The Dome of the Rock - November 1, 2011
We had to say a word, following up on yesterday's posting, about our visit today to the third great holy place in the Old City, the Temple Mount, site of the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock where legend says Mohammed visited and ascended to heaven to see God. Visiting there involves the longest security line and the most tortured access route through a wooden ramp platform built by the Israelis in consideration of their archaeological projects near the Western Wall.
Once inside, however, you are in an expansive peaceful place, so different from the marketplaces of Old Jerusalem. The Temple Mount is quieter then the Western Wall, although you see similar things happening there. Outdoor classes are being held and people are studying their Koran. Pilgrims are in admiration and awe and paying their respects. Since Prime Minister Sharon insulted and provoked the Muslim community with an unannounced and arrogant visit in 2000, non-Muslims have not been allowed to visit inside the mosque or the dome, so we were not witness to the prayers or religious activities inside, but outside the atmosphere of serenity and spiritual depth was a welcome respite from the chaotic surroundings at the other religious sites we visited. For me, it was another holy place where it was easy to find my heart and be at peace.
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