By August 27, 2017 Read More →

300 Rabbis

11th Century Temple Mount“Three hundred rabbis and scholars from France and England came to settle (e.g in Jerusalem) and they greatly enriched the cultural life of the community.”

Reports that Saladin’s armies had occupied Jerusalem no doubt had a great effect on the preparations for the departure of the Rabbis. The story went that Saladin permitted Jewish settlement in Palestine, after it had been prohibited throughout the Crusader rule.

Rabbi Samuel Ben Samson in his Itinerary:

‘We arrived at Jerusalem by the Western end of the city rending our garments on beholding it, as it has been ordained we should do’ (a sign of mourning for the destruction of the Temple).

“It was a moment of tenderest emotion, and we wept bitterly… We entered by the [western] gate…”

Access to the Temple Mount itself was now apparently permitted, for Rabbi Samuel writes that:

‘on the Sabbath day we recited the Afternoon Prayer on the spot where the uncircumcised [Gentiles] had time and again set up a sanctuary… The Ishmaelites [Arabs] venerate this spot. Only the foundations [of the Temple] remain now in existence, but the place where the Ark stood is still to be seen.’

Source: Kollek, Teddy; Pearlman, Moshe. Pilgrims to the Holy Land: The story of Pilgrimage Through the Ages. P 126.

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