Etiket arşivi: Solomon

Common Denominators Among Religions 2

The Temple Mount is one of the world’s most sacred spots. It has been identified as the biblical Mount Moriah.  Arabs name it Haram es Sharif, the Noble Courtyard. It was here that Solomon created the First Temple. After its destruction, it was replaced by the Second Temple.  The Wailing Wall is a remnant of the 2nd century CE wall that once supported the Temple Mount. At the center of the Temple Mount stands the Dome of the Rock (Qubbat al-Sakhra).  The shrine is built over the sacred Rock (Sakhra) on which Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac/Ishmael and from which Mohammed is said to have ascended to Heaven.

The Temple Mount is one of the world’s most sacred spots. It has been identified as the biblical Mount Moriah. Arabs name it Haram es Sharif, the Noble Courtyard.
It was here that Solomon created the First Temple. After its destruction, it was replaced by the Second Temple. The Wailing Wall is a remnant of the 2nd century CE wall that once supported the Temple Mount.
At the center of the Temple Mount stands the Dome of the Rock (Qubbat al-Sakhra). The shrine is built over the sacred Rock (Sakhra) on which Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac/Ishmael and from which Mohammed is said to have ascended to Heaven.

Iran – Esfahan, Jameh Mosque.   The stone mihrab, which indicates the direction of Mecca, is decorated with tiling and calligraphy and also carries the traces of Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrian symbolism played an important part in Iranian art and some aspects of Zoroastrianism still appeal to Iranian Muslims.   It is interesting to note that Persian churches often incorporate Islamic features.

Iran – Esfahan, Jameh Mosque.
The stone mihrab, which indicates the direction of Mecca, is decorated with tiling and calligraphy and also carries the traces of Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrian symbolism played an important part in Iranian art and some aspects of Zoroastrianism still appeal to Iranian Muslims.
It is interesting to note that Persian churches often incorporate Islamic features.

Turkey – Istanbul, Saint Antoine Church.   The Franciscan church burned down in 1660, upon which the Franciscans were given another site. Two centuries later they built themselves this neo-gothic building that throws its doors open to all on Christmas Eve for a mass that has become a traditional event in the life of Istanbul. An ordinary day, two conservative Muslim women visiting the Church.

Turkey – Istanbul, Saint Antoine Church.
The Franciscan church burned down in 1660, upon which the Franciscans were given another site. Two centuries later they built themselves this neo-gothic building that throws its doors open to all on Christmas Eve for a mass that has become a traditional event in the life of Istanbul.
An ordinary day, two conservative Muslim women visiting the Church.

Turkey – Mersin, Mersin City Cemetery. Mersin City Cemetery, a place which for 63 years has given the lie to the issue of conflicting religions. In this cemetery Muslims, Orthodox, Syrian Christians, Catholics and Jews are buried side by side. It is very rarely that we find those who are followers of any of these three religions being interred side-by-side.  It is said that in Helsinki, Finland, there is a similar cemetery, but there the remains of members of different religions do not lie side by side but are buried in separate areas of the graveyard. This rare occurrence in Mersin is a great asset for the city, whose citizens accept the communal graveyard as entirely natural. This cemetery brings together not only the members of the three major religions but also the sects of Christianity. It sends out a common message from all three religions. It is a symbol of peace. When these people have lived together, used the same coffee houses, dined in the same restaurants and shared the same pastures, burying them in separate cemeteries would have been unfair.

Turkey – Mersin, Mersin City Cemetery.
Mersin City Cemetery, a place which for 63 years has given the lie to the issue of conflicting religions. In this cemetery Muslims, Orthodox, Syrian Christians, Catholics and Jews are buried side by side. It is very rarely that we find those who are followers of any of these three religions being interred side-by-side.
It is said that in Helsinki, Finland, there is a similar cemetery, but there the remains of members of different religions do not lie side by side but are buried in separate areas of the graveyard. This rare occurrence in Mersin is a great asset for the city, whose citizens accept the communal graveyard as entirely natural. This cemetery brings together not only the members of the three major religions but also the sects of Christianity. It sends out a common message from all three religions. It is a symbol of peace. When these people have lived together, used the same coffee houses, dined in the same restaurants and shared the same pastures, burying them in separate cemeteries would have been unfair.

İnanç Dosyası 36 | Judaism 4

Saul anointing David. Syria – Damascus, National Museum, Dura Europos Synagogue

Saul anointing David.
Syria – Damascus, National Museum, Dura Europos Synagogue

So despite opposition from the priests, the reign of kings began. The first king was Saul of the tribe of Joseph, who had defeated the Ammonites, and after his death in a battle against the Philistines, his commander-in-chief, David, of the tribe of Judah, became king in his place. As a boy, David had won renown for slaying Goliath, the Philistine giant, with a stone from his sling. From around 1001-968 BCE, David was the anointed king of all Israel. He took the city of Jerusalem and made it his capital, and brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and in accordance with Mosaic tradition, set it in the middle of the Tabernacle he had built for it. During David’s reign, the State of the Children of Israel gained in importance. After David’s death, Solomon, son of David and Bathsheba, who was the widowed wife of the Hittite lieutenant Uriah, became king. King Solomon was famous for his wisdom and ruled from about 968-928 BCE, and his reign brought peace and prosperity through commercial and political transactions. King David’s conquests had gained possession of gold and silver mines which now enabled Solomon to increase his wealth. He built a glorious palace for himself and a grand Temple in Jerusalem for Yahveh. No longer was Yahveh housed in a tent, (10th century BCE). The account in the Old Testament tells how the Queen of Sheba came on a visit to Jerusalem and how, seeing the costly palace of Solomon in all its glory, even this wealthy Queen was impressed. Solomon was also renowned for his huge harem of wives and concubines. David is said to have written the Psalms, King Solomon to have composed another three Books of the Old Testament: the Song of Solomon, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

The oldest church in Africa south of the Sahara, is the original St. Mary of Zion, which dates back probably to the fourth century. Burned down 1200 years later, but its imposing ruins still remain. This ancient place of worship, because of its great age and its association with the Ark of the Covenant, was long considered the most important church in the whole of Christian Ethiopia. New St. Mary is still a place for active worship. Through the centuries, Ethiopian Christians have claimed that the Ark rests in a chapel in Axum. It arrived nearly 3,000 years ago, they say, and has been guarded by a succession of virgin monks who, once anointed, are forbidden to set foot outside the chapel grounds until they die. The ground floor of the chapel adjacent to St. Mary’s church, which is said to contain the original Ark of the Covenant. Early Ethiopian ties with the Judaic world find expression in the legendary story of the Queen of Bathsheba’s visit to King Solomon and the birth of their son Menilek, founder of an Ethiopian dynasty, as well as in the Ethiopian tradition, followed throughout the Middle Ages, of celebrating Saturday as the Sabbath. The country’s historic ties with Judaism can also be seen in several present-day Ethiopian customs, including circumcision, the following of food prescriptions akin to those of the Jews, and in the presence of the Falashas, an Ethiopian sect following the Judaic religion. Ethiopia – Axum

The oldest church in Africa south of the Sahara, is the original St. Mary of Zion, which dates back probably to the fourth century. Burned down 1200 years later, but its imposing ruins still remain. This ancient place of worship, because of its great age and its association with the Ark of the Covenant, was long considered the most important church in the whole of Christian Ethiopia. New St. Mary is still a place for active worship. Through the centuries, Ethiopian Christians have claimed that the Ark rests in a chapel in Axum. It arrived nearly 3,000 years ago, they say, and has been guarded by a succession of virgin monks who, once anointed, are forbidden to set foot outside the chapel grounds until they die.
The ground floor of the chapel adjacent to St. Mary’s church, which is said to contain the original Ark of the Covenant.
Early Ethiopian ties with the Judaic world find expression in the legendary story of the Queen of Bathsheba’s visit to King Solomon and the birth of their son Menilek, founder of an Ethiopian dynasty, as well as in the Ethiopian tradition, followed throughout the Middle Ages, of celebrating Saturday as the Sabbath. The country’s historic ties with Judaism can also be seen in several present-day Ethiopian customs, including circumcision, the following of food prescriptions akin to those of the Jews, and in the presence of the Falashas, an Ethiopian sect following the Judaic religion.
Ethiopia – Axum

The Solomon’s Temple stood on what is now the site of the Omar Mosque it was built as a rectangle, the entrance facing east, and in the porch, were two huge pillars of bronze, cast by Hiram, the Phoenician from Tyre. The walls were lined with cedar wood, embossed with carvings in relief, and tons of gold were used to ornament the Temple. The inner courtyard was reserved for soothsayers and the outer for the populace. It was said to have taken seven years to complete and was the first building for worship devoted to those who believed in the One Supreme God, after the ones which devoted to Aton by the Egyptians. In time, the Temple in Jerusalem, and indeed the whole city became a religious centre. However, this Temple had a relatively short history. In 586 BCE it was demolished by the Babylonians, replaced in 515 BCE with a smaller version and King Herod the Great rebuilt it on a more lavish scale in the 1st century BCE. Finally the Romans destroyed this in the year 70 CE, and tradition has it that it will be rebuilt once more when the Messiah returns.

Wall paintings from Dura Europos Synagogue’s reconstructed assembly room, installed at the National Museum in Damascus. Oldest of the murals was painted in the 240s CE.

Wall paintings from Dura Europos Synagogue’s reconstructed assembly room, installed at the National Museum in Damascus. Oldest of the murals was painted in the 240s CE.

The contentions among the tribes of Israel were exacerbated on the death of Solomon: the southern Kingdom of Judah was comprised of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, the northern Kingdom of Israel consisted of the other ten of the Twelve Tribes. The Kingdom of Israel lasted from the end of the 10th to the beginning of the 8th century BCE. By 721 BCE, Israel had been conquered and some were carried away into captivity by the Assyrians. The Kingdom of Judah was at first under the protection of Assyria, but later fought to end this domination with the help of the Egyptians. They were defeated by the Assyrians but the Assyrian army was the victim of a plague. At this time the worship of many foreign gods was spreading, and after Egyptian dominance, the Babylonians took control. As a result of the 587 BCE insurrections, the Babylonians captured Jerusalem, set fire to the city and its Temple, and removed most of the inhabitants to Babylon. While in exile there, from 587- 538 BCE, the Jews began to trade, since at that time it was a huge commercial centre. This rendered it easier for the Jews to observe their own religious practices. It had been very difficult for a farmer not to water his fields nor feed his flocks on the Sabbath, but after Jews became more involved in commerce keeping the Sabbath strictly became easier. Moreover, since there was no longer a Temple and therefore sacrifices could not be performed, other aspects of their religious law, especially the keeping of the Sabbath gained in importance. The concept of a congregation arose to replace the Holy Temple, and the shared faith which was the only thing they could take with them into exile, made them into a nation.

Turkey – Istanbul. In the Neve Shalom Synagogue, Jews with their kippahs (skull-cap) and talliths (prayer-shawls). At a certain point during the prayers they cover their faces with their shawls.

Turkey – Istanbul. In the Neve Shalom Synagogue, Jews with their kippahs (skull-cap) and talliths (prayer-shawls). At a certain point during the prayers they cover their faces with their shawls.