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During both the First and Second Temple periods, the Temple was the central focus of the Jewish world both in Israel and the diaspora. The Kohanim (priests) and Levites served in the Temple, and three times a year ― during the holidays of Passover, Sukkot and Shavuot ― all Jews were commanded to come to Jerusalem and visit the Temple.
This rebuilt temple is known as the Second Temple (Bayit Sheni).
This connection is still very much alive and well in contemporary Jewish practice: Jewish Historical Connection to Jerusalem The early history of Jerusalem is also rooted in the Bible.
In addition to the events already mentioned, the Book of Joshua (ch.
The great Jewish historian, Josephus, who lived during the end of the Second Temple period, gives detailed descriptions of both Herod's construction and the layout of the Temple compound (see "Antiquities" ch. It is possible that the Jews tried to rebuild the Temple at later periods, but they were never successful, and for over 600 years the site of the Temple Mount lay in ruins.
It is often erroneously stated that the holiest site in the world to Jews is the Western Wall. The holiest spot for Jews is Mount Moriah itself, behind the Wall.
It stood for 420 years on the same site as the First Temple, on Mount Moriah.
The Second Temple was remodeled several times, but reached its most magnificent form during the reign of King Herod the Great (37-4 BCE). The Second Temple period ended with the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE.
The most common term for the city, Yerushalayim, is mentioned 349 times in the Jewish Bible, while Tziyon is mentioned an additional 108 times.
The earliest mention of the site is Genesis , when Abraham interacts with Malchizedek, King of Shalem.