Palestine: spot from where God gathered the dust

Palestine:
An introduction

Palestine,
a narrow strip of land running along the east of Mediterranean Sea, 200 miles
long and about 80 miles broad.i
Palestine lies on the western edge of the Asian continent, and at the eastern
fringe of the Mediterranean Sea. Bordered on the North by Lebanon and Syria, on
the East by Jordan, on the West by Mediterranean and on the South by the
Egyptian territory of Sinai.ii The
present demography of the region comprises of Jewish 75%, Muslim 17.5%,
Christian 2%, Druze 1.6%, other 3.9% (2013 est.).iii

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1.2
Religious significance: An Appraisal

Palestine
a place revered by all the three religions viz. Islam, Judaism and
Christianity. But, the most contested area is Jerusalem. Sanctity and conflict
are generally viewed as two sides of a coin for the city of Jerusalem, and is
venerated by the three major monotheistic religions. The city has witnessed
from both East and West many conquests, destructions and occupations some
destroyed it and some restored it.iv

In
this sense, all three faiths share religious sentiments and historically
formulate notions of sacred spaces for these holy sites. Thus sanctification of
a place becomes meaningful for wide range of inhabitants.vTo
understand the spiritual connection of these three religions to this land it is
important to appraise their religious text through their own respective
sentiments and perspectives. So, as to get a proper picture of the prominence
of this sacred area. For knowing the Jewish attachment we should begin with
their religious text:

“In
the Jewish Bible, Jerusalem has many names: Salem (Shalem), Moriah, Jebuse
(Yevuse), Jerusalem (Yerushalayim), and Zion (Tziyon). The most common term for
the city, Yerushalayim, is mentioned 349 times in the Bible, while Tziyon is
mentioned an additional 108 times”.vi For
the Jews the main focal point of special sacredness is Mount Moriah, also known
as Temple mount. According to the Jewish Midrash, it was a place from where the
world expanded in the present form and it is the same spot from where God
gathered the dust for the creation of the first man Adam.vii
Jews believe that two Jewish temples were built at this site, as Leslie J.
Hoppe states:

         

          King
David purchased the peak of Mount Moriah (2-Samuel 24:18-25) as the site for
the future Temple and gathered the necessary building supplies. The Book of
1-Kings (ch. 6-8) describes in great detail how David’s son, King Solomon,
built and dedicated the Temple: “And it came to pass after the 408th year
after the Children of Israel left Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign
over Israel… that he began to build the house of the Lord” (1-Kings
6:1).

i (A
geographical and historical dictionary of Palestine, or the Holy land By
JohnC.Guest.P.2)

ii (Palestine
documents Zafrul islam p.33).

iii
Retrieved from http://www.indexmundi.com/israel/religions.html
accessed on 5 February, 2017

 

iv
The Struggle for Jerusalem’s Holy Places

By Wendy Pullan, Maximilian Sternberg, Lefkos Kyriacou,
Craig Larkin, Michael Dumper p.1

v
Cities of God and Nationalism: Rome, Mecca and Jerusalem as Contested World
Cities by Khaldoun Samman

vi
Sulaiman pdf reference 14.

vii
Ibid ref. 6

x

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