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The temple Mount in the Lowlands

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Chapter Summary

In 1929, Jac. Zwarts pointed out the resemblance between a characteristic feature of the Portuguese synagogue and Leon's model. The flying-or at least hopping-buttresses in Leon's reconstruction of the colossal base of the Temple Mount come close to the even more massive buttresses of one side of the Portuguese synagogue. The officials of the Jewish community who commissioned the synagogue, he reasoned, would have told the Christian architects with whom they worked that all synagogues partake of the nature of the Temple. The Epistle of Peter is addressed to Diaspora Jews, proposing the Christian faith as a medium for long-distance participation in the holiness of the Temple. The subject of the painting is a Lowlands Temple in the form that was so close to the hearts and lives of the Jewish people for two thousand years; it is a synagogue that has become a substitute Jerusalem Temple.

Keywords: Christian architects; Jerusalem temple; Jewish community; Lowlands; Temple Mount



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