In another manifestation of Biblical precepts interacting with modern life, a private foundation representing the descendants of King David recently launched a lawsuit presenting a legal claim to ownership of the Temple Mount.
While their claim is legally sound and verifiable, it faces significant political hurdles. One of the suit’s beneficiaries, who claims descent from the Davidic Dynasty, is ready for the legal battle but cautiously pragmatic.
This story has simple beginnings. In 2004, Dr. Boruch Fishman, then a recent immigrant to Israel from America, went to tour the tomb of Samuel the prophet north of Jerusalem, which led to a chance meeting with Israel Aurbach, the owner of a nearby farm. Inspired by the Biblical roots of the setting, they began to discuss the link between the House of David and the Temple Mount. They noted that King David purchased the site, originally for a simple altar.
“So David bought the threshing-floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar unto Hashem, and offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings. II Samuel 24:24-25”
The pair concluded that since the site was originally the property of King David, and no one else has legally purchased it in the interim, the Temple Mount should have been passed along as an inheritance to his male descendants.
As a result of the discussion, Dr. Fishman hit upon the idea of creating a legal entity to represent all the descendants of King David. Anyone who could prove male lineage from the house of David would have a legal claim to inherit the Temple as property. Dr. Fishman established a foundation to advance the claim of Temple Mount ownership by King David’s descendants, naming it Canfei Nesharim L’maan Hakahal (Wings of Eagles for the Assembly).
At present, the legal entity created by Dr. Fishman represents two claimants who have genealogical records documenting their lineage back to King David through male descendants.