About 30 religious Zionist rabbis visited the Temple Mount Tuesday to mark the 47th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem during the Six Day War.
The group included Rabbis Gidon Pearl, Yitzhak Levi and Yosef Tzvi Rimon (Alon Shvut), Yaakov Medan (Yeshivat Har Etzion), Avraham Gisser (Ofra), (Alon Shvut), Yisrael Rosen (Machon Tzomet), David Dudkevitch (Yitzhar) and others.
Participants in the group reported that the event took place amongst a festive atmosphere to usher in Jerusalem Day. The rabbis thanked God for beginning the ingathering of the exiles and for liberating Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in 1967. They also said the event was intended to encourage Jews to visit the Temple Mount, a phenomenon that has grown in recent years.
“Forty-seven years ago we merited God’s mercy when we returned to Jerusalem and the site of our holy Temple. But there is still much to do,” the rabbis said in a statement.
“This event is an expression of the eternal and constantly renewing connection of the Jewish people to the Temple Mount, the home of the holy Temple, and of the growing public demand to impose Jewish sovereignty here.
The rabbis discussed halachic issues related to visiting the Temple Mount and stressed that Jews entering the Temple Mount compound must take care not to violate the holiness of this place. One must not enter the part of the Mount that housed the Temple itself, because we are all ritually impure (t’me’i met). “(It is forbidden to) enter the plaza at the center of the Mount, and especially the Dome of the Rock , which according to tradition stands on the place of the Holy of Holies.
“The Torah forbids all people from entering that place, under a penalty of spiritual excision from the Jewish People (“karet”),” the rabbis said.
The rabbis also addressed the police ban on Rabbi Yehuda Glick, preventing Glick from entering the Temple Mount compound. “We must remember on the 28th of Iyyar we celebrate first-and-foremost the liberation of the Temple Mount,” Glick said. “The Temple Mount is the heart of the Jewish People; therefore, it is only natural that our leaders went up to the site today, on the eve of Jerusalem Day.
“We call on all other leaders to join their call and to lead this relationship between the Jewish People and its heart – the Temple Mount.”
Although Arab and left-wing leaders often claim that opening the Temple Mount to Jews would create “a storm of protest from the international Muslim community,” no signs of protest were evident during or after the visit. No English- or Hebrew language website noted rioting by Muslims in Indonesia over the visit, or even protests by Palestinians in Jerusalem or Ramallah.
It is also worth noting that according to Prof. Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, the Koran itself predicts the return of Jews to the holy site. Palazzi has also said that nothing in Islamic doctrine or law suggests that Jews, or any non-Muslims, should be prevented from praying on the Mount.