Usurping Jewish Holy Places
Updated: Feb 15
The angel of the Lord stops the hand of Abraham from sacrificing his son. From a mosaic in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
The destruction of the temple is probably the greatest catastrophe in Jewish History; it lead to the end of Jewish nationhood, the scattering of the Jews throughout the world and worst of all the substitution of historical events in Jewish History, with historical events of other nations.
This last result of the destruction is little recognized, but is probably the greatest disaster to come out of the destruction of the temple.
I can name several examples of this, but here, I would like to deal with one. The substitution of the Jewish event of the binding of Isaac with a christian event of the crucifixion of Jesus.
This event from the Old Testament, is an important part of the founding of the Jews as a nation. Whether some consider it a legend or a fact of history is not important, in this context. The event of Abraham’s obedience to God is a purely Jewish event. Yet through the crucifixion, Christianity has “kidnapped” the event and made it an important founding event of Christianity.
According to Christianity, Abraham did not sacrifice his son, but God sacrificed His son.
The miracle of God’s appearance to Abraham was such an important event in Judaism, that it became a founding concept in Judaism and the temple was built to commemorate it and the nation gathered there at least three times a year in the course of more than 500 years.
Now since the destruction of the temple, there haven’t been any gatherings of the nation for nearly 2000 years, until the establishment of the State of Israel and the establishment of Jewish sovereignty over the Western Wall.
The concept of obedience to God, so important in Judaism, has virtually been drowned out by the Christian concept of Jesus being sacrificed to atone for the sin of Adam. Such a concept is foreign to Judaism, yet Christianity uses the binding of Isaac as an example that atonement of sin is achieved by the sacrifice of Jesus.
In the 7th century the Moslems also joined the spree of converting Jewish historical sites into Moslem historical sites. They have been so successful in “stealing” Jewish History, that even the United Nations has passed a resolution that the Western Wall is a Moslem national shrine and not a Jewish holy place. Many people doubt the legitimacy of the Jewish People’s right to have their own state in Israel, because of this historic deception.
As evidence of the extent of using the binding of Isaac to demonstrate a Christian idea, I offer several decorations of churches that highlight this theme. Unfortunately the Christian message of the binding of Isaac was even emphasised in synagogues of the 5th and 6th centuries, the time when Christianity began to try and influence Jews to adopt Christian ideas. It could be that these synagogues were built by Christians and only symbolized synagogues and perhaps were only occasionally used by Jews.
The binding of Isaac from the synagogue at Sepporis (Tsipori)
Mosaic floor of the 5th century synagogue of Bet Alpha
The binding of Isaac and the visit of the angels from San Vitale in Ravenna
The binding of Isaac from the sarcophagus of Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, 359 C.E., marble
(Treasury, St. Peter's Basilica)