Centuries before trying to deny it, Muslims carved Jewish link to Jerusalem into mosque
Newly studied inscription from Mosque of Umar dated to 9th or 10th centuries highlights correlation between Dome of the Rock and biblical Jewish temples
BY ILAN BEN ZION for The Times of Israel
A recently studied inscription from a mosque near Hebron offers insight into how, until the mid-20th century, the Muslim world considered Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock to be the successor to two ancient Jewish shrines that formerly stood atop the Temple Mount.
The previously overlooked dedicatory inscription from the Mosque of Umar in Nuba, a village nearly 26 kilometers (16 miles) southwest of Jerusalem, mentions the village as an endowment for the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. But what’s striking is that the Dome of the Rock is referred to in the text as “the rock of the Bayt al-Maqdis” — literally, “The Holy Temple” — a verbatim translation of the Hebrew term for the Jerusalem temple that early Muslims employed to refer to Jerusalem as a whole, and the gold-domed shrine in particular.
Israeli geeks turn to sci-fi and fantasy to escape a sometimes harsh reality
By Andrew Tobin for JTA
As a kid, Ben Engelman dreamed of being a warrior.
Until he was old enough to join the Israeli army, he settled for role playing as a sword fighter. Now 25, Engelman has been to war in Gaza and finished his service in a special forces unit. But he hasn’t stopped play fighting.
“This is how I imagined fighting growing up. There’s glory but no blood,” he told JTA last week moments after mauling an adversary with a foam sword. “Real war isn’t fun or glamorous. It’s yuck.”