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May 6, 2015 / 17 Iyar, 5775
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Senior Haredi Sefardi Rabbi Approves Going Up to Temple Mount

Rabbi Meir Mazuz (seen visiting a synagogue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn) declared in a public Internet psak that it is legal for a Jew to go up to temple Mount.

Rabbi Meir Mazuz (seen visiting a synagogue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn) declared in a public Internet psak that it is legal for a Jew to go up to temple Mount.
Photo Credit: shturem.net

It seems that cracks are appearing in the Haredi consensus, which used to be firmly against setting foot on Temple Mount, for fear of violating the holiest Jewish site. According to Maariv, Rabbi Meir Mazuz, head of yeshiva Kisseh Rachamim (Seat of Mercy) in B’nei B’rak, has responded to a public question on his institutions’ official website with the psak (decision): “min hadin mutar” – meaning that it is legally permitted. However, he said that one must restrict one’s movements on Temple Mount to the areas which are not problematic.

The entrance to the Temple before the destruction was restricted to Jews who had cleansed themselves of the impurity of the dead, a 7-day process requiring two sprayings with water containing the ashes of a red heifer. Since we are no longer in possession of these means, we are unable to cleanse our impurity and so, should we set foot on an area where the holy sacrifices were being made, or, even worse, the holiest sanctuary, we would be defiling them.

But there are today many religious-Jewish experts who offer clear instructions as to where the “safe” area for walking is, mostly the perimeter of the compound.

Rabbi Mazuz’s decision comes a scant few months after the passing of Rav Ovadia Yosef, who staunchly objected to Jewish ascent to Temple Mount. Rabbi Mazuz’s stature in the Sefardi Haredi community might usher in a new era in mainstream religious Jewish approach to the Temple Mount.

Rabbi Mazuz is considered one of the senior Sefardi rabbis in the world, but has always been to the right of the late Rav Ovadia. He was actively opposed to the Gush Katif deportations, including adding his name to the list of rabbis who at the time called on IDF soldiers to refuse an order to evacuate.

Needless to say, Shas, the Haredi Sefardi party which may suffer a setback come next elections due to the passing of Rav Ovadia, is not happy with the public defiance being shown by Rabbi Mazuz these days. Their spokesman has already criticized the Rabbi’s decision, and the question Shas seems to fear is not so much about Temple Mount but about the possibility of dissent in the Sefardi ranks over more critical issues, like politics.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.

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13 Responses to “Senior Haredi Sefardi Rabbi Approves Going Up to Temple Mount”

  1. til 120 this man is truly a Hakoman

  2. Simcha Arona says:

    It’s our land.

  3. Susan Rubin says:

    let’s go with him.

  4. Ch Hoffman says:

    nothing like adding a little fuel to the fire before Pesach

  5. Camie Davis says:

    Umm, so a rabbi who breaks away from the establishment is said to be showing "public defiance?" Here, here to a rabbi that realizes that due to the diligent study of people from the Temple Institute and other astute organizations one can ascend the Mount halachically. Jewish presence on the Temple Mount will change everything. #Isaiah2

  6. So a rabbi who breaks away from the establishment is said to be showing “public defiance?” Bravo to a rabbi that realizes that due to the diligent study of people from the Temple Institute and other astute organizations one can ascend the Mount halachically. Jewish presence on the Temple Mount will change everything. #Isaiah2

  7. Hinda Blas says:

    Or before Purim. This coming parsha is about eradicating evil. I think it's appropriate for this Rabbi to come forward on behalf of the Jewish people as a whole!

  8. The Rambam went up to Har Habayit. Do we need more than that?

  9. Cathy Sherman says:

    So the political party of Shas has the chutzpah to publicly criticize a ruling of their rabbi? There's something terribly wrong with this. Thank you Rabbi for having the courage to rule by Torah, not by what's "politically correct".

  10. Rabbi Moshe Tendler (major posek and son-in-law of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein ZTL (was leading American Posek) on Har Habayit


  11. The Ramban had a shul on Har Habayis! It's a Chilul HaShem to have the Musims defile it every day!! Watch Every Wednesday 10:00 Am & 6;00PM New York Time go to bcat.tv scroll to the bottom Community Media then right beneath it click on Brooklyn Tv Network Click on the arrow in Channel 2. In addition, every Thursday go to mnn.org Noon 12:00Pm New York Time go to 4 Judaism then click beneath it on Watch now

  12. Theo Nuke says:

    Way to go Rabbi! 5:20

    وإذ قال موسى لقومه يقوم اذكروا نعمة الله عليكم إذ جعل فيكم أنبياء وجعلكم ملوكا وءاتيكم ما لم يؤت أحدا من العلمين

    And Moses said to his people: “My people, remember the grace of God upon you that he made among you prophets, and made you kings, and he gave you what He had not given any from the worlds.”

    “ויאמר משה לעמו: בני עמי , זכרו את החסד שעשה האל עמכם, שעשה מכם נביאים ומלכים ואשר העניק לכם את אשר לא העניק לאף אחד אחר בעולם”


    يقوم ادخلوا الأرض المقدسة التي كتب الله لكم ولا ترتدوا على أدباركم فتنقلبوا خسرين

    “O my people, enter the holy land that God Has written for you, and do not turn your backs, or you will become losers.”

    “הו בני עמי , היכנסו אל ארץ הקודש אשר כתב אללה לכם ואל תפנו אחור פן תאבדון”

    ولقد بوأنا بني اسرائيل مبوأ صدق ورزقنهم من الطيبت فما اختلفوا حتى جاءهم العلم إن ربك يقضي بينهم يوم القيمة فيما كانوا فيه يختلفون

    And We helped the Children of Israel reach a place of sanctity, and We provided them from the good things, and they did not differ until the knowledge came to them. Your Lord will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection for what they differed in.

    וסייענו בידי בני ישראל להגיע למקום הקדושה והענקנו להם מכל טוב ובתחיית המתים האל ישפוט ביניהם”


    فإن كنت في شك مما أنزلنا إليك فسءل الذين يقرءون الكتب من قبلك لقد جاءك الحق من ربك فلا تكونن من الممترين

    If you are in doubt regarding what We have sent down to you (Quran), then ask those who have been reading the Book (Torah) from before you. The truth has come to you from your Lord, so do not be of those who doubt.

    “אם יש לך ספק בנוגע למה שהורדנו לך (קוראן) , תשאל את אלו שקיבלו את הספר (תורה) לפניך. האמת הגיעה מאדונך (ראבאק) לכן אל תהיה בין המפקפקים”

    وقلنا من بعده لبني اسرائيل اسكنوا الأرض فإذا جاء وعد الاءخرة جئنا بكم لفيفا

    And We said after him to the Children of Israel: “Dwell on the land , then, when the time of the second promise comes, We will bring you all together as a mixed crowd.”

    “ואחריו (אחרי פרעה) אמרנו לבני ישראל : שבו בארץ, וכאשר תתקיים ההבטחה לאחרית הימים נקבץ את פזוריכם”

    2:47 + 2:122 (same verse )
    يبني اسرائيل اذكروا نعمتي التي أنعمت عليكم وأني فضلتكم على العلمين

    O Children of Israel, remember My blessings that I had blessed you with, and that I had preferred you over all the worlds.

    יא בני ישראל , זכרו את הטובה אשר הרעפתי עליכם ואשר העדפתי אתכם על פני כל העמים בעולם”

    ولقد ءاتينا بني اسرائيل الكتب والحكم والنبوة ورزقنهم من الطيبت وفضلنهم على العلمين

    And We had given the Children of Israel the Book, and the judgment, and the prophethood, and We provided them with good provisions; and We preferred them over the worlds.

    “והענקנו (אללה) לבני ישראל את הספר/כיתאב (=תורה) ואת החוכמה ואת הנבואה והענקנו להם מהטוב והעדפנו אותם על פני כל העמים בעולם”

  13. Nora Herold says:

    An interesting comment by Rabbi Meir Mazuz on going on Temple Mount.. But Temple Mount, in Jerusalem, is Jewish. Therefore, the real question is: Why are tourists and Muslims permitted to defile Temple Mount? Is it because we must wait for Moshiach?

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