed in detail throughout this thesis. In her chapter entitled "Wha tever Became of Negating Exile?'" Anita Shapira writes, "the working hypothesis [of this chapter] is that, since the 1960s and especially in the 1970s, Israeli society has gradually retreated from the idea of negating exile, to the point of rendering it a n anachronism" (2004: 70). Shapira attributes this shift to "revised attitudes to Holocaust memory, to Jewish history, and Israeli's archaeological' identity;" I might add that the expansion of Israel's
40 borders, which presently include the Temple Mount, c ontributes to the shift as well. As mentioned earlier, the Mount is a reminder of exile, specifically exile within Israel, and so invalidates the negation of exile. Exile cannot be ignored so long as the Dome of the Rock shines in the skyline of Jerusalem. In their chapter on Jewish identity in Israel, Charles Liebman and Yaacov Yadgar write, "positive attitudes toward Jewishness and the observance of Jewish (religious) practices are not the same thing," and that early pioneers in Palestine held "a positi ve attitude toward Jewish ethnicity but a principled objection to religion' and hence the observance of Jewish rituals." With "the creation of the State of Israel, along with the influx of new immigrants still closely tied to traditional practice," symbo ls of traditional and religious Judaism were "adapted to build and to strengthen national identity and loyalty. Israel's civil religion was built on traditional Jewish symbols. It still is. The problem is that the civil religion itself no longer evokes the allegiance and the emotion that it once did" (Liebman and Yadgar 2004: 165). As I have argued, Zionism lost its prominence as Israelis, particularly mizrahim immigrants or Jews of Middle Eastern descent, infused the national identity with more traditional Jewish symbols and practices. The authors go on to discuss the results of polls conducted among Israeli Jews, in which "respondents who define themselves as religious have stronger Jewish and Israeli identities than respondents who define themselves as traditional, and these in turn have stronger Jewish and Israeli identities than those who define themselves as secular" (Liebman and Yadgar 2004: 166). Essentially, the stronger one's Jewish piety the greater sense of Israeli identity felt by the
41 individua l. This seems contrary to the foundations of the Israeli state on secular Zionist narratives, but in fact indicates a post Zionist trend in Israeli identity. They argue that "the root of the problem [of disintegrating Israeli identity] lies not in the diss ociation from religion or from tradition but in a loss of belief, by significant numbers of secular Israelis, in secular Zionism an ideology that until now had nourished their sense of identity with Judaism and the Jewish people" (Liebman and Yadgar 2004: 167). As the Zionist narrative faded in the 1970s and 1980s "it was replaced by a postnational narrative, built around the values of universalism and humanism" in which "both the Jewish religious identity and the Israeli Zionist ethnonational identity were perceived as anachronistic identities." This "the new narrative, which emphasized the motif of peace and the consequences of peace, contained Messianic and eschatological elements" (Liebman and Yadgar 2004: 169). Based on these interpretations, Israe li identity has become increasingly complicated, straddling the line between religion and politics, secularism and spirituality, embracing the past and looking to the future. I believe these complexities reflect the issues of importance at the Temple Mount The Mount is clearly not a secular symbol yet it remains an important aspect of the Israeli landscape. In a post Zionist era, Israelis have a difficult time placing the Temple Mount both within the territory and within their hearts and minds. In tandem these models for understanding memory and identity provide a foundation for this thesis that seeks to understand the Temple Mount as a religiously and politically contentious place in the Israeli nationalist landscape.
42 Zerubavel provides the implications for further research that inspire this investigation, while Smith ties several of those devices that Zerubavel outlines, particularly memory and identity, to an analytical definition of place The volumes on archaeology and Israeli identity provide detail ed case studies that address these concerns and offer examples of the application of theoretical understandings of memory, identity, narrative, and place to contemporary nationalist enterprises. In the following chapters I set these theories in motion by e mploying them in an investigation of literature and archaeology, returning to the concerns of memory and place throughout this thesis.
43 Chapter Three Writing the Temple Mount: Literary Memories and Layered Narratives The story of the House of Israel remains one of the most influential and oldest tales ever told. As with many traditions, literature constitutes the fabric of Jewish history and allows images like the Temple and Har ha Bayit (The Mountain of the House) to survive througho ut time and space. Below I explore examples from three genres of literature to present a range of memories of the Temple Mount and its role in Jewish identity. These examples represent a tradition that spans thousands of years, written in many different pl aces. Therefore, the images I present here reflect the broad stoke of my investigation the goal is not to document every mention of the Temple in the Hebrew Bible or every poem that depicts the Temple Mount, but rather to present a survey of specific examp les that demonstrate the processes in question. These examples provide the basis for my claim that the Temple Mount has been and continues to be an important place in the landscape of Jewish and Israeli memory and identity. The examples I selected provide a series of images that contribute to a contemporary understanding of the Jewish Israeli self. I use these examples to argue for an intimate connection between power (both political and cosmic, secular and religious) and the Temple Mount. In other words, r epresentations of the Temple Mount become a source of power and inspiration for individuals and entities to draw upon. First, I discuss the Tanakh treatment of the Temple and Temple Mount. The Tanakh is the foremost text in Judaism, a compilation of some of the earliest
44 writings documenting the traditional history of the Israelite people. To consider each and every treatment of the Temple/Temple Mount in the Hebrew Bible would fill volumes. I focus on an example that demonstrates the weaving of text and me mory that legitimates political and cosmological power. My interpretation of this text, because of its age, obscure origins, and multifarious scholarly and theological interpretations, remains minimal my goal is to provide an image of the Temple Mount in e arly Jewish writing, rather than to engage in an intense literary analysis of the Bible. Next, I discuss an example from important midrashic texts in Jewish tradition. Rabbinic texts such as Mishnah Tosefta and Talmud document Jewish literary interpret ations of law and custom. These texts represent early attempts by the rabbinic community to provide Judaism with a theological center following the destruction of the Second Temple. They demonstrate the narrative process, a series of memories woven togethe r that inform Jewish identity as it changes over time. Finally, I explore contemporary literary examples of the Temple Mount in the poetry of Yehuda Amichai. A towering figure of modern Hebrew and Israeli poetry, Amichai expresses notions of nationalism, place, tradition, memory, and identity in his popular writings. He demonstrates the power of narrative to transcend time and space his poetry, in the context of Judaism and Jewish literature, draws upon images and themes from biblical and rabbinic literatu re to describe Jewish narrative and identity. Using Amichai's poetry I discuss
45 contemporary Israeli understandings of the Temple Mount and images created through the processes of memory and identity. In the Beginning: Bible, Temple, and the Origins of Nar rative The Biblical scriptures represent the earliest depictions of the Jerusalem Temple in documentary history. Narrating the Temple Mount begins with this complicated and ancient text. Curiously, the (chronologically) earliest example pertaining to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem does not even mention the Temple in fact, it presents an historical moment that predates the existence of Jerusalem, Israel, and Judaism as a widespread religious movement. In Genesis chapter twenty two, the patriarch Abraham rece ives a command from God to sacrifice his only son, Isaac "in the land of Moriah" (Gen. 22:2: NRSV). Isaac, the only son of an aging man, represents God's mercy and His power to reward piety with great and miraculous gifts, as He rewarded His most favored d evotee Abraham with his deepest desire: to father a child and ensure the success of his progeny. To further reward Abraham for successfully passing God's test and offering Isaac as a sacrifice, God presents a ram for Abraham to slay in place of his only so n. The term next appears in Second Chronicles, when Solomon builds the First Temple "on Mount Moriah" (II Chron. 3:1: NRSV). With the literary use of the term "Moriah," Hebrew for "ordained by God," the two events occasionally commingle in the narrative in reference to a common place. Terms like Moriah and Mount Zion (used throughout the Bible including 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, and 1 and 2 Chronicles), and mountain imagery in general often refer to both the Temple Mount and the surrounding geography, and more
46 importantly the image of a "cosmic mountain" that dominates the faith's tradition from Sinai to exile. They represent idealized abstractions of the region's geographic characteristics a unifying image that gives continuity to a spatially disordered l andscape and places memories within a narrative. By identifying itself with another formative image in Jewish tradition, the Temple acquired a particularly powerful holiness (Shanks 2007: 173). Sandra Scham (2003) writes, "with the support of one of the be st known books in the world, the Bible, Israelis have been successful in communicating their cultural attachment to Jerusalem to the rest of the world" (Scham 2003: 648). Citing Foucault (1979), she asserts "religious enclosures are the paramount examples of spaces that engage with general systems of power within societies in a circular relationship whereby each strengthens and supports the others" (2003: 649), indicating the feedback by which religious power reinforces political and social forms of power. She writes about "the archaeology of high places," and argues that "the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is embedded in modern Jewish religion primarily as the symbol of immense loss, despite its current political standing" (Scham 2003: 657). As a symbolic "cosm ic mountain" and a geographical "high place" the Temple Mount becomes imbued with a particular power tied strongly to the place with which it is associated and passed down to future generations through literature. The Bible has two accounts of the buildin g of Solomon's Temple. The later of the two, Second Chronicles, is a post exilic account likely based on the account in First Kings (Shanks 2007: 123). These books describe how Solomon See Smith (1987) and his discussion of the works of Mircea Eliade for more on "cosmic mountain" imagery.
47 built the Temple, a task left to him because of the turmoil surrounding King David's reign and his behavior (I Kings 5:3). The Temple (see Figures 1 and 2) measured twenty cubits (an ancient measurement roughly equal to the length of an arm) wide, sixty cubits long, and thirty cubits high (I Kings 6:2); it consisted of three parts: a porch ( ulam ), a hall ( heikhal ), and an inner shrine ( debir ), which became known as the Holy of Holies. The Temple and the Palace buildings together formed Solomon's royal compound, enclosed by a wall, typical of ancient cities in the Near East (Sh anks 2007: 124). Figure 2. Floor plan of Solomon's Temple. Source: Shanks 2007: 125 Figure 3. Illustration of Solomon's Temple. Source: Shanks 2007: 124
48 From the very beginning of the account in First Kings, the political implications of Solomon's Te mple building become apparent. Hiram, the king of Tyre, hears of Solomon's plans to build a house to the God of Israel and sends servants to offer their labor and the finest wood available in the Near East, the cedars of Lebanon (I Kings 5). The two kings settle on a trade agreement, the labor and wood in exchange for wheat and oil, and institute a treaty of peace and trade between them (I Kings 5:8 5:12). The building of the Temple both necessitates and provides an opportunity for political negotiations be tween two kingdoms. Solomon also "conscripted forced labor," thirty thousand men in Lebanon, seventy thousand laborers at the building site, eighty thousand stone cutters, and three thousand three hundred supervisors (I Kings 5:13 5:16). Conscription has b een a typical means of finding labor employed by political entities throughout history. To enlist a labor force of that size underlies the centralization and bureaucratic power of Solomon's kingdom. Solomon amassed a vast amount of resources in the const ruction of the House of the Lord, exemplified by the cedars from Lebanon and costly stone, as well as the thousands of workers (I Kings 5:6 18, II Chronicles 3:1 17). He furnishes the Temple with gold cherubim, olive wood, and carved cedar the construction lasts seven years (I Kings 6). The use of iron tools at the building site was forbidden (I Kings 6:7), possibly relating to the prohibition against building altars of hewn stone and implying that the entire Temple served as an altar to the Lord (Exodus 20 :25, Shanks 2007: 124). Here we see the weaving of literary memories into a larger narrative. The Biblical accounts build upon one another to
49 create an historical continuity that legitimizes the origins and consistency of a people's identity. During the c onstruction God tells Solomon that he will be rewarded for his faithfulness with a powerful and long lasting dynasty, as promised to David (I Kings 2:4), as well as Abraham (Gen. 22:2). Again, the connections between divine kingship and earthly kingship ar e explicitly outlined. So long as a descendant of the House of David reigns in Israel, the Lord displays his pleasure with the people. This divine gift is conditional: should Israel fail to remain faithful, the presence of the divine will leave its sanctua ry and the land of Israel will be lost. Later in the Kings account the Lord makes good on this promise Nebuchadnezzar attacks Jerusalem and destroys the Temple in accordance with God's displeasure at the iniquities of Israel (II Kings 25). The kingship of man remains fruitful so long as God's kingship remains sufficiently observed. The First Kings account then describes Solomon's palace structures, similar in structure and magnificence to the Temple (I Kings 7). Solomon builds several buildings in the Tem ple/Palace complex, some of which are even larger than the Temple. The House of the Forest, one hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high (much larger than the Temple described above), is also constructed from the valuable cedars of Le banon that comprise the Temple (I Kings 7). The description of the buildings reiterates the costliness, extravagance, and grandiosity of the stones, cedars, and construction, as well as the similarities between the Temple and the other buildings in the Te mple complex (I Kings 7:9 12). These descriptions betray the connection between political power and
50 Temple building discussed by Smith and referred to throughout this account. As stated earlier Smith argues that the language of the Temple refers to politic al power and more than cosmological power The account solidifies Solomon's power by associating it with that of the Temple and thus God, explicitly demonstrated by the splendor of both the Temple and the greater Palace complex. First Kings goes on to de scribe in great detail the Temple accoutrements, cast in bronze by Hiram of Tyre and of such splendor and size that the reader is filled with awe. The Temple is adorned with huge pillars, thousands of decorations such as pomegranates and cherubim (winged c reatures similar to angels and charged with protecting the divine spirit), basins and vessels, and enough silver and gold to fill several rooms. The account is too detailed to discuss in depth here for more information see First Kings 7:13 7:51. The point of this account is to impress upon the reader the great splendor of Solomon's Temple. Are these bronze, gold, and silver accessories intended to communicate the glory of the God of Israel, or the glory of the king of Israel? As I have argued the intent is two fold. During the dedication, the presence of God fills the Temple with a "cloud," a manifestation of the divine presence (I Kings 8, II Chronicles 7). The cloud is so huge and powerful that it prevents the priests from performing their duties (Shanks 2007: 140). After the dedication and the first sacrifices, God appears to Solomon to tell him "I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you made before me; I have consecrated this house that you have built, and put my name there forever; my eyes and my heart will be there for all time" (I Kings
51 9:3, similar to II Chronicles 7:12 16). God reiterates His warning to Solomon that, should Israel transgress against their divine King, they will be stricken from the land, the House of God destroyed, and their people spread across the earth and mocked by the world (I Kings 9:6 9, II Chronicles 7:19 22). The Temple, a microcosm of place for Jerusalem and Israel, symbolizes the physical location of divine retribution and redemption the stones, whether in formati on or in ruins, indicate the purity of Israel's worship and the fulfillment of God's covenant. When in use, the Temple indicates God's favor when destroyed, the Temple indicates God's wrath. The Temple also provides a concrete place to accommodate the inti mate connection between the land and people of Israel. It becomes a receptacle for the Israelite's reverence, the object of their joy and desire. The building, destruction, and rebuilding of the Temple represent the past, present, and future of Israel in a cycle of divine favor and retribution, as seen in other accounts throughout the Bible (for specific examples see Psalms, as well as several accounts in the Prophets). The identity of Israel and the Jewish people cycles between glorious heights of piety an d power, and tragic depths of dispossession and destruction. A New Beginning: The Rabbis, the Temple Mount, and Layers of Narrative While the biblical literature discussed above occurs in the context of the First Temple Period ending in 586 BCE, the rabb inic literature discussed below primarily concerns the Second Temple Period ending in 67 CE. The examples I discuss originate from the research of other scholars, cited as appropriate. The rabbinic texts I identified earlier, the Mishnah Tosefta and Talm ud require years
52 of study and examination to yield a comprehensive understanding. My reliance on the work of others cannot be overstated. My analysis is secondary the scholarship I cite draws connections among the rabbinic texts, while I draw the connecti ons among their insights to further my own. In biblical literature, the references I discussed refer to the Temple itself. Following the destruction of the Second Temple and the subsequent Diaspora, notions of the Temple Mount as an analogous place, or r e placement, appear in the text with increasing frequency. According to Yaron Z. Eliav, "Temple Mount" in rabbinic literature refers to "the Mount of the House," in Hebrew har ha bayit (2003:51), distinctly different from the second Temple association of t he "Temple Mount" with an adjacent high place near Solomon's Temple. After the destruction, the exilic notion of a "cosmic center" in which mountain, complex, and Temple unite predominates the discourse on Judaism's relationship with Jerusalem and Temple ( Eliav 2003: 73). For Eliav, the mount reflects an idea, rather than a physical location (2003: 58). He demonstrates how "the destruction of 67 CE stripped the Temple from its glory, leaving its compound orphaned and desolate," and how "rabbinic literature endowed the ruined space of the Temple with a new life." He concludes that the Temple Mount "should be seen in this context as a sacred space in the landscape of memory" (2003: 84). What memories within the rabbinic texts illustrate the sacred nature of th e Temple Mount? How do they build on the biblical narrative? In the Jewish landscape of Israel (named Philistina by the Romans), after the destruction of the Second Temple and the realization of extended Exile, the Temple Mount and the Western
53 Wall replace the Temple as a receptacle of reverence, recreating the Mount as an eternally divine place of transcendent power and homage. The direction of prayer and the Temple Mount provides a fundamental example of the narrative process in place, memory and identi ty, as well as the boundlessly sacred essence of this place in Judaism. First Kings Chapter 8, verse 30 describes Israel directing prayers toward the Solomon's Temple: "Hear the plea of your servant and of Your people Israel when they pray toward this plac e" (cited by Eliav 2003: 68), a notion preserved in early rabbinic interpretations such as the Sifre Deuteronomy and the Tosefta, in this form: "Those who stand outside the Land direct their hearts toward the land of Israel Those who stand inside the land of Israel direct their hearts toward Jerusalem Those who stand in Jerusalem direct their hearts toward the Temple Those who stand in the Temple direct their hearts toward the Holy of Holies" ( Tosefta Berakhot 3:15 16, Sifre Deut 29, Eliav 2003: 69). Th e Palestinian Talmud, however, uses the term "Temple Mount" instead of Temple in the otherwise verbatim reference ( Y. Ber. 4 (8c), Eliav 2003: 69). Here, rabbinic authors conflate the terms "Temple" and "Temple Mount" in the narrative, remembering the term s or images as one and the same. Despite the passage of time, the physical removal from Jerusalem, and the destructions of both the First and Second Temples, the centrality of this place in prayer appears preserved in three primary rabbinic texts the only difference, a shift in referent from "The House of God" to "The Mount of the House," demonstrates not a coincidental shift in linguistic practice, but an historically
54 driven and socially relevant re placement that allows the ideological basis of identity t o survive. By replacing and re placing the Temple with the Temple Mount, the authority shifts from a building constructed by a king to a geographic location ordained by God. I argue that this re placement is a direct consequence of the loss of Jewish pol itical self determination with the loss of the land, the state, and the autonomy of the Jewish people, the rabbis shift their focus and reinterpret their texts to allow the cosmic power of the Temple to live on despite the loss of its political status. Thi s power shifts to the rabbis and the Tanakh who draw upon the symbolism of the Temple and Temple Mount to legitimate their own (political and religious) authority. The rabbis may be understood as a place holder for the Temple, the center of authority in t he absence of the Temple. The Temple and Temple Mount exude powerful imagery and provide fertile grounds for legitimating claims of authority structures, terrestrial features, rituals, material vessels, and kings all appropriate the power of that place f or their own means. Ben Zion Rosenfeld documents a similar phenomenon in early rabbinic texts. He claims, "many sayings in rabbinic literature are designed to endorse or laud something by comparison or analogy with another thing, of particularly great imp ortance or significance" (1997: 437). After the destruction of the Second Temple, the "sages," that is, the writers of early midrashic literature, "made efforts to fill the vacuum left by the Temple in a variety of For a description of the divine power associated with Temple vessels in the First Exile see Daniel chapter 5 The Writing on the Wal l in which God punishes King Belshazzar for misusing Holy vessels.
55 ways" (Rosenfeld 1997: 438). While Eliav documents the rabbinic trend that replaces Temple with Temple Mount, Rosenfeld observes the rabbinic compulsion to replace Temple, as well as priest and sacrifice, with rabbi. By "setting up the sage and his teachings as a parallel to the Temple in respect of all of its constituents and all its spiritual religious meanings," the Rabbis attempted to "justify and enhance their claim to absolute and exclusive authority in the religious realm" (Rosenfeld 1997: 439). The Temple, and its associated imagery, offer s a variety of political entities a tool with which to claim authority. Drawing on multiple memories in the creation of narrative, institutions pursuing their own legitimacy and authority identity themselves with the Temple Mount through literature. Rabb inic literature demonstrates the creation of a new identity, the identity of Diaspora Judaism, which utilizes Temple and Temple Mount imagery to create its own narrative, remembering and re remembering the past. The dual goal of asserting the continuing sa credness of the Temple (Mount) and replacing the Temple's authority with new entities relies on a referential process in which texts speak to one another and re imagine past memories. New forms of literary style provide more innovative narrative avenues an d more vividly complex imagery, allowing Jewish identity to rely on established themes and empower new ones. Birth and Rebirth: Poetry and National Narratives Yehuda Amichai (born in 1922), perhaps Israel's greatest national poet and one of the first to write in modern Hebrew, demonstrates the intersection of place, memory, identity, and literature in modern Israel. In 1934 at the age twelve
56 he emigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine, his family settling in Jerusalem. He served in the Palestine Jewi sh armed forces and fought in World War II and the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. After studying the Bible and Hebrew literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he served in two more Israeli wars: the Sinai War (1956) and the Yom Kippur War (1973 ). He published throughout much of his life and lectured several prestigious universities in the United States (Amichai 1981). He struggled with the secular/religious divide in Israeli identity his tone is often ironic, and always emotionally evocative. For my discussion of Amichai I rely on a primary source, the bilingual edition of Poems of Jerusalem and Love Poems (1981). The book provides side by side translations in Hebrew and English, citing the translators and providing notes on historically or tex tually relevant information. The first example illustrates the personal aspects of collective memory in relation to literature and landscape. It comes from 21 of "Songs of Zion the Beautiful." It refers to Jerusalem as "a place where everyone remembers he 's forgotten something but doesn't remember what it is" (65). He refers to the distance of memory, the sensation of remembering something beyond the possible reach of experience, perhaps something he has not properly attended. This addresses the notion tha t secular Zionist memory has forgotten traditional Judaism and the Temple Mount, and resultant appeals to the Temple Mount in modern Israel that demonstrate a "re remembering" of this place. Amichai often numbers poems within a larger, named series.
57 The poem goes on to say that "the questions that are asked in th ese hills are the same as they've always been: Have you seen my sheep?' Have you seen my shepherd?'" (65). The questions about sheep and shepherds reference biblical parables, of which there are many. The Genesis account binding of Isaac discussed earlie r, which occurs on "a mountain in Moriah," ends when God brings a wandering ram (a male sheep) to Abraham as a sacrifice in place of his son. Amichai employs traditional Jewish images to describe the landscape and its significance in Jewish literary memory The notion that these questions "are the same as they've always been" reflects a cyclic and repetitive view of history and identity that people generally ask the same questions and search for the same things despite the passage of time. He depicts an ide alized continuity of history and memory, dissolving the boundaries of past, present, future. In 34 of the same series, Amichai protests, "Let memorial hill remember instead of me, that's what it's here for." He describes unspecified parks and buildings, a synagogue named for God, the Torah, prayers, flags "those multicolored shrouds of history" and "the bodies they wrapped" that "have long since turned to dust," pleading "Let all of them remember so that I can rest" (79). In this poem Amichai expresses the burden of memory. Every physical manifestation of Jerusalem's past constitutes a heavy and troublesome memory for the Jewish people. He wishes that the objects could remember for him, implicitly recognizing that memory does not function without living peo ple to transmit narratives to future generations. Zerubavel's (1994) explication of memory's counterpart forgetting inspires my own understanding of Amichai's
58 weariness of remembering. Amichai desires to forget the tragedies and tribulations of his people' s history, but the very landscape surrounding him provides a constant reminder of the past, both recent and distant. Similarly, the Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif reminds Israelis of Exile, Temple, and Biblical prophecy. Amichai returns to the theme of wand ering livestock in another poem. It begins, "An Arab shepherd is searching for his goat on Mount Zion and on the opposite mountain I am searching for my little boy." He goes on to say, "searching for a goat or a son has always been the beginning of a new r eligion in these mountains" (107). I interpret this poem as another clear reference to the binding of Isaac and the origins of Judaism in relation to "Moriah" or "Zion" as a central place. All of these examples portray the process of memory making and narr ative development, both in the past and in the present. The continuity of ancient shepherds and modern shepherds mirrors Israel's desire to assert its own continuity between antiquity, and the allusion to "Moriah/Zion" imagery grounds these assertions in a n idealized place. The poem redefines the boundaries between past and present, as well as those between self and other. I speculate that the lost goat and the lost boy both represent the struggle between Arabs and Jews on "Mount Zion," or the Temple Mount. Many of Amichai's poems demonstrate the tragic, sorrowful component of Jewish identity that remembers such events as the destructions of the First and Second Temples and the subsequent exiles. In his poem "Suicide Attempts of Jerusalem," Yehuda Amichai writes, "Tears, here, don't soften the eyes. They
59 only polish the hardness of faces, like rock." That is, sorrow does not soften the individual here in Jerusalem, but instead polishes or reinforces the hardness of an individual. From loss and sadness, str ength and resolve prevail. He continues, "She tried [suicide] again on the ninth of Ab," the calendar anniversary of the destruction of both Temples, among other tragedies in the Jewish tradition remembered on this day (Mishnah Ta'anit 4:6). Finally, "She' ll never succeed; but she'll try again and again" (33). Amichai recognizes this pain as self inflicted that the sorrows of Jerusalem's past, the ancient destructions as well as the current state of Israeli affairs, illuminate its suicidal tendencies. The l ast line betrays a prophecy as old as the Tanakh ; Jerusalem has been destroyed in the past and will be in the future, but it will never cease to exist. These prophecies occur throughout biblical literature, including and extending beyond the examples given earlier. They further depict Amichai's cyclic, recurring view of Jewish history, as well as his use of literary tradition to embed his imagery within a Jewish narrative. Amichai expresses a very different meaning for Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in 21 of "Jerusalem 1967." He begins, "Jerusalem is a port city on the shore of eternity. The Temple Mount is a huge ship, a magnificent luxury liner. From the portholes of her Western Wall cheerful saints look out, travelers." Jerusalem the "eternal" and the T emple Mount its "luxury liner" both convey a powerful image of a temporally transcendent Jerusalem and Temple Mount, echoed in a subsequent line, "She is always arriving, always sailing away" (61). The Temple Mount eternally comes and goes, transcending no t only time but also
60 space in its figurative "movement." Present at times and absent at others, in both a historical and geographical sense, the Temple Mount always returns to leave again. This is one aspect of Jewish identity consistently reproduced in li terature: to be always with and without the Temple carrying it in their hearts even in galut (exile), awaiting its prophesied return, or enjoying its splendor while anticipating its destruction. Amichai relies on biblical accounts and Jewish literature, th e textual memories that constitute the narrative of Judaism, to provide images of the Temple that convey Jewish history and identity as a fluid, enigmatic convergence of space and time. To ground the ephemeral nature of memory and identity in the landscap e of place, Amichai utilizes more materially accessible images that reflect the physicality of his images. In 37 of "Songs of Zion the Beautiful," Amichai writes, "All these stones, all this light, rubble of night hours and noon dust, all the twisted pipew ork of sanctity, Wailing Wall, towers, rusty halos all these stones, all this sorrow. Go heap them into the valleys all around so Jerusalem will be level" (83). The connection between stones and sorrow speaks directly to the topic at hand; for Amichai, t he very stones mean sorrow. Their existence indicates the turmoil of the land and its people. The use of "Wailing Wall" instead of his usual term "Western Wall" seems purposeful. The Wall identifies the site of mourning for all that Israel lost in Antiquit y, a relic of the once powerful Jewish nation that suffered so much in exile. He identifies the stones of Zion with the sorrows of Jewish history, and of the Jewish people. His use of themes like building, destruction, and rebuilding to illuminate the natu re of these memories
61 and their origins in an ancient literary style that produces and reproduces the imagery of the Temple Mount. In "All the Generations Before Me," Yehuda Amichai writes, "All the generations before me donated me, bit by bit, so that I'd be erected all at once here in Jerusalem, like a house of prayer It binds" (3). He goes on to lament, "I have to change my life and death daily to fulfill all the prophecies prophesied for me. So they're not lies. It binds" (1981: 3). Amichai describes t he process by which narrative memories from "all the generations before" not only inform who he is, but also oblige him to "fulfill all the prophesies" binding him. The repetitive use of the phrase "It binds" in the poem signifies the formation of identity out of the dust of history, and the control that history exerts over its people. It also refers yet again to the Biblical binding of Isaac, displaying Amichai's seamless integration of literary allusion and multifarious symbolism. Does this indicate an ob ligation on the part of all Jews to recreate the Promised Land of Israel, to rebuild the Temple, and to revive ancient Jewish ritual as prophesied in the Bible? Amichai's language suggests that the weight of history, experienced by virtue of literary prese rvation, shapes the identities of individuals living today individuals that act to achieve certain goals and to articulate a primordial agenda of cosmic proportions. In "Jerusalem is Full of Used Jews," Amichai expresses a similar sentiment regarding the weight of historical memory on the Jewish people. He begins, "Jerusalem is full of used Jews, worn out by history, Jews second hand, slightly damaged, at bargain prices. And the eye yearns toward Zion all the time"
62 (109, emphasis original). Amichai contin ues, "What does Jerusalem need? It doesn't need a mayor, it needs a ring master, whip in hand, who can tame prophecies, train prophets to gallop around and around in a circle, teach its stones to line up in a bold, risky formation for the grand finale" (10 9). In short, a decrepit and enfeebled Jerusalem needs a messiah to rebuild the Temple. The poem goes farther than declaring a need, however; it suggests an active attempt on the part of individuals to fulfill the prophecies and actualize their identity as the Jewish people. He concludes, "Later [the stones] they'll jump back down again to the sound of applause and wars. And the eye yearns toward Zion, and weeps." The line "the eye yearns toward Zion" comes from Ha tikva the Israeli National Anthem. The su pplemental phrase "and weeps" connotes the sorrow and despair of the Jews separated from Zion. This line also suggests a reference to Psalms 137, "By the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept when we remembered Zion." He appears to taunt the prophesies with h is own prediction that the Jews will rebuild the Temple in hopes of entering the eternal Messianic age when, in fact, they will face its destruction once more. Again, Amichai reflects an historical continuity in which events occur in the context of, and ac cording to the pattern of, those events that have come before. For Amichai, all that has been exists in the present, and will be again. In "Lying in Wait for Happiness" Amichai begins, "On the broad steps leading down to the Western Wall a beautiful woma n came up to me," describing her as "standing between the destroyed and the built, between the light and the dark" (111). He asks her, "What are you doing here between the promised and the
63 forgotten, between the hoped for and the imagined? What are you doi ng here lying in wait for happiness with your lovely face a tourist advertisement from God and your soul rent and torn like mine?" The woman, named Shoshana in the poem, represents the Jew caught between the historical imagining of Ancient Israel with its Temple and the desired promise of a future Israel with a new Temple. The poem ends, "She answered me: My soul is rent and torn like yours but it is beautiful because of that like fine lace" (111). Destruction and prophecy give form to the Jewish identity t he sorrows of Jewish memory beget the beauties of Jewish identity. Shoshana, the Jew, exists in a seemingly perpetual place between past and future, retribution and redemption, building and destruction. I include this poem because, more so than the others, it symbolizes the embodied Jew in the character Shoshana. The poem reflects Israelis' feelings of uncertainty and immobility a paralytic confusion reflected in contemporary politics at the Temple Mount in Israeli consciousness. Whether moving toward or aw ay from the Temple, Jewish identity reflects a delicate beauty intimately connected with the past and future, with memory and identity. These poems illustrate many Jewish identities: caught between past and future, destruction and creation, prophecy and reality; sorrowfully cognizant of what has been lost and what has been promised, and yet beautiful by virtue of these tragic circumstances. A final poem, "At an Archaeological Site," further expresses these identities and anticipates the discussion in the next chapter about archaeology and the Temple Mount. Amichai writes: I asked: What is this gray dust which has been pushed around and sifted and tortured and then thrown away? I answered in my heart:
64 This dust is people like us, who during their lifetime l ived separated from copper and gold and marble stones and so they remained in death [Amichai 1981: 97]. Amichai refers here to many events in Jewish history, not the least of which are the destruction of the Temple, exile from Israel, and the Holocaust b ut he also refers to the misery and impermanence of all human life. He concludes, "We are this heap of dust, our bodies, our souls, all the words in our mouths, all hopes." Here, Jewish identity is that of dust eternal and ubiquitous, forgotten and ignored manipulated and discarded at the whim of an archaeologist. Texts that Remember, Stories that Identify: A Literary Tour of the Temple Mount To review, the goal of this chapter was to document processes of memory and identity that create and recreate na rrative images through literature. I focused on the Temple Mount as a reoccurring place in literature, one that exists today through memory and identity. Memories exist despite the passage of time because they play a role in the formation of identity becau se text allows a cohesive unit of people to understand its own identity, they reproduce it and ensure that future generations continue to reproduce it, on paper and in their daily lives. These memories form a narrative, which compresses the complex and con stantly shifting chain of images into a workable and applicable story line one that can function within an evolving and reactionary sense of identity. Because these texts remain influential today, literary examples from thousands of years ago with obscure origins and dubious intentions continue to illuminate contemporary self identity. Having never asked a Jew to historically and theologically describe their people, I can only assume what response I might receive; nevertheless, I would expect a
65 religiously devout Jew to suggest that I read the most formative texts of their traditions, such as the Bible and rabbinic interpretations of Judaism like the Mishnah. I would also expect that somewhere, some Israeli believes that Yehuda Amichai beautifully surmises t he intricacies of Israel Jewish identity through his poetic imagery and literary insight. My claim is not that these examples constitute the primary, authoritative backbone of Jewish identity, but rather that they present a reasonably accurate depiction of Jewish memories of the Temple Mount that continue to exist in the minds of Jews today. Memory is not a process of perfect transmission: each individual shapes memory with the telling of narratives, as evidenced in the exploration above. Memory "is a com plex and deceptive experience" appearing to be "a matter of the past" and yet undeniably "an affair of the present," seemingly "a matter of time, yet it is as much a matter of space" (Smith 1987: 25). In short, narratives construct memories about the past in the present, over and about time and space. Smith identifies an "intimate connection between memory and place" (26) and asserts that "human beings are not placed, they bring place into being" (28). These literary examples provide a broad range of memori es that blur the boundaries of past and present, time and space memories firmly grounded in the active creation of place, or rather memories placed onto landscape in an attempt to narrate Israeli or Jewish identity. Yaron Z. Eliav describes memorable plac es and the traditions that accompany them as "a kind of porthole that allows a glance at the dynamics that shaped groups and societies" (2003: 50 51). Here is the goal of this endeavor to
66 trace the narratives surrounding the Temple Mount, and to describe h ow Jewish society has developed with regards to this place. The Temple Mount, an abstraction of countless images from the Bible, rabbinic discourse, and modern poetry, serves as my porthole through which to view the dynamics at work in past, present, and p erhaps future Jewish/Israeli identity. How does the Temple Mount narrative contribute to a dynamic and multifaceted lexicon of Jewish identity? In Judaism: The Evidence of the Mishnah Jacob Neusner declares, "Our task is to find out who people were from the evidence of what they said, to weigh the fire of their vision, to measure the weight and substance of their sigh" (1981: ix). Such a broad and weighted topic requires some narrowing, and Neusner chooses the Mishnah as his window into the world of rabb inic Judaism. I have chosen a place, rather than a series of texts, as the organizing theme for my own investigation of this question. How has the Temple Mount historically contributed to evolving Jewish identities, and how does it continue to do so today? How do people select certain memories within certain narratives, imbue them with meaning, and use them to inform their sense of self? Neusner argues that Mishnah is "not about a day that is past, but about a world sorely wanted in the future" and that it "presents a grand design for the life of the house of Israel, the Jewish people" (1981: ix). I argue that this is true not only for the Mishnah, but also to some extent literature and narrative in general. Even if a text or a story does not explicitly ex press desires and designs for a future life, it in some way reflects those desires by explaining and evaluating the past,
67 present and potential future. These evaluations and representations provide insights into the desires of the individual and the societ y desires that originate from and reproduce identity. The paradoxical imaginings of Jewish identity that evolve from my literary survey of these genres reflect the contradictions in Israeli nationalism indicated in my introduction. Next, I will show how archaeological endeavors at the Temple Mount reflect Israeli place and narrative, from a perspective that claims a rigorously scientific methodology but, in reality, draws upon the same human creativity that perpetuates and redefines literature through exp ressive and inventive exercises such as memory and identity.
68 Chapter Four Archaeology of the Mount: Political Limitations and Religious Implications "Dig a centimeter beneath the debate over antiquities, and you hit a debate over who m the Mount belongs to, a centimeter beneath that is the war over whom the entire country belongs to." Gershom Gorenberg, cited in Hershel Shanks Jerusalem's Temple Mount 2007: 5 Archaeology is a methodologically rigorous science of the material remains of humanity. Like all scientific endeavors, however, it is not without its politics. In this chapter I will cite examples of the political underpinnings that complicate archaeology at the Temple Mount. Through this discussion I hope to demonstrate the rel ationship between politics and religion particular to this site, and how that relationship relies on and recreates collective memory and identity. I argue that the tensions surrounding the Temple Mount as an idealized place reflect the nationalist politics of Israel and the influence of those politics on the creation of identity through memory and narrative. Archaeology at and around the Mount is both prompted and impeded by the politics of this area, and the nationalist agendas of both the Israeli and Pale stinian/Arab peoples, as well as the religious underpinnings of those agendas, become apparent in this discussion of archaeological concerns. Much of my discussion of archaeology at the Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif relies on the work of Hershel Shanks, an Israeli biblical archaeologist. He is a lawyer by trade, but his passion for Israeli archaeology has inspired him to write seven books and to edit several volumes on the subject. He is the founder and editor of Biblical Archaeology Review and he worked on the project that made the Dead Sea Scrolls available to the public in print. His work on the
69 Temple Mount (2007) is one of the few publications that takes an in depth look at the intersection of politics, religion, archaeology, and literature at the Haram es Sharif. His book is written in the style of an excavation beginning with the modern day Haram and working down through the layers, ending with Solomon's Temple and the pre Temple era. In an attempt to explain the fascination with the archaeology of t he Temple Mount in the forward to Secrets of Jerusalem's Temple Mount Hershel Shanks writes, Perhaps it is the tension between how little is known and how much could be known. The evidence is there. But the site has not even been surveyed looked at for m ore than a century and a quarter, and excavations, even small probes, are forbidden. [Shanks 2006: 7] I argue that, similarly, this wealth of knowledge to be had knowledge that would inevitably serve to legitimate the claims of one group over the other in spires the tremendous interest in excavating at the Temple Mount and the tensions between Israelis and Palestinians there. To better understand these ideologically fueled enmities I will briefly review "Temple Denial." The term "Temple Denial" refers to t he claim among some Palestinian leaders that a Jewish Temple never existed in Jerusalem. These ambiguous claims sometimes refer to Solomon's Temple, sometimes to Herod's Temple, and often to both. In 2000, at Camp David during the Oslo Accords Yassar Arafa t claimed that Herod's Temple, if it existed at all, never stood in Jerusalem a sentiment echoed by vice chairman of the Islamic Movement Kamil Hatib (Shanks 2007: 3). Palestinian Authority Minister Nabil Sha'ath, a primary negotiator in the 1993
70 Oslo Agre ement, called the notion of a Jewish Temple "fictitious." The current President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, similarly argues that Israelis' claims to a Temple beneath the Haram should be challenged, and Palestinian public discours e often refers to the Jewish Temple as al maz'um ," Arabic for the "presumptive" or "fabricated." Even some Palestinian academics argue that the lack of archaeological evidence of a Jewish Temple at the Mount proves that no such temple ever existed (Shanks 2007: 4). This "dearth of evidence" argument, that the absence of evidence is the evidence of absence, explains the Islamic Waqf's (the organization charged with controlling the Haram es Sharif) tight control over archaeology conducted at the site. If evi dence of a Jewish Temple arose, the "Temple Denial" argument would lose much of its substance. While the "Temple Denial" position obviously challenges Jewish memories of the Temple, it also attempts to forget Islam's memory of Solomon's Temple, an importan t aspect of the Islamic narrative. This phenomenon indicates the complexity of remembering and forgetting and the importance of memories in constructing identity. Shanks writes that "the question of the Temple's existence obviously has political implicat ions" and that "archaeology in Israel has always been politicized by one side or the other" (Shanks 2007: 5). As such, my investigation outlines examples of the politics of archaeology and the implications of those politics for religious groups claiming th e Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif as their own. I begin by exploring an artifact with a problematic provenience but with implications for the existence of Solomon's Temple. The artifact, a First Temple
71 period inscription, creates fierce debate and demonstrate s the subjective nature of archaeological interpretations. The analysis of the artifact draws on memories from literature and from lived experiences, contributing to a narrative of the Temple. I continue with an example of representation of Herod's Temp le at a tourist attraction near the Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif. The reconstruction not only draws upon memories to depict the structure as a living place but also holds the possibility of creating new memories that re place the Temple Mount in the conte xt of a splendid and visually stimulating narrative. The images allow the viewer to identify with the Temple as an existent place, a more evocative memory than that drawn from texts and stories. The reconstruction actualizes memory it depicts a remembrance of the Temple had the viewer seen it just yesterday. In the context of the Temple Mount, such an embodiment of memory has powerful implications for incorporating the Temple into a narrative and sense of self. I conclude with a discussion of the problema tic nature of archaeology at and about the Temple and the Mount, discussing a few excavations and construction projects. Excavations attempt to retrieve memories from the ground, but often become memories themselves when stakeholders develop an investment in the outcome of archaeological activities. Moving a bit of earth at the Temple Mount can incite violence, even war, and when memories come under scrutiny and identities clash the implications reach beyond the borders of Israel. These illustrations provid e evidence for the role of archaeology in conceptualizing a place and the implications of those conceptions.
72 The Yehoash Inscription: Evidence of Solomon's Temple or Strategically Crafted Hoax? The Yehoash Inscription exemplifies the complex connections among archaeology, politics, and nationalism surrounding the Temple Mount and the inherent tensions in archaeological analysis regarding this site. No solid evidence for Solomon's Temple exists to date, making the inscription an important find. Whether a forgery or legitimate artifact, the find demonstrates the tense and controversial nature of remembering the Temple through material culture, and the antagonism that pervades any conception of the historical and imagined Temple Mount. The following investig ates these tensions by outlining the context of the find and its subsequent interpretations. Second Kings 12:4 16 and Second Chronicles 24:4 14 describe the repair of the Temple by King Yehoash of Judah, roughly a century following the building of Solomon 's Temple. His rule would likely fall near the end of the ninth century (Shanks 2007: 143). It is one of many accounts of repairs to the Temple, describing the process of collecting money (in silver coin) and purchasing the materials and labor to repair th e structure and walls of the complex. In 2003 an astonishing discovery came to light: a Hebrew inscription describing these events with remarkable similarity to that of the Biblical account. Shanks (2007: 143 151) writes that "if authentic" the plaque offe rs "the first royal inscription found of an Israelite king," and the only archaeological evidence that attests to the existence of Solomon's Temple. This inscription provides a material marker of identity, a validation of Temple memories that, thus far, re ly on texts alone.
73 The plaque contains fifteen lines in Hebrew inscribed on a black stone, roughly the size of a standard sheet of paper. The top line is damaged, and only half of the name remains. It reads, hazyahu king of Judah," and based on other ro yal names of the period refers to Yehoash, son of Ahazyahu, or Ahaziah in English translations. So, scholars have reconstructed the first line to read, "I am Yehoash, son of Ahazyahu, king of Judah." It goes on the describe the collection of funds from peo ple across the land of Judah to purchase quarried stone, juniper wood, and copper described as coming from either neighboring Edom or according to Shanks the more likely translation Adam, a city in ancient Judah known for copper production. Hebrew is a lan guage written without vowels, so the translation is somewhat problematic; either way, the inscription most likely refers to one of two areas well known for their copper production. Shanks discusses the interpretation of this artifact in terms of the argu ments for and against its authenticity in such a way that communicates the dialogue among experts concerned with its analysis. I have chosen to follow his example because, due to the controversy surrounding the find, the political implications are best und erstood as a debate. I discuss the specifics of the archaeological interpretations to demonstrate the fact that, despite archaeology's methodologically rigorous and scientific approach, there is much room for subjective interpretation. His approach reflect s the back and forth discourse among scholars of Israeli archaeology, and while it is perhaps an imperfect method of relaying this discourse, it should serve the purpose of representing the
74 politics of archaeology at the Mount and the complexity of memory and identity at the most contested site in the world. Scholars of Israeli archaeology disagree over the authenticity of this artifact. Many prominent researchers fall on one or the other side of the argument, each position making convincing points. I begi n by outlining the evidence that suggests forgery, as well as the counterpoints where appropriate, and proceed with the arguments in favor of its authenticity. The first argument against authenticity may seem weak but in fact reflects the nature of archaeo logy in Israel the find is simply "too good to be true" (Shanks 2007: 145). A certain measure of inconsistency is to be expected when comparing material and textual evidence, and the inscription matches the Biblical account to a remarkable degree. Some sch olars argue that the parallels between the two descriptions of Yehoash in the Bible and the inscription's account provide fertile grounds for suspicion. Of course, this reservation alone hardly discredits the authenticity of the find. As stated earlier, t he first line of the inscription is missing. While this suggests the ancient origins of the artifact, the fact that scholars can easily reconstruct the name of the king may indicate the forger's intentions. The imperfection of the plaque, as well as the ea se of interpretation, suggests either a fortuitous discovery or a clever forger. Linguistic analyses of the inscription provide more substantive evidence of forgery. Paleographic analyses, which evaluate the shapes and forms of individual letters as they c hange over time, can reveal the minute errors that even a skilled forger might make. Orthography, the study of variations in spelling over time, can also indicate the dubious authenticity
75 of a text or inscription. Some scholars argue that the orthographic and paleographic analyses of the inscription definitively prove that it is a forgery. However, concurrent examples with which to compare the inscription are rare and exhibit a range of paleographic and orthographic characteristics. In fact, Shanks argues t hat if all inscriptions from Israel's antiquity were analyzed according to the standards of the Yehoash inscription, many "authentic" artifacts would come under scrutiny. In short, texts from this early period of Israel (or Judah, as it would have been kno wn for much of antiquity) do not conform to a strict canon of linguistic attributes (Shanks 2007: 149). They do not, so to speak, play by the rules. The phrase "bedeq ha bayit in line ten of the inscription provides another point of contention in determ ining the plaque's authenticity. Two interpretations exist for this phrase, one suggesting forgery and the other arguing that it is appropriate within the plaque's context. In modern Hebrew, bedeq means "to repair;" in ancient Hebrew, however, it describes something that is broken. In Second Kings, the term bedeq describes the fissures in the Temple structure that require repair. So, scholars challenging the authenticity of the find translate the phrase as "Yehoash damaged or broke the Temple." This would indicate that a forger mistakenly relied on the modern Hebrew meaning of the word bedeq in attempting to say that Yehoash repaired the Temple when in fact the line reads that Yehoash damaged the Temple. Other scholars argue that this is a misinterpretation of the text. They argue that bedeq does not describe an action on the part of the king a verb describing the work of repair but rather the state of
76 the Temple itself. In this case the inscription would read, "I made/repaired [from the verb asah which has many connotations including "repaired"] the damage to the Temple." This would indicate that, in the larger context of the inscription, the word bedeq is appropriate. As with several other indications of forgery for the Yehoash inscription, the interpretat ion here is subjective and uncertain. Perhaps the most promising evidence concerns not the artifact (if it can be called such) but rather the circumstances under which the artifact was "discovered." Despite the fact that the existence of the Yehoash insc ription was known to professionals as early as 1999, the public learned of it around the time that the famous James Ossuary made headlines in 2003. The two items belonged to the same man, Oded Golan, a dealer in Israeli antiquities. He reportedly obtained them from separate sources, both antiquities dealers. The provenience or archaeological context of the finds were completely absent, creating a significant problem in terms of interpretation. The James Ossuary captured the attention of international media by virtue of its implications for Christianity it read, "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus." While James and Joseph were common names in the region at the turn of the Common Era, the last epithet suggests Jesus as a significant figure, since siblings are not included in the names of individuals. A police investigation ensued and the Israeli Antiquities Authority formed a committee to examine both finds. The committee determined that both were forgeries, but the case for the fraudulence of the James O ssuary was much stronger than that for the Yehoash inscription. The name clearly had a modern addition; the ossuary and the first two thirds of the text were indeed authentic, but
77 the latter part ("the brother of Jesus") was forged. I would argue that the mere association of these two finds in the media exposed the Yehoash Inscription to unreasonable scrutiny. Given their shared provenience and similar treatment in the public media as well as their archaeological analyses, they were treated as forgeries fro m the beginning, which perhaps skewed the interpretation of the Yehoash inscription. This is not to say that the skepticism is unfounded Shanks admits that he is not convinced one way or the other but rather that the politics surrounding their discovery ma y have influenced the investigation that determined their legitimacy. Much like other patterns of identity, the source of the two finds ties them to a related narrative. Remembering the Ossuary as a forgery predisposes one to remember the Inscription as su ch. The evidence suggesting the modern reproduction of the inscription is ample, but also uncertain. The evidence that the inscription is authentic is also uncertain and less plentiful. Two major characteristics challenge the claim that the Yehoash Inscri ption is a forgery. First, the inscription is long much longer than a typical forgery. Fabricated inscriptions are generally short. This exposes the forger to fewer opportunities for mistakes and telltale indications of imitation. Shanks argues that the le ngth of the inscription runs counter to the usual methods of forgery (2007: 145). Another indication that the inscription is authentic provides an even more convincing argument a large crack down the middle suggests that a forger would have to go to almost insurmountable lengths to simulate that level of authenticity. He writes that "any effort to engrave across the crack would break it," and in fact the plaque broke along that same crack during
78 police transport. He goes on to argue, "if the letters were en graved before the plaque developed a crack, either the letters are ancient or the forger somehow managed to crack the plaque (deliberately?) after he engraved it" (Shanks 2007: 150, insert original). Shanks argues that no one would risk destroying the enti re inscription, which undoubtedly required a great deal of time and effort on the part of the supposed forger, to achieve such a small degree of seeming legitimacy. Any attempt to create a crack of that size and depth would most likely destroy the entire p laque. Shanks described this situation as a "clash of experts;" he refuses to suggest his own opinion for either argument. While I am inclined to believe that the evidence is insufficient to definitively name the find a forgery, there is compelling evide nce for both sides. As Shanks argues, if all inscriptions from early antiquity were held to the standards described above, many long accepted artifacts might fail the test. For now the research is uncertain, although analysis of the patina the film that se ttles on a surface, and particularly within inscribed letters is pending. More important than the actual authenticity of the find, for the purposes of this thesis, is the series of political and religious implications that follow regardless of its reliabil ity or legitimacy. Assuming that the inscription is an ancient artifact, the find is unprecedented. No other archaeological discovery so convincingly corroborates the existence of Solomon's Temple. No stone from the building remains, to the extent that a rchaeology has thus far determined. No texts contemporary to the First Temple have been found. It would provide independent evidence of the
79 existence of a Jewish kingdom in the Iron Age, a claim that fortifies many Israelis' nationalist identities rooted i n an historical and spiritual narrative. It would substantiate the memories of the First Temple that Israelis and Jews place on the Temple Mount, as well as weaken the arguments of some Palestinian officials who claim that Solomon's Temple never existed. W hile it does not tie the Temple directly to Jerusalem, much less to the Temple Mount, the very nature of memory and identity as narrative processes rooted in place do not require so much material proof. The associations of memory, place, and identity throu gh narratives would likely suffice in strengthening the notion of the people land bond represented by the land and the Temple Mount. If the find is a hoax, the implications become more complicated, but just as relevant to the intersection of religion, po litics, and place. If a forgery, the Yehoash Inscription required meticulous and skillful crafting, a remarkable attention to detail, and a knowledge of archaeology, scholarly linguistic analysis, and ancient Hebrew that suggest a very learned individual. For such an individual to dedicate so much time to a single project demonstrates the importance of the inscription's implications. If nothing else it reveals the burning desire of (at least) one individual to prove the existence of Solomon's Temple, to con nect that story in the Bible with the earth and rubble of ancient and modern Israel, and to convince the public that a Jewish Temple existed in Judah, in a distant yet memorable time. More than likely the forger is not the only Israeli (assuming the nation ality of the forger is Israeli, and doubly assuming that it is forged) to desire
80 scientific proof, even if an illusion, of an ancient and material connection with the land through the Temple. In short, the reasons for including this artifact rather than the other numerous others relating to the Temple Mount should be clear. The political and religious implications of this find for Israelis and Palestinians are both complex and of great import. The inscription relies on literary sources of Solomon's Temple for its content and plays an important role in articulating Israeli identity in relation to the Temple Mount. Few other archaeological finds have such significant consequences for an understanding of politics at the Temple Mount. Like the James Ossuary, t he controversies surrounding this artifact or forgery, as the case may be reflect the tensions that exist in Israeli archaeology. To reiterate, the legitimacy, provenience, and archaeological interpretation of the inscription do not propel the argument of this thesis. Rather, they provide fruitful ground for better understanding the anxiety and antagonism so central to this place. The Temple Lives: Representation and Reconstruction of Herod's Temple Another example of archaeological interpretations of the Temple Mount concerns the virtual reconstruction of Herod's Temple on the Jerusalem Archaeological Park's website ( archpark.org.il/index.asp accessed March 3, 2010). My exploration of this website focuses on the "Visual Reconstruction Model" of Herod's Te mple, an impressive feat of cutting edge technology and the integration of history, archaeology, and internet media. The website indicates its address as "The Temple Mount Excavations, near the Dung Gate." The hours of
81 operation, or more importantly the ho urs of non operation, have a particularly Jewish character closed Friday evenings and Saturdays (the Jewish Sabbath) and Jewish holidays. These excavations have been surrounded by controversy for the same reasons that tensions in the area often flare speci fically, Muslims worry that these activities represent attempts by Israelis to take control of the Mount (Avner 2007). Tours are given in Hebrew and English (notably not in Arabic) and the site describes the park as "Israel's most important antiquity site. It encompasses the land from the Temple Mount to the north, the Mount of Olives to the east (an important Jewish burial site), and the Valley of Hinnom to the west and south. It states that "this exceptional area has captivated the world's imagination th roughout history," and follows the trajectory of 5,000 years of occupation. The virtual model depicts the reconstruction of Herod's Temple from multiple perspectives the plaza from the southeast, southwest, and center; the royal stoa (a portico or porch l ike structure surrounding the Temple; see Figures 3 and 4); Robinson's Gate and the City of David; and the southern wall and Hulda Gates. The measure of detail in these reconstructions, which are 360, panoramic views, is impressive. The columns feature a square base with two round trimmings above the base; the round embellishments have etched ornamentations on the rims. The columns rise out of this ornate base and each rounded block stacked upon the other is depicted in detail. The imposing height of these structures and the walls that comprise the enclosure are illustrated through the inclusion of scaled to size people, dwarfed by the sheer size of the court. They are
82 dressed in clothing appropriate to the era and congregating in the center of the court, d emonstrating the social nature of a visit to the Temple in Antiquity as described in historical accounts and preserved in the memories of Jewish tradition. Figures 4 and 5. The columns of the royal stoa and the view of the plaza. Source: archpark.org The inner courts of the Temple and the center building housing the Holy of Holies dominates the view once the panoramic screen shot reaches that area. Perhaps strategically, the "virtual tour" begins facing a close up of the columns and ends (if you move right to left) with this structure in the center of the court. The high walls and architectural details on the roof of the building, laid in gold, are particularly noteworthy. The individual stones of the walls and floor appear in exquisite detail, and th e alternating size of the walls' stones, from longer to
83 shorter and uniform height, are easily recognized (the Western Wall is comprised of this same style of stone). Even the etching around the edges of the stones can be distinguished. The rows and rows o f columns, circling the court and in parallel sets of two across, provide an aesthetically pleasing impression of the architecture. The blue sky and fluffy white clouds present a realistic depiction of the scenery. One feels transported to a place outside of time, presented with an image that memory cannot attain. The perspective from inside the royal stoa gives the viewer a sense of the magnitude of these columns and walls by depicting persons more closely and in relation to the architecture. It also depi cts the hallways created by the double rows of columns on each side of the portico. Again, the view of the central building of the Holy of Holies is imposing people are congregated around it and the golden roof catches the eye aside the cream colored block s of the floor and walls. A piercing blue sky and striking white clouds again stand out against the buildings. It is always a beautiful day at Herod's Temple. The view of Robinson's Arch and the outer walls of the Temple Compound impress upon the viewer the overwhelming enormity of the structure. For scale, people are again depicted in small clusters and ascending the stairs to the complex. Below is a view of the City of David, tiny and congested buildings in comparison with the open space of the Temple. The landscape in and around Jerusalem becomes apparent here hills and mountains dominate the horizon, seemingly covered in foliage despite the reduced detail of these distant peaks. The steps leading up to the gates of the Temple, and particularly those at Robinson
84 Arch, are impressively detailed and aesthetically dominating. The arches too illustrate the smallest features of their architecture, the tops of the arches slightly protruded from the adjoining walls. I find the most impressive perspective in t he reconstructed "virtual tour" to be the view from the center of the compound (see Figures 5 and 6). On the menu of viewpoints it is the final item, and I would argue that this is done for theatrical effect saving the best for last. From here the effect o f the hundreds of columns truly takes shape. The people become tiny ants when depicted near these columned halls. This is also the view closest to the central structure of the complex the smoke rising from the Court of the Priests just outside the Holy of Holies depicts not an ancient relic of architecture but a thriving place of social interaction and religious (and arguably political) importance. The walls surrounding the Holy of Holies seem almost unending in fact the top of the building is left out, per haps to emphasize their height and domination over the landscape.
85 Figures 6 and 7. View of Ancient Jerusalem and the center compound. Source: archpark.org The intention of this virtual tour can only be to impress upon the viewer the majesty and grandiosity of Herod's Temple as it stood at the turn of the Common Era. The reconstruction is beautiful, the architectural detail is remarkable, and the presentation of the complex as a living building makes a significant impact on the viewer. All of this is toward the end of recreating the power and awe that Herod's Temple inspired in its time. Based on interpretations of archaeological evidence and motivated by a desire to excite its viewers, the virtual reconstruction of Herod's Temple exemplifies the r emembrance of the Temple as a magnificent and powerful structure, the centerpiece of Jerusalem. The images allow the viewer to identify with the structure and the individuals in it, and to use the newly formed memories in relating the self to the Temple.
86 T o Dig, or not to Dig: The Politics of Excavating the Temple Mount As stated earlier, when Israel took control of the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, the state left authority over the Haram es Sharif with the Islamic Waqf organization charged w ith its care. The compound is not open for excavations. The only excavations done in over one hundred years have been in the areas adjacent to the compound, save a few construction projects executed by the Waqf itself. In spite of the dearth of excavations on the Mount itself, much evidence has been sifted from the dust around the Mount. Shanks writes, "Those who deny the existence of the Jewish Temple rely on the fact that not a stone from the Temple itself has survived, but the archaeological evidence fro m the enclosure wall, gates, staircases, and even inscriptions is overwhelming" (2007: 71). Below I discuss examples of excavations and building projects in and around the Temple Mount to highlight the political contentions of conducting archaeology there, and how memories of the distant past and the apprehensive present inform Israeli identification with that site. From 1968 to 1978 Benjamin Mazar of Hebrew University, under the supervision of Meir Ben Dov, excavated the areas to the south and southwest of the Mount. One of their most significant finds was "a broad monumental staircase of 30 steps leading up to the gates in the southern wall" (Shanks 2007: 81; see Ben Dov 1985 for details). The size and structure of the staircase is impressive. The excav ation also yielded "dozens of ritual baths ( mikva'ot ), testifying to the holiness of the adjacent area" (Shanks 2007: 82). Mikva'ot allowed Jews entering the Temple complex to purify themselves in preparation to give sacrifice or
87 participate in Temple ritu al. The excavation unearthed "a number of weights, as well as a large quantity of coins testimony to commercial activity in the area" (Shanks 2007: 84). The Temple was an important economic site, particularly for the sale of sacrificial animals. Much of t he material from this excavation illustrates the idea of the Temple as preserved in literature the monumental staircases, ritual purification, and market activity present themselves throughout textual descriptions of the Temple. The Golden Gate, or Easter n Gate plays an important role in Jewish and Christian tradition. Christians believe it was the gate through which Jesus entered the Temple Compound (Luke 19:28 48). Jewish tradition holds it to be the place where the Divine Presence appeared in the days o f the Temple, and the gate through which the Messiah will enter once the Temple is rebuilt (Ezekiel 44:1 3). The Ottomans sealed the gate in the sixteenth century and established a cemetery there in the hopes that the Jewish Messiah would not cross a grave yard. In 1969 James Fleming, a student of the American Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem, "was exploring outside the Golden Gate after a heavy rain" (Shanks 2007: 85) While Fleming kneeled to take a photograph the earth caved in, leaving him in a deep hole filled with human bones an ancient mass grave. He examined the wall of the pit and noticed "five wedge shaped stones set neatly in an arch the remains of a hitherto unknown gate to Jerusalem." He, along with the school's director, took a few p hotos before Muslim religious authorities cemented over the hole and fenced off the area (Shanks 2007: 85). Today the gate is still inaccessible and heavily guarded. This incident clearly demonstrates how religious beliefs
88 that the Golden Gate represents a threat to Islamic control over the Haram manifest in archaeological and political actions. These actions prevent access to the archaeological record and obstruct the search for evidence of the Temple. While the Islamic Waqf retains authority over the Har am es Sharif, the site is in theory subject to Israel's antiquity laws. As stated earlier, excavations are prohibited on the Mount, but the Waqf continues to carry out construction projects in the compound. The Waqf has "consistently violated" Israeli anti quity laws "with impunity," destroying and covering up archaeological remains. Shanks writes that this is "part of the larger story of the recent Islamization of the Temple Mount" (2007: 76). Two decades ago "a fringe group brought a lawsuit against the go vernment of Israel to stop the archaeological depredation on the Temple Mount" and the Supreme Court determined that "the Waqf had committed 35 violations of the antiquities laws." With the lawsuit still pending "the Waqf impudently continued its violation s," refused to appear in court, and "ignored the court's decision" (Shanks 2007: 77). The Waqf's activities continue to ignite tensions at the Temple Mount. During the Crusades, the Knights of the Temple of Solomon one of the sects that conquered Palestin e used a portion of the Mount as a stable for horses, today referred to as "Solomon's Stables." In 1999 the Waqf began work on creating a new entrance to the area, "now named the Marwani Mosque, which occupies the entire area of the stables." During the pr oject Thousands of tons of archaeologically rich dirt were excavated. Hundreds of truckloads were dumped into the adjacent Kidron Valley or the municipal dump all without archaeological supervision and under the eyes of Israeli authorities. Large areas of
89 the Temple Mount were simply paved over. When Israeli archaeology student Zachi Zweig attempted to recover archaeological remains from the Muslim dump in the Kidron Valley, he was arrested by order of the Israeli Antiquities Authority [Shanks 2007: 77 78]. This is only one example of construction projects on the Haram es Sharif that incite hostility between Israelis and Palestinians. Ha'aretz daily newspaper referred to the Waqf's activities as "the de Judaizing of the Temple Mount" (Shragai 2004: 4, cited in Shanks 2007: 79). By removing debris that Israelis believe to be materially significant to their Jewish identity, the Islamic Waqf contributed to the religious and political tensions of archaeological research at the Temple Mount. In 2004 Gabriel Bark ay, an archaeologist at Bar Ilan University, obtained a permit from the Israeli Antiquities Authority to investigate the dirt from the Waqf's building project at Solomon's Stables. Barkay and his former student Zachi Zweig, mentioned in the quote above, si fted the remains and found First and Second Temple period pottery, ancient coins, arrowheads, ivory combs, oil lamps, and fragments of figurines (Shanks 2007: 79). Without provenience the material is significantly less telling, but the excavations have pro vided a wealth of data for understanding the occupation of the Mount and what might remain there. The Israeli Antiquities Authority did not sponsor the project, again indicating the political nature of conducting excavations near the Temple Mount. Concerns about rising violence at the Haram es Sharif has prompted the Antiquities Authority to disregard the Waqf's activities at the compound and, while they
90 issued the permit, the Authority refused to supervise or fund Barkay's project (Lefkovits 2005). Also in 2004, a ramp allowing access to the Mughrabi Gate on Western Wall collapsed following heavy rainstorms. The Mughrabi Gate is the only gate to the Temple Mount through which non Muslims may enter, by order of the Waqf. The destroyed ramp was replaced wit h a wooden structure and Israeli authorities planned to build a more permanent ramp in the future. The proposal inspired the leader of Israel's Islamic Movement Ra'ad Salah to call for an Intifada against the Temple Mount excavation and construction projec t (Lis 2007, cited in Shanks 2007: 6). Israel Radio quoted Salah as saying "Israeli history is drenched in blood they want to build their Temple while our blood is on their clothing, on their doorposts, in their food and in their water" (Lis 2007). Riots and protests continued at the site, causing delays in the project. Recently, Islamic officials claimed that the ramp project "is an attempt by Israel to destabilize the foundations of the mosques on the Temple Mount and to rebuild the Jewish Temple" (Ron en 2010). Nadav Shragai, a senior researcher for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said that "The Mughrabim Bridge is a tourists' entrance to the Temple Mount and it is in Israel's possession not the Waqf's," and that "the entire matter of renovatin g the bridge has turned into a political argument that has gone on for five years." Plans to renovate the ramp have been approved but, because of pressure from the Jordanian government, the permit remains in abeyance (Ronen 2010). This example demonstrates the mutually reinforcing tensions of religion and politics in the region and at the
91 Mount. The lines between nationalism, religious persuasion, and political motivation blur and each side accuses the other of ill intent. Israelis and Palestinians alike rely on collective memories and traditional narratives to understand their identities in the context of the Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif. For Jewish Israelis, the memories of the destruction of the Temples and Exile inform a sense of belonging to the Templ e Mount, as well as memories of their oppression and disenfranchisement in modern times. Muslim Palestinians also remember the Jewish Temple or, in some instances, forget it in the context of prophecy and the potential loss of the Haram es Sharif. For Jewi sh Israelis, artifacts such as the Yehoash Inscription rekindle memories of the Temple and visual representations bring those memories to life. Israelis and Palestinians also remember more recent events on the Mount the Waqf's destruction of antiquities, I sraelis' attempts to excavate and build these memories fuse with those of antiquity to inspire the constantly changing matrix of collective and individual identity. Throughout these narratives, the "intimate connection" between religion and politics remain s pervasive. Maintaining control over the Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif concerns more than religious and political persuasion, but the intersection of the two in memory. Memory is both a personal and a collective construction; it is too complex and too in timate to fit exclusive categories such as religion and politics. In Israel, where nationalist narratives are built on the foundations of both religious and political movements, the distinctions blur to the point of insignificance. In Israeli archaeology t he division between religion and politics dissolves and excavations,
92 artifacts, and representations have immense implications for all parties involved, regardless of religious or political affiliation. Archaeology provides a material substance for memory, a physical manifestation of the ideas that animate process of identity formation. When those materials are withheld as for Israelis who cannot excavate at the Mount or threatened as for Palestinians who fear the loss of the Haram tensions flare and identit ies conflict, as the memories of one group diverge from those of another. Archaeology relies on memories for its own interpretations, while influencing the identities of communities that lay claim to those materials and the meanings attributed to them. As with literature, archaeology draws upon and contributes to shared narratives that organize and are composed of the identities of all who remember. Next I will conclude by exploring the ways in which individuals understand memories and narratives in terms o f identity, and the implications of those narratives for the Temple Mount and Israel.
93 Chapter Five Memories, Messianic Hopes, and Melody: The Holy Cow Jerusalem is always in the news. On any given day reports of conflict in a Jerusalem neighbor hood make the paper. On March 9 th 2010 Eli Yishai, leader of the religious Shas Party and Israel's Interior Minister, announced the plan for sixteen hundred new Jewish housing units in the contested area of East Jerusalem. The announcement coincided with the visit of United States Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and, according to Mr. Biden, was "precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust" needed for continued peace talks with Palestinian authorities. The Vice President traveled to Israel to re assert U.S. support of Israeli security and to restart peace talks between Israel and Palestine. Biden condemned both "the substance and the timing of the announcement," saying that it ran "counter to the constructive discussions" he had engaged in during his trip. Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesperson for the Palestinian government, called the announcement "a dangerous decision that will torpedo the negotiations" for peace in Israel/Palestine, adding that "it is now clear that the Israeli government is not in terested in negotiating, nor is it interested in peace." The Interior Ministry claims the announcement was unrelated to Biden's visit (Bronner 2010). Binyamin Netanyahu, currently the Prime Minister of Israel, continues to support the policy of Jewish se ttlement in East Jerusalem, despite U.S. President Barak Obama's disapproval. Netanyahu must reconcile the necessity for peace between Israel and Palestine with his mostly right wing coalition that, overall, refuses to concede Israeli settlement rights in East Jerusalem (Kershner 2010). Netanyahu visited Mr. Obama in Washington following the announcement and,
94 after Netanyahu failed to promise a freeze on Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, Obama walked out of their meeting saying "Let me know if there is a nything new." The President's actions stunned political pundits and reflected his dissatisfaction with the Israeli government's actions in Jerusalem (Owen 2010). This particular incident resonates with the topic at hand because the proposed Jewish settle ments in Ramat Shlomo, an ultra Orthodox neighborhood of East Jerusalem, are less than five kilometers from the Temple Mount/Haram es Sharif. As I discuss below, right wing settlement groups desire proximity to the Temple Mount toward the goal of being clo se to a rebuilt Temple. Regardless of the nature of the settlements in question, and whether or not the inhabitants' goals include prophetic rebellion, the existence of those settlements in East Jerusalem ignites tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. Palestinian leaders see these settlements as encroachments on the future capital of the Palestinian state and, by extension, a danger to Palestinian control over the Haram es Sharif. Given the political support for religious settler movements discussed be low, the motivations of the Israeli government in implementing these plans come into question. Settling in the Promised Land Writing on settlement movements of the 1940s and 1950s, Zerubavel (1994: 28) explicates how "National redemption was intimately linked to the idea of redeeming the land," and that "Zionist settlers believed that in the process of settling in and working the land they would find their own personal and collective redemption." Most of these early settler movements emphasized their
95 sec ular motivations within a staunchly Zionist framework; according to Israeli poet Avraham Shlonsky, "the Zionist Settler replaced God as the creator" (quoted in Zerubavel 1994: 29). In the examples discussed below I argue that this ideological perspective c ontinues to influence modern settler movements however, many of these more recent groups have an explicitly religious agenda. In the ideological underpinnings of contemporary movements, Israeli settlers become part of God's plan. Their actions reflect the will of God and by settling in the land they work toward what they see as the ultimate goal of establishing the State of Israel: bringing about the Messianic Age. The Old City of Jerusalem is a flash point for the conflicts and tensions discussed througho ut this thesis. Michael Dumper (2002) devotes an entire book to a discussion of the Old City, approximately one square kilometer in area, in the context of sacred space and the political implications of religious conflict in this area. Dumper's perspective is critical of the Israeli national enterprise and his research reflects his political leanings. He writes that the Ministry of Religious Affairs "has been a virtual fiefdom of the National Religious Party." He describes the NRP as "a hawkish largely Ashk enazi party of Jewish orthodoxy." In the last thirty years the Ministry of Religious affairs has come "under the influence of Gush Emunim, the militant settler movement," and "has been able to secure considerable autonomy over its [the ministry's] activiti es in the Western Wall area." These activities include tunneling along the Western Wall under Palestinian residential areas, "causing some of them to collapse" (Dumper 2002: 26).
96 The area around the Western Wall (in Hebrew: Ha Kotel ) attracts much interes t and fuels much conflict. The Israeli government has "destroyed the Magharib, or Moroccan, quarter, to clear a plaza in front of the Western Wall" and "the area is now dedicated entirely to Jewish devotions associated with the Kotel, a favored site for ba r mitzvah celebrations and Israeli military parades and ceremonies" (Dumper 2002: 42). This point illustrates the intersection of religion and politics the site has become favored for Jewish rituals and nationalist rituals alike. It is an important symbol for right wing religious groups and settler movements in Israel. In the 1980s, Israeli Jewish nationalist and religious groups began to grow. Many were inspired by and composed of members of the Gush Emunim and were "committed to large scale Jewish settle ment in the Muslim quarters in line with their Messianic vision of replacing the Dome of the Rock and the al Aqsa Mosque with a Jewish temple." They were "united in their common purpose of building up a strong Jewish presence in the Muslim quarters that will lead, they hope, to the reconstruction of Solomon's Temple" on the Haram compound (Dumper 2002: 44). A few of these groups include The Faithful of the Temple Mount, The Temple Mount Society, and The Temple Mount Foundation. In name, these groups invok e a memory of the Temple and Temple Mount in line with that of the Biblical texts and the rabbinic literature. Members of Ateret Cohanim, "an elite Gush Emunim Yeshiva [settlement], dedicated to the Talmudic study of priestly rights that took place in Solo mon's Temple" operate based on the belief that "when Solomon's Temple is rebuilt,' it will be necessary to have a temple priest,
97 or cohen (plural, cohanim ), ready to offer animal sacrifices and conduct services according to traditional law" (Dumper 2002: 45 47). Rabbi Shlomo Aviner has gone so far as to say that "we should never forget that the supreme purpose of the ingathering of the exiles, and the establishment of our state is the building of the Temple. The Temple is the very top of the pyramid" (quot ed in Dumper 2002: 47). That this, for a few individuals, has become the over arching goal of the state in the context of early Zionism's secular and security based emphasis deserves attention. Another settler group, The Young Israel Movement, organizes t ours of the Muslim Quarters that cater to Jewish sites of interest, including the Temple Mount. At the time of Dumper's publication, the tours are done "in an extremely provocative manner." The narrative displays "chauvinism" and "anti Palestinian Arab" at titudes. At the information center the group sells postcards depicting the Haram compound with a "superimposed picture of the proposed temple" (Dumper 2002: 49). The settler groups are re imagining and re remembering the Mount to include a future Jewish Te mple based on those of the past. They are re placing and re identifying the Haram based on their own narratives and their own desires. These desires are not solely religious, and not based solely on the Bible they come out of a history of conflict between Jews and Arabs/Palestinians in this region, and a sense of insecurity that according to these movements can only be corrected by controlling the land, and specifically the Temple Mount. These settlement groups, working toward the goal of destroying the Ha ram's buildings and erecting a Jewish Temple, have several demands: "Jewish
98 sovereignty over the Haram area, the establishment of a Temple Mount Authority,' and, finally, the right of Jews to pray in the Haram area." In their mission to achieve these goal s, "the groups periodically attempt to enter the Haram area carrying prayer books and Israeli flags, particularly on Jewish feast days." The symbolic importance of the prayer books coupled with the Israeli flags further demonstrates the role of religion an d politics in these movements. In a less symbolic example, the groups "have close links with and are made up of members of right wing groups and political parties such as Gush Emunim, Kach, and Tehiya and include a number of Likud Party members of the Knes set as their supporters" (Dumper 2002: 54). Religion and politics in Israel are not only symbolically intertwined but also operationally dependent upon one another each lends legitimacy to the other's cause. By carrying a prayer book, the settler group mem bers reference the memory of First and Second Temple and imply their right to be on the Haram. By carrying the flag of Israel they invoke the political legitimacy of the state and the rights of Jews to live on and worship in the land. By supporting religio us groups, Knesset members reinforce their political beliefs on a public stage by receiving support from those Knesset members the religious groups receive a certain political legitimacy. This discussion of settler movements demonstrates the complicated relationship between politics and religion in Israel. It also exemplifies the means by which Israelis rely on tradition and narrative to understand their identities, and the competition among many symbols. The traditional narrative of Judaism is replete wi th images and memories of the Temple, and that symbol remains crucial
99 to understanding Jewish Israeli identity today. Next I will demonstrate how, even outside of Jerusalem, events cross spatial and temporal boarders to recall the memory of the Temple. Th e Tenth Red Heifer In 1996, on a hot August day in the Jezreel Valley of northern Israel, a cow was born. This calf was not just any livestock she was seen as a harbinger of the Messianic era. Melody the heifer was red from the tip of her nose to the end of her tail and she threatened to spark a Holy War among Jews, Christians, and Muslims. All of this is based on a prophecy an obscure and brief passage in Numbers 19 that calls for a red heifer, "faultless, wherein is not blemish, and upon which never came a yoke." According to the Biblical account, the cow is to be slaughtered and burned until only ash remains; the ash, when mixed with water, is the only substance that can purify a man or woman to offer sacrifice at the Temple. Mishnah Torah states that on ly nine such cows have ever been born, all during the time of the ancient Temple, and that the tenth will emerge only in the age of the Messiah; at this time the Jews will build the Third Temple atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (Gorenberg 2000: 7 10). Needless to say, the birth of this calf caused quite a stir, not only in Israel but also around the world. The media buzzed over the calf and its religious and political implications for months before forgetting the incident altogether. An Israeli TV ancho r requested that the heifer appear on his show; rabbi Shmaria Shore, an affiliate of the dairy at which the cow was born, refused. He later appeared on national television and journalists from CNN, ABC, and CBS poured
100 into the small dairy in northern Israe l to report on the infamous cow that was agitating religious movements across the globe. The calf was moved from the cowshed to the school's petting zoo to remain safe from the daily visitors; a guard dog was assigned to her to protect against intruders (G orenberg 2000: 9 10). Other groups were interested in the cow. Ultra Orthodox Jewish groups and members of settler movements flocked to the dairy farm to witness the sign of the Messianic Age. Fundamentalist Christians traveled to Israel to visit Melody. Pentecostals hoped the cow would remain red until its third year, a provision of the Biblical commandment, and Melody made the front page of the Pentecostal magazine Endtime Muslims also paid close attention to the cow, but for very different reasons. Th e cow signaled the Third Temple, the apocalypse, and the destruction of the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque (Gorenberg 2000: 15 17). Devotees of the three most prominent religions in the world Christianity, Judaism, and Islam directed their attenti on to the calf and the Temple Mount. For better or for worse, halfway through her second year of life Melody sprouted a patch of white hairs at the very tip of her tail. She was not the prophesied red heifer that would bring about the Messianic Age. She was impregnated with the semen from a red bull in the hopes that one of her offspring would someday fit the requirements for a kosher red heifer (Gorenberg 2000: 19). My research has yielded no follow up to the story; I assume no such calf was born. This e xample reflects the tensions that flame not only in Jerusalem and Israel, but also around the world tensions that encourage individuals to look
101 directly to the Temple Mount, watching for a sign of The End of Days. Whether inspired by religious convictions or political turmoil, the prophesies of the Bible influence what happens in national/global politics and religious movements. Melody's popularity reflects the importance of memory, and its possibilities for shaping individuals' and groups' identities. Th e Past in the Present: How Memory Shapes Identity The memory of the Temple, in all of its forms, remains a vibrant image in the minds of Jewish Israelis. The Temple and the Mount provide a key thread in the Israeli nationalist narrative, and that narrativ e permeates Israelis' identities. But the Haram es Sharif, the Dome of the Rock, the al Aqsa Mosque, and the implications of those buildings, draw that narrative into question. Jewish Exile ended with the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. The 1967 W ar expanded the borders of the State of Israel to include all of Jerusalem. Despite these facts, Israelis may not excavate at the Mount. Moreover, even recently their own government prohibits Israelis from reconstructing the only ramp that allows them acce ss to the Mount. Jews whether Zionists, Israelis, or neither may not exercise authority over the Mount. The argument here is that memories inform peoples' understanding of who they are. The Temple Mount is a receptacle for many of the memories that Jewis h tradition and, increasingly, modern Israel utilize to construct a cohesive narrative of collective identity. The image of the Temple remained central to the Jewish tradition for nearly two thousand years in Exile. The Golden Age and Antiquity of Israel l ooked to the Temple as a central place an organizing locus filled with
102 memories that reminded people of where they had come from and where they were going. The Tanahk volumes of rabbinic midrash, and scores of examples from contemporary literature build upon memories of the Temple, and those memories and others allow future generations to perceive themselves as a people. Archaeology allows distant memories to find new life in the material remains of humanity, and in many cases legitimizes the images that have come to inform one's sense of self. Excavations temporally bridge the past and the present and legitimate land claims (Baram 2007: 301 302). In essence, memory and identity exist in the realm of ideas and thought. They are intangible. Yet, their evi dence can be felt and weighed; the familiarity of a structure, a textual passage, or a stone plaque gives credence to the significance of memory and identity in the world. Memories exude power and are embedded in place, which provides that power with a cen ter. The power of memory, and by association the power of place, is not singularly political, religious, or nationalist. Rather, place allows these concepts to merge and to reinforce one another and, by defying those categories, religion, politics, and nat ionalism become more powerful and bounded by place.
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