Monday, November 1, 2004

Even Dead He'll Cause Trouble

In addition to the construction on the Temple Mount, which has likely destroyed much valuable archaeological material, apparently there is a chance that the holiest site in Judaism may be further desecrated if Arafat has his way. Jim Davila over at PaleoJudaica reports that reports of Arafat's failing health and possible death have revived debate over his contraversial wish to be buried on the Temple Mount.

This is doubly troublesome from a theological standpoint as the presence of a dead body would render any Jews visiting the site ritually impure for seven days (Numbers 19.14). Kohanim (Jewish Priests) are forbidden to come in contact with dead bodies, except in the case of their nearest kin. A Kohen is forbidden to enter any house or enclosure, or approach any spot, where a dead body, or part of a dead body, may be found. (Leviticus 10.6, 21.1-5; Ezekiel 44.20, 25). So, the body would definitely have to be removed prior to the rebuilding of the Temple. Of course this is above and beyond the problem of having such a bitter enemy of the State of Israel and the Jewish people buried on what is considered the holiest site in Israel. I would say it rates up there with Antiochus IV slaughtering swine on the Temple alter, in my not so humble opinion.

Jim quotes the Jerusalem Post's article

"It will never happen," diplomatic officials said Thursday regarding the possibility that ailing Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat will ask to be buried on the Temple Mount.

"We are not dealing with this issue right now but one thing is for sure; Arafat will not be buried on the Temple Mount," the officials said.

Wakf officials, who oversee the holy Muslim sites on the Temple Mount, rejected Israel's right to decide on the matter.

"Nobody will tell us where to bury him and the final decision lies in the hands of the Palestinian people," Wakf director Adnan Husseini told The Jerusalem Post Thursday. ...
As Jim says, this has a real potential for becoming a major crisis in the event of Arafat's death. I have to wonder if that isn't the real reason Arafat made this request. This is his way of striking out at Israel even from his grave.


The background image on this page is a Hebrew translation of the verse from Bob Dylan's song  It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), from which the title of this blog is taken. Translation courtesy of Yoram Aharon of Hod-HaSharon's page--found via YudelLine-- which has many Dylan lyrics in Hebrew.