Thursday, August 4, 2011

"David, the King of Israel, Lives On"

King David's Tomb (circa 1900). The original caption
was "Tabernacle."
A thousand year old Jewish tradition believes that King David is buried in a tomb on Mt. Zion. And that is one of the reasons the belief is questioned by some Jews. 

The Bible (Kings I, 2:10) states that David and his descendants were buried in the City of David, generally believed to be south of the Temple Mount, not on Mt. Zion to the West. 

The Jewish tradition has taken hold over the last millenium, and the tomb is revered by many Jews as evident in the Library of Congress' 100 year old picture. 
Tomb exterior (circa 1900)
The Tomb interior (circa 1900)
King David's Tomb was particularly important from 1948 until 1967 when the Western Wall, the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb were all under Jordanian control and forbidden to Jews.  The Mt. Zion site was the closest Jews could get to the Western Wall.

Adjacent to the Hagia Sion Abbey (formerly the Dormition Abbey), the tomb is located beneath the room where, according to Christian belief, Jesus conducted his Last Supper.

3 comments:

  1. This article by Doron Bar, Reconstructing the Past: The Creation of Jewish Sacred Space in the State of Israel, 1948–1967, Israel Studies - Volume 13, Number 3, Fall 2008, pp. 1-21 deals with that post - 1948 & pre-1967 period:

    Abstract:

    The outcome of Israel's War of Independence was the main catalyst for the creation of a new map of Jewish pilgrimage sites. Places of only secondary importance before the war now turned into central cult centers. Several categories of the sacred sites are discussed herein: sites in the possession of Jews before the 1948 war that were developed during the 1950s as central cult centers; sacred sites owned by Muslims prior to the war, which were "converted" into Jewish sacred sites during the 1950s; and new Jewish pilgrimage sites created only after the establishment of the State of Israel, whose importance relied exclusively on newly created sacred traditions. The research demonstrates how various official, semi-official, and popular powers took part in the shaping of the Jewish sacred space.

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  2. I have been to the room which is identified as "King David's Tomb" many times, and it does not look at all like the picture captioned, "King David's tomb (circa 1900)." Is there anything in the picture which leads you to identify it as King David's tomb? What do you think the original caption "tabernacle" meant?

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  3. YMedad, I have rewritten your statement to be accurate:

    The outcome of Israel's War of Independence was the main catalyst for the creation of a new map of Jewish pilgrimage sites. Places of only secondary importance before the war now turned into central centers due to the realization of the importance of them. Previously, there was so much emphasis placed upon the re-establishment of the state of Israel (after having not been a nation for 2,000 years) and the re-establishment of the habitability of the land that the task of preserving the Biblical holy sites had not been a priority. Several categories of the sacred sites are discussed herein: sites in the possession of Jews before the 1948 war that were developed during the 1950s as central centers; sacred sites stolen by Muslims prior to the war, which were rightfully converted back into Jewish sacred sites during the 1950s; and new Jewish pilgrimage sites re-established after the establishment of the State of Israel. The research demonstrates how various official, semi-official, and popular powers took part in the re-establishing of the Jewish sacred space.

    ReplyDelete