Photo Credit: Courtesy YMedad
Jews arrested for violating the rule against Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. (Archive: 2012)

On Friday morning, Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, Dean of the Petach Tikva Hesder Yeshiva, said on the Kol Israel morning program “Meeting Point” that any argument against Jewish prayer on Temple Mount is unacceptable and he does not understand how no human rights organization has acted to rectify the situation.

“Anyone who doesn’t fight for freedom of worship on Temple Mount – is not a true advocate of human rights,” Cherlow said.

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Rabbi Cherlow was among the founders of the Tzohar Foundation, a central Modern Orthodox foundation working to build bridges between the religious and secular in Israel, among other things by offering secular Israelis easier access to religious services than the chief rabbinate provides.

According to Cherlow, we should find a middle ground between the vision of connecting Heaven and Earth and the danger of an erupting World War III, but it “simply cannot be that in the name of security concerns Jewish prayer may be prohibited on Temple Mount.”

Cherlow cautioned that, on the other hand, we must not take irresponsible actions that may ignite a blazing fire, “which will not produce an increase in faith.”

Cherlow said that it is possible that the great concession of Temple Mount began with the late IDF General Motta Gur and his paratroopers, who rushed to the Western Wall through the Temple Mount, “that is, they turned the Temple Mount into a secondary destination, using it as merely a path to the Wall.”

Rabbi Cherlow noted that, some 10 years ago, the producers of a reenactment of that 1967 operation changed the words of Motta Gur from the historically correct “Temple Mount is in our hands,” to the politically correct “Jerusalem is in our hands.”

Former UN ambassador Dore Gold said on the same program that it is unthinkable to leave control over Temple Mount in the hands of the Waqf agency or the Islamic movement, and that Israel’s goal for the coming years should be to open up Temple Mount to members of all religions.

Gould noted that since the 1967 victory, every single Israeli government has faced the situation that followed a move by then Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, who handed the Waqf the keys to the mountain. He said that situation must be changed now, albeit gradually.

In that context, Gold said in this context that the “price tag” activities weaken Israel’s position in Jerusalem and harm the interests of the State of Israel.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. One Human Rights Organization has indeed spoken up: The government of the United States of America under President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton! Israel was criticized for this policy in the US State Department's most recent Religious Freedom Report. Here is what it said:

    "A government policy since 1967, repeatedly upheld by the Supreme Court and routinely enforced by the police citing security concerns, denies all non-Muslims opportunities to worship at the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif. While the government ensured limited access to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif to everyone regardless of religious beliefs, only Muslims are allowed to pray at the site, although their access has been occasionally restricted due to security concerns. Police regulated traffic in and out of the compound and removed non-Muslim visitors if they appeared to be praying. Since 2000 the Jordanian Waqf that manages the site has restricted non-Muslims from entering the Dome of the Rock shrine and Al-Aqsa Mosque. Non-Muslim religious symbols are not allowed to be worn on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif."

    And here is a link to the entire report. It is worthy of a read, and it is also worthwhile to read the reports for other countries as well. They pull no punches.

    http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/religiousfreedom/index.htm?dlid=192887#wrapper

  2. The Temple Mount is not a mosque; it just has mosques. And Jews can pray in a mosque — here in the Bronx where I live, there is a mosque that hosts an Orthodox Jewish prayer service every Shabat morning. There is no reason why non-Muslims should not be permitted to pray on the Temple Mount (although Jews must be extremely careful to take all the precautions regarding taharah and the prohibited areas).

  3. Kudos on publishing the DOS report. Most of the world ignored it. Its criticisms of most of Israel's neighbors were far stronger, and most of the world ignored them, too.

    I'm not big on second guessing Israeli security decisions from my safe home in New York. But I don't get this one!

  4. Dr.Hall: You are incorrect. The paragraph you cite is purely descriptive, and there is not a hint of criticism. It is part of the descriptive section on Legal /Policy Framework. Why don't you read the previous paragraph on the government's protection of religious sites. Is it also critical? Only in the next section on Government Practices are there criticisms of restrictions on human rights.

    I must say that your constant attempt to defend and praise every policy of Prseident Obama reflects a deep and troubling, almost reflexive, ideological bias unbefitting a distinguished scientist such as yourself.

  5. It's all about the fear of secular Zionists of a Jewish theocracy. Moshe Dayan wrote in his memoirs that his reason for giving Temple Mount back to the Arabs were to prevent a Jewish Vatican in the middle of Jerusalem. They simply don't want a Jewish renewal. They're perfectly happy with a European modeled social democracy which they own and run.

  6. It's all about the fear of secular Zionists of a Jewish theocracy. Moshe Dayan wrote in his memoirs that his reason for giving Temple Mount back to the Arabs were to prevent a Jewish Vatican in the middle of Jerusalem. They simply don't want a Jewish renewal. They're perfectly happy with a European modeled social democracy which they own and run.

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