The Jews do not plan to replace Al-Aksa Mosque with a Jewish Temple.I don't know about any legends in about the Vilna Gaon and the Churva shul - that's a new one to me. But I certainly do know something about wanting to build the Temple. We ask God for the ability to do just that three times a day at the conclusion of the Shemoneh Esreh: שיבנה בית המקדש במהרה בימנו...Let it be the will before You, O' God...That the Temple shall be rebuilt speedily in our days."
Palestinian clerics have claimed that the rebuilding of the Hurva would pave the way for plans by right-wing Jews to lay a cornerstone for the construction of the third temple on the Temple Mount – a rumor, based on an 18th-century rabbinic tradition purportedly declared by the Vilna Gaon, which has been brushed off by right-wing activists themselves as having been given a “certain poetic license.”
"Do not attribute to us aspirations that we do not have. We don't want to climb up and build a temple on the Temple Mount. We just want to rejoice in the celebration of this building, stop the incitement," Army Radio quoted Rabbi Metzger as saying at the ceremony.
How many times in how many different ways do we yearn for, pray for, hope for - the rebuilding of the Temple?
And where, pray tell, would we like to build it, other than on the Temple Mount?
And what do we imagine will happen to the mosque built on that Mount when we go to build our Temple?
"We don't want to climb up and build a Temple"? Who's we? I sure do.
And then there's Khatem Abd el-Kader, holder of the Fatah's Jerusalem portfolio. (Remember that Fatah is the party that we're negotiating with - you know, the guys that don't say outright that they want to kill us all. Yay.) He,
called the renovation of the Hurva a “provocation” and warned Israel that it was “playing with fire.”Let me get this straight: When Arabs destroy a synagogue in a war trying to kill the Jews and evict them from our City and our Land; and then we not only win that war, but win subsequent wars that reconquer the city; and then have the unmitigated gall to rebuild the very synagogue that the Arabs so kindly blew up - that's a "provocation"? It's almost too ridiculous to believe.
I'm trying to figure out what el-Kader would not consider a "provocation". Oh yes, I think I know: If the Jews would voluntarily put down their guns, leave Jerusalem, and for that matter the holy land, settle in South Florida, and leave Israel to the Arabs. That would probably be OK with Fatah. Only they'd complain that we didn't leave quickly enough, and call that a "provocation."
To my mind, here's what Rabbi Metzger really should have said:
"Of course we yearn and pray for the day when the Jews will merit the rebuilding of the Temple. It's important to remember that the Temple Mount represents the holiest site in the world to the Jewish people. We mourn the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash each and every day, and yearn for its rebuilding desperately. And, while we might rejoice in the construction of yet another Jewish house of worship in the Old City of Jerusalem, our joy will forever remain incomplete while the true House of God lies in ruins."