Elevator for the disabled near the Temple Mount

According to this report, the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter plans to build an elevator inside an underground tunnel leading from the Jewish Quarter to the Western Wall Plaza.

The report tries to draw a historical parallel with the Temple Mount that stood in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago:

Two thousand years ago, stone bridges connected the Jewish Quarter directly to the Temple Mount, saving the high priests the long trek down and back up.

There was actually only one bridge, namely the Bridge of the Priests that was constructed over Wilson’s Arch between the Temple Mount and the Upper City – now the Jewish Quarter. The other arch, Robinson’s Arch, carried a stairway down to the street along the Western wall:

Despite the fact that the exit of the tunnel will be located about 1,000 feet to the west of the Temple Mount, according to this report the Arabs are, predictably, against it.

The purpose of the underground elevator “would greatly improve access for visitors in wheelchairs or those with other disabilities, who now have to contend with several flights of stairs”, but the Arabs claim “that the area in front of the wall could be used as a base from which to attack the mosque compound.” Even helping disabled people in Jerusalem is looked upon as suspicious by the Arabs.

HT: Joe lauer

3 thoughts on “Elevator for the disabled near the Temple Mount”

  1. Leen,

    Speaking of helping disabled people … in Acts 3, there is the familiar narrative of the crippled beggar healed through Peter and John at the Gate called “Beautiful” … with access up into the Temple Mount and Solomon’s colonnade. Do we/you know for certain which gate should be identified as the Beautiful Gate? I have read that the Mishna and Josephus [who mention much detail about Jerusalem] make no mention of a gate with this name in the mid-1st century. I know the gates, over time, had multiple/nicknames …. so, can you help?

  2. Daniel,

    Disabled people were not allowed beyond the Hel and therefore the gate in Acts 3 must have been outside the inner Temple complex. It has been suggested that the Double Gate in the Southern wall of the Temple Mount, with its magnificently decorated domes, may have been that gate.

    BTW, thanks for the comment on the broken links – will try to fix them.

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