Jewish Fundamentalism and the Temple Mount

Who Will Build the Third Temple?

By Motti Inbari

Subjects: Israel Studies, Sociology Of Religion, Religion And Politics, Middle East Studies, Jewish Studies
Series: SUNY series in Israeli Studies
Paperback : 9781438426242, 219 pages, April 2009
Hardcover : 9781438426235, 219 pages, May 2009

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Table of contents

1. Religious Zionism and the Temple Mount Dilemma: Key Trends
2. Messianic Naturalism as the Product of Dissonance: The Activities of the Temple Institute
3. The Movement for Redemption and Yehuda Etzion: Theocratic Post-Zionism
4. Gershon Salomon and the Temple Mount Faithful: Apocalyptic Messianism
5. Haredi Messianic Activism: The Movement for the Establishment of the Temple
6. Yitzhak Ginzburg and “Od Yosef Chai” Yeshiva: Theocratic Messianic Revolutionism
Concluding Remarks

Examines radical and messianic movements in Israel seeking to rebuild the Third Temple in Jerusalem.


The Temple Mount, located in Jerusalem, is the most sacred site in Judaism and the third-most sacred site in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. The sacred nature of the site for both religions has made it one of the focal points of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Jewish Fundamentalism and the Temple Mount is an original and provocative study of the theological roots and historical circumstances that have given rise to the movement of the Temple Builders. Motti Inbari points to the Six Day War in 1967 as the watershed event: the Israeli victory in the war resurrected and intensified Temple-oriented messianic beliefs. Initially confined to relatively limited circles, more recent "land for peace" negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors have created theological shock waves, enabling some of the ideas of Temple Mount activists to gain wider public acceptance. Inbari also examines cooperation between Third Temple groups in Israel and fundamentalist Christian circles in the United States, and explains how such cooperation is possible and in what ways it is manifested.

Motti Inbari is Postdoctoral Fellow at the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University.


"The strongest aspect of Jewish Fundamentalism and the Temple Mount is Inbari's examination of publications put out by representatives and leaders of the various extremist groups and his close attention to what group members say among themselves." — Studies in Contemporary Jewry

"Motti Inbari's book is a detailed, nuanced, and profound exploration of the main groups and individuals that constitute the fundamentalist right in Israel, and that have the resurrection of the temple as the basis of their ideology … His evenhanded account enables the reader to comprehend the logic of marginal groups." — Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies

"This book contributes valuable, well-documented information about aspects of Jewish fundamentalism in the state of Israel … Inbari's book should be read by anyone interested in Jewish fundamentalism." — Journal of Church and State

"…contributes immeasurably both to an understanding of contemporary Jewish messianism and to the sociology and psychology of religion in general." — CHOICE

"…[Inbari] provides the reader with an insight to a topic, which was by and large neglected by scholarship so far." — H-Net Reviews

"The strengths of Inbari's analysis derive from the large scope of his investigation and the broad perspective he takes. He examines Jewish Temple Builders, but at the same time does not neglect to look at their Christian evangelical supporters. The book adds enormously to our knowledge of Jewish religious thought and it should be required reading for anyone interested in the subject." — Yaakov Ariel, University of North Carolina