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March 29, 2015 / 9 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Har Habayit’

Humiliated on the Temple Mount

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Last week, I went up to Har HaBayit (the Temple Mount).[1] I’ve been there a number of times before, but this time was different. In the past, I have gone to the Mount as part of an organized group of religious Jews led by a rabbi. This time, I was there as part of the course I’m taking to get my tour guide license. My classmates are mainly secular Jews, and there are some non-Jews in the class as well. I was the only rabbi with us.

In some ways this experience was even more uplifting and inspiring than my previous visits, and in other ways, it was even more infuriating and humiliating. Let me explain.

Security on the Mount is provided by armed Israeli police and unarmed officials of the Moslem wakf (religious trust), like this guy:

Wakf Guard

Wakf Guard

The policy of the Israeli government and police is to allow Jews to visit the Mount, but not to pray there, since that would apparently offend the Moslems. But for some reason, while the police vigorously enforce these prohibitions, they allow deliberate provocations from the other side. For example, groups of Arab women are bussed in to Jerusalem every day, just to follow Jews around the Temple Mount, shout loudly at them and taunt them (rumor has it they are paid a salary for their services). See this video for an example.

In previous visits I have gotten used to this intolerable situation. But this time, going “incognito” with a group not identified as religious, I was left more or less alone. Going up as a tour guide and not as a religious Jew also gave me the opportunity to enter a few places I otherwise would not have been able to, mainly the underground chambers from the time of the Second Bet HaMikdash known (inaccurately) as “Solomon’s Stables.” That was really amazing.

"Solomon's Stables"

“Solomon’s Stables”

So why do I say that my visit was also infuriating and humiliating?

In order to avoid offending the sensibilities of the Moslems, we were told in advance that we would not be allowed to display any outward Jewish symbols such as a kippa or tzitzit. These would need to be concealed. This bothered me greatly – do I really have to hide my Jewishness here, in the heart of Jerusalem??

But then it got worse. At one point the police told us we would need to remove our hats altogether and walk bare-headed. I explained that I didn’t want to do that; I always keep my head covered for religious reasons, it was a hat and not a kippah, and all the tourists on the Mount were also wearing hats (it was raining). But I was told that this is the rule and if I did not comply, I would have to leave the Mount immediately.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing – I have never received a demand like that from a policeman, anywhere in any country (to the contrary; wherever I go, the police protect my rights). Was an Israeli policeman actually demanding that I remove my head covering??? Here, of all places??? I had to make a split-second decision: comply with the demand, or be expelled from the Temple Mount. I’m not sure if I did the right thing or not…but I complied.

A few minutes later, with my hat back on and in a better mood, I experienced an even more exhilarating aspect of the visit. On two separate occasions I needed to wait for my group (for example while they were in the areas that halacha prohibits entering). According to Jewish law, one is not allowed to engage in frivolity or idle chatter on the Har HaBayit, so those waiting times gave me the opportunity to observe the mitzva of mora mikdash – reverence of the holy site.

Although I am strongly opposed to them, I was careful to abide by the rules that prohibit Jews from praying out loud. So I simply stood still, staring at the Dome of the Rock (where the Holy of Holies is) and contemplated the awe-inspiring significance of the place. Even though I did not pray out loud and I made sure to follow the rules that my lips not be seen moving, I did manage to recite Psalm 24 to myself about five or six times. With a religious group, the police generally keep the group moving, so there is no time for that.

But then, a wakf guard noticed me standing there, absorbed in my thoughts and swaying softly. He immediately approached and told me that praying was forbidden. I responded that I was not praying; just standing there. He insisted that I stand in a different pose in order to make it clear that I am not praying. An Israeli policeman then asked me to sit down so that nobody would think I was praying.

Since descending from the Mount, the conflicted emotions of soaring spiritual inspiration combined with pain, humiliation and deep sadness have gotten me thinking. I have drawn three conclusions from this experience:

1) In spite of the indignities, we must be very grateful for the fact that we have the right and ability to visit this holiest of places in accordance with the demands of halacha and in safety and security.

2) The humiliation I felt at the hands of the authorities was once commonplace for Jews. Thankfully I have almost never experienced anything like that – certainly not here in Israel but not in any other country either. The experience was, therefore, a helpful reminder that the Redemption is still not complete. It highlights the paradox that although the city of Jerusalem has been rebuilt in the most splendid of ways, its most important part remains in ruins. I felt the churban very clearly there.

3) It is unconscionable that the Israeli government allows this type of disgrace to go on. We must use every legal means to pressure them to change this policy and allow Jews to pray openly and securely. If Moslems object and attempt to interfere, it is they who must be removed from the Mount.

But we must understand that the reason this is happening is that most of the Jewish people doesn’t understand the significance of this place. Imagine if the government wanted to restrict Jewish prayer at the Kotel. Any government that even attempted such a thing would be brought down within minutes, because the Israeli people would not stand for that. The humiliation at the Temple Mount will similarly end when the Jewish People are reconnected with it.

Thus, the solution to this injustice, like so many other things, comes down to the need to encourage more and deeper Jewish education. We must redouble our efforts to teach more Torah to more Jews everywhere. Ultimately that is what will lead to our Redemption.

[1]The halachic questions regarding entering the Har HaBayit should be the subject of a separate article. For now, I will say that many rabbis hold that it is prohibited at the present time to enter the Mount at all. However, I obviously follow a different opinion, also supported by many authorities, that allows it provided one immerses in a mikveh first and observes various restrictions regarding the areas of the mountain that are permissible, and regarding appropriate conduct on the Mount.

Court Rules: Police Must Allow Jewish Prayer on Temple Mount

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

The police “must ensure that Jews can pray on the Temple Mount” – that was the ruling of Judge Malka Aviv in the case of Yehuda Glick vs. the Israeli Police.

On a number of occasion the police have banned Rabbi Yehuda Glick from ascending up to the Temple Mount.

Rabbi Glick told JewishPress.com that he regularly leads tour groups up to the Temple Mount, and not being allowed up prevented him from earning a living.

Rabbi Yehuda Glick took the police to court and sued for damages. On Sunday the court decided in Glick’s favor.

But the bigger victory was the court’s criticism of the police’s actions towards Jews on the Temple Mount and the explicit ruling that the police must ensure that Jews be able to pray on the Jewish people’s holiest site.

The police may choose to appeal both the financial award and the ruling, but the question remains, until the appeal, will the police respect the court’s ruling and ensure that Jews can pray on the Temple Mount?

In November, an Islamic terrorist shot Yehuda Glick 4 times at close range in Jerusalem in a failed attempt to assassinate him.

The terrorist was killed the next morning at his Jerusalem home when security forces tried to arrest him.

Last week, US Congressman Dennis Ross when up to the Temple Mount and found himself harassed by the Islamic extremists on the Jewish holy site.

Frosty Visits the Kotel

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Snow on Temple Mount

Don’t Mention God on the Temple Mount

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Rabbi and Professor Yoel Elitzur caused a massive disruption on the Temple Mount (Har HaBayit) on Thursday resulting in his being removed from the Jewish holy site by police.

Rabbi Elitzur of Ofra ascends to the Temple Mount every month.

On Thursday, when the Rabbi ascended, he was harassed by members of the radical Islamic group Marabtat, who get paid to harass and intimidate Jews visiting the Jewish holy site.

After one Muslim extremist approached Rabbi Elitzur and cursed him with the traditional Islamic phrase “Allahu achbar”, the good rabbi responded with, “Hashem Hu HaElohim”, which in English means, “The Lord, He is God”.

Police detained the Rabbi and expelled him from the Temple Mount for disturbing the public order.

“Har Habayit Biyadeinu!” – It Really Is Up To Us

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

As I write these words, I am enjoying the wonderful Chag of Chanukah, and hope that it will remain as it ought to be, consisting of warm, fun-filled evenings in front of the Menorah, armed with our dreidels and feasting on latkes, enjoying spending quality time with our family and friends. Lonni & I are enjoying it this year in a very special way – we traveled to Israel and are spending Chanukah with our children. It should be a completely joyous and wonderful time.

But, unfortunately, just under the surface, it is not so. In fact, first among the gifts that I brought for each of my children is a can of mace/pepper spray.

Much like it was many years ago, בימים ההם בזמן הזה, Yerushalyim Ir Hakodesh has become a battlefield of late. We, the Jewish people, are under attack. We are being run over at bus stations, stabbed while waiting for rides, having our children kidnapped and killed, knifed while shopping in supermarkets, shot at with thousands of missile, narrowly avoiding a horrendous Rosh Hashanah tunnel attack, attacked with axes and guns while davening in shuls . . . all while there is supposedly a cease fire. And not just in Israel. There are bombings and killings and rapes in London, Paris, Mumbai, Sydney, and smaller cities . . . and here in the USA. Just before we left for Israel we heard of the stabbing of a yeshiva student at 770 Eastern Parkway . . . and on it goes.

Worshipers were cut down as they prayed.

Worshipers were cut down as they prayed.

 

And the world – the same world who sees and condemns the brutal horrific killers of ISIS – ignores the fact that ISIS and HAMAS and Hezbollah and Fatah and Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood and other groups, are actually all the one and the same, differing in name and location only. These same savages, who contaminate our holy Har HaBayis and then hypocritically call us the violent aggressors, want one thing only – to eradicate not only the State of Israel but Jews everywhere – from the face of the Earth. And yet, the world sees their brutality and inhumanity when they attack anyone, except the Jews.

 

 

 

And what is our response to all this? Predictably, there are those on the left who blame Israel for not accommodating the “Palestinians” enough, as we have caused so much of the problems in the first place. There are those on the “extreme” political right who say that we need to respond much more firmly, and adopt an approach that takes no prisoners. (My esteemed colleague Rabbi Steven Pruzansky recently wrote a column – which he was subsequently pressured to retract – in which he offered some suggestions of what might be done, most of which were right on the money in my view, even if one could quibble about some of the others.) Those in the political center, are outraged about what is happening, but basically clueless about what can be done about it, save trying to heighten defensive security measures. Here in Israel, elections are once again in process, in no small part due to the frustrations that arise with the government’s limited options in dealing with implacable enemies in the face of hostile diplomatic world.

Of course, the religious response that is mostly heard – the frum papers are full of reports of speeches given this week at the sheloshim for the four martyrs killed at prayer in Har Nof – is to increase our Torah and Tefillah and Teshuvah, and pray that Hashem finally have mercy on us. And while, of course, this is necessary, I wonder if that really ought to be the entirety of our response. To quote the esteemed Rav Berel Wein, “Redoubled efforts at greater acts of charity and more meaningful prayer services are undoubtedly noble goals but are hardly words and actions of comfort, consolation or explanation.” It seems to me that the time has come that we must think more boldly and meta-historically.

Har Nof Massacre: Opening The Door to Cleaning Out The Temple Mount‏

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Just before I got home I received this message on my smartphone:

please post something!!!About today’s pogrom in Har Nof! My emotions are too heavy, I can’t write, I’m crying all day & night. Innocent men going to pray to Hashem, slaughtered like sheep, by savage animals who the world thinks deserves to take over our Land! I mean, how sick is that??? Are we back in Nazi Germany???
thanks

I wasn’t home today, which is the reason I didn’t get to write about the Har Nof Massacre, which I guess is the best name to call the brutal murder of innocent men praying or on their way to or from prayers by Arab terrorists. This sort of massacre, so incomprehensible for all peace-loving, tolerant people must become the Kristallnacht, the Bombing of Pearl Harbor in the saga of Israeli-Arab relations.  Those two attacks were game-changers, and the best reaction to the vicious murderous terror attack this morning should be that the State of Israel makes a swift and strong change in policy.

Does this look like a scene where Israeli police might have shot "two Palestinian civilians," as CNN claimed?

Does this look like a scene where Israeli police might have shot “two Palestinian civilians,” as CNN claimed?

Off with the gloves, and off with the dangerous western mollycoddling of sociopathic Arab terrorists. 

“The time has come…” is not quite the most accurate way of starting what I want to say, because in all honesty, we should have done it years, decades ago. Ahh hah, what’s the “it?”

The “it” is to take full sovereignty over Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount, the holiest place in the entire world for Jews. In the time of the Holy Temple, there were workers, repairmen on staff. So now, we must have Israeli police and soldiers taking full control of security. They must empty it totally of Arabs, Muslims, non-Jews and clean it totally, yes, including the mosques there. The Arab terrorists and their supporters all over the Arab and Moslem world have proven by their support of the murder of innocent Jews in a synagogue, no less, that they are not morally qualified to have any power on our holy site. And by murdering in a synagogue, and previous Arab terror attacks on yeshivot and other holy places, they have made it clear that they do not respect the holiness of houses of prayer. Since that’s the case, we should take it very seriously.

.

Arabs in Jerusalem wield axes and guns in a macabre ceremony celebrating the attacks

Yehuda Glick at Temple Institute

Yehuda Glick standing at model of Beit HaMikdash

Please, before anyone says that we’d be “doing the same…” Utter poppycock!” Searching for and cleaning out weapons and incendiaries from a mosque is not the same as invading a synagogue with weapons in order to murder and injure innocent people. Get real!

During this cleaning process, let Jews up to Har HaBayit for prayer, and yes, there can be security inspections. Actually there should be inspections to make sure that nobody is disguising themselves as a Jew and trying to bring in more weapons.

The friend who sent me that note compared the attack to a pogrom and Nazi Germany. And just like although the Zionist Movement began to bring back Jews to the Holy Land many decades before the Declaration of the State of Israel, many people push the theory that we have a state because of the Holocaust. In this case, too, we can use the Har Nof Massacre to explain/rationalize/justify clearing the mosques and totally changing the conditions for any non-Jew who wants to go to the Temple Mount.

Some people may not like what I’m saying and even justify their position by claiming that the Jews killed, injured and attacked today don’t support my position that there must be a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount. 

We are now almost a half a century since the 1967 Six Days War when we liberated Har HaBayit from foreign rule, and it is extremely important for the Jewish People, the Jewish Leaders, including the religious leaders to understand what a game-changer that war was. Until a relatively short time ago, when we’re discussing the thousands of years of Jewish History, it was perfectly acceptable for Jews to pray on the Temple Mount. Most of the area is Herod’s Extension, where there is no problem for Jews to be according to most experts. 

I have a very firm, immovable belief that only a policy like this will bring the Moshiach. G-d plays matching funds with us. When we give, G-d gives. And therefore we must clean up Har HaBayit first. G-d willing, speedily in Our Days….

The USA Officially Promotes Anti-Jewish Apartheid

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

This shouldn’t surprise us, but as part of the official reaction of the United States Government of the attempted assassination of American citizen, Yehuda Yehoshua Ben Rivka Ita Breindel Glick, may he have a refuah shleimah, complete and speedy recovery, here’s the text of the United States Government:

The continued commitment by Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians to preserve the historic status quo at this holy site is critical; any decisions or actions to change it would be both provocative and dangerous. The Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount must be re-opened to Muslim worshipers… (emphasis mine)

Photo by Yehuda Glick, Shiloh women, including myself, before we ascended Har Habayit.

Remember, please, that Yehuda Glick, who is now fighting for his life after being shot three times at close range, has dedicated his life to fighting for Jewish rights on Judaism’s holiest spot in the world, Har Habayit, the Temple Mount.

  • The Americans claim to be for equal rights for all.
  • The Americans claim to be against apartheid.
  • The Americans claim to be for religious freedom.
  • The Americans claim to be a friend of Israel.

For the American Government to use the attack on Glick to promote a policy that is in total opposition to American values is the epitome of hypocrisy and proof of their antisemitism.

This plus the recent anti-Israel, anti-Bibi “chickenshit” scandal shows true American policy.

But President Obama and his foreign-policy team aren’t just annoyed by the prime minister. They’ve come to view him as public enemy No. 1, using language about him and giving assessments of his policies that are far harsher than they have ever used against even avowed enemies of the United States, let alone one of its closest allies. (Commentary Magazine)

The Israeli Government must pay attention and stop listening to the USA! Nothing we do besides folding up can disappearing will please Obama, Kerry and all.

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/shiloh-musings/the-usa-officially-promotes-anti-jewish-apartheid/2014/11/02/

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