Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Stunning Colors and Patterns of Herod’s Temple’s Floors

The Sages tell us that

  • Ten measures of beauty descended to the world, Jerusalem took nine – Talmud, Kiddushin 49b
  • Whoever has not see Herod’s Temple has not seen a beautiful building in his lifetime – Talmud, Bava Batra 4a
  • There is no beauty like that of Jerusalem – Sayings of Rabbi Natan 28
  • Is this [Jerusalem] the city that men called The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth? – Lamentations 2:15

When I read this, it doesn’t stir any imagination.

One was not allowed to leave the Temple through the same gate as one had entered, because familiarity dulls the mind to beauty. However, that still didn’t give me a clue what its beauty was like.

When the great Jewish leader and historian Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c. 100), born Joseph ben Matityahu, writes that the entire courts that were exposed to the air were laid with stones of all sorts, it means little to me.

When I heard that the floors in the Temple in Jerusalem were made of colored stones, I thought of floors like this:floornone1

Or this:floornone2

Or some of these:flooenone3

Or maybe this:floornone4

Or perhaps this:floornone5

However, the Temple floors didn’t look like this at all.

A mathematician made alliyah, decided to join the project to help shift rubble removed from the Temple Mount, and wondered if she would be able mathematically to reconstruct tiles from these colored stone fragments, and the rest is history.

These were the pieces she found:floorpieces2

And: floorpieces

And this is what she reconstructed:

floor12 floor7 floor6 floor9 floor10 floor4 floor8

floor1 floor2

floor5 floor11

Here and here and here you may read the reports about this reconstruction.

I wasn’t expecting anything as shockingly beautiful as this. I don’t know if these pictures speak to you. But when I see them, I do get a sense that the Second Temple indeed was the most beautiful building that ever was constructed. And this was only the floor!

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science, Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. * He likes doing age-appropriate and age-inappropriate things and looks forward to getting to know his timeless mature out-of-the-box soul mate. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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