The Temple organizations expect that the upcoming Jerusalem Liberation Day, May 13, will see a record rise in the number of Jewish visits to the holy site, the largest since the destruction of the Temple 1,947 years ago.
Back in 1967, General Mordechai Gur made his immortal declaration, “Har Ha’Bayit B’Yadeinu” (The Temple Mount is in our hands), only to be reversed a few hours later by then Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, who handed over the keys to the most sacred Jewish site to the Jordanian Waqf. The Headquarters of the Temple Mount Organization believe that the presence of 2,000 Jews on that hallowed ground will go a long way to making that brave Israeli General’s statement a reality once again.
According to the Headquarters of Temple Organizations, the past year—the jubilee year for the liberation of the Temple Mount back in 1967, has already seen a record in both quantity and quality of Jews’ return to their Temple. By quality, the group means ascents to the Temple Mount following a dip in a ritual bath, in keeping with Jewish law.
“With the dramatic increase in the number of Jewish visitors, the police has begun to change its attitude toward the Jews on the Temple Mount,” the group said in a recent statement to its members, noting that “the long waits at the entrance to the Mount have disappeared and the restrictions on the size of the Jewish groups hardly exist anymore.”
“Even the outrageous directive against prayer on the Mount is no longer enforced against those who pray non-demonstratively,” the group stated.
“Jerusalem is always at the top of our joy, and the top of the top is the Temple Mount,” the statement said. “The Temple Mount is on the news agenda, as befits the heart of the world. Jews ascend every day to the Temple Mount in holiness and purity. Even the vocal opponents of the Temple help bring the return to the Temple to the top of the national agenda.”
As to numbers, according to the statement, “last Passover, about 2,600 Jews ascended to the Temple Mount, Almost double their number the previous year. They joined the hundreds of rabbis and tens of thousands of rank and file individuals who are ascending to the Temple Mount in keeping with halacha throughout the year.”
The headquarters of the Temple organizations and the Temple Mount Yeshiva say that they intend to push those numbers further up on Jerusalem Liberation Day. Last year on the celebrated day, following a campaign that involved rabbis and celebrities, more than a thousand Jews arrived at the Temple Mount. This year, the headquarters say, “we aim to double the number of Jews, and bring 2,000 Jews to the Temple Mount in holiness and purity.”
Temple movements activists are agitating for breaking the record through widespread publication of the rabbis’ calls to ascend to the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Liberation Day, and by subsidizing transportation from yeshivas and population centers for Jews interested in going to the Temple Mount on that day.