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June 30, 2015 / 13 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Temple Mount’

Man Arrested at Temple Mount Entrance with Contraband

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

A 27 year old Jewish man was arrested on Sunday morning at the entrance to the Temple Mount.

Police found Tefillin on his person.

When searching the young Jewish man before he went up onto the Temple Mount, the police discovered the man was wearing Tefillin on his arm.

Tefillin are generally worn during prayers. Despite an explicit court order allowing it, the police do not allow Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, the Jewish people’s holiest site, for fear of upsetting the Arabs.

A lawyer from the Honenu organization is working to free the man from jail.

Feiglin Asks PM for Special Permission To Visit Temple Mount

Monday, March 16th, 2015

MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) sent a special request to Prime Minister Netanyahu, asking for permission to go up to the Temple Mount on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister previously forbade Feiglin from entering the Jewish Holy site.

This Tuesday, Moshe’s son David, who survived a horrendous car crash, is set to get married (Mazel Tov).

Moshe would like to accompany his son up onto the Temple Mount tomorrow, on the day he is to get married, as any other citizen would normally be allowed to do – but at present Moshe is not allowed.

We will update you if Moshe receives the special permission or not from the Prime Minister.

Feiglin letter to go up to Temple Mount

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.

Muslims Show ‘Respect’ For Temple Mount with Snowball Fight [video]

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Israeli Arabs, Christians and Jews are no different when it comes to enjoying snow, which is always a holiday in Israel except for those in the Upper Golan Heights, where snow is a routine as sun in the summer.

But a snowball fight among Jews at the Western Wall Plaza is unimaginable. Even Haredim and women did not toss snow on each other on “white Friday,” which also was Rosh Chodesh, when Women of the Wall make their monthly pilgrimage to show they are different from Orthodox men who pray there every day.

Up on the Temple Mount’s Al Aqsa mosque compound the Muslims’ third holiest site, things were different, as seen in the video below.

Perhaps they simply were staying in shape to throw stones at Jews.

Palestinian Authority Resumes Religious War on Temple Mount

Friday, February 20th, 2015

The Palestinian Authority has renewed incitement over the Temple with accusations that Israel is guilty of “over 100 attacks” on the holy site, following nearly half a year of relative calm.

King Abdullah of Jordan and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met several months ago and each side took steps for calm and to end daily clashes on the holy sites and a spate of barbaric terrorist attacks on Jews.

Israeli ministers stopped uttering statements that Jews one day will rebuild the Third Temple, and they suddenly dropped off the front pages by not grabbing headlines with high-profile visits.

Jordan made it clear to the Palestinian Authority that the “status quo” allows Jews to visit the holy site, so long as they don’t pray there, and Palestinian Authority news agencies stopped reporting that Jews were “invading” and “storming the Temple Mount.

Things are way too calm for the Palestinian Authority, whose officials uttered several gems of incitement by Palestinian Authority officials this past month and which were translated and published by the Palestinian Media Watch, which summarized:

The three most important PA religious leaders have all stated this month that Al-Aqsa is threatened by Israel. This religious incitement in the name of the Al-Aqsa Mosque is exactly what Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party used to incite Palestinians to carry out acts of terror, including murder, during the recent two-month terror campaign in Jerusalem. During October and November 2014, Palestinians murdered 11 Israelis using guns, knives, and cars, and wounded dozens.

At that time, Palestinian Media Watch documented  that Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash acknowledged the PA leadership’s full endorsement of the killings:

‘We kiss every forehead, every hand and even every foot that carries out Ribat (religious conflict/ war over land claimed to be Islamic) at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in Jerusalem.”

PA Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein on February 12 that said that Israel aspires “to build the alleged Temple on the ruins of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Abbas’ Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash, speaking a day earlier, said that UNESCO must prevent Israel from “destroying the human heritage in Jerusalem.”

The PA Minister of Religious Affairs Sheikh Yusuf Ida’is warned on February 5 that since January, Israel has carried out “over 100  attacks and incidents of desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Ibrahimi Mosque [Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron]” and that “the Al-Aqsa Mosque is in grave and direct danger and that with every sunrise, this danger grows.”

Muslim leaders are absolutely paranoid of Jews being near the Temple Mount.

The Mufti, in his remarks published in the Arabic edition of the Ma’an News Agency and translated by PMW, went ballistics over a sign showing Jews and others the direction to the Temple Mount. Ma’an wrote:

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories and Preacher at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Muhammad Hussein warned about the placement of a sign by the occupation municipality near the Council Gate [entrance to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount), with the inscription, ‘Temple Mount’ ….

The Mufti explained that with the elections of the occupation authorities approaching, all the parties are trying to draw the votes of the extreme right by increasing the attack on the Palestinian people and its holy places.

Abbas’ adviser al-Habbash also spun out of control over the “threatening” sign and “warned of the severity of the escalatory measure implemented by the Israeli occupation municipality crews, in placing a sign in Arabic, Hebrew and English calling the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque “the Temple of Solomon.”

Al-Habbash said that Israel’s changing of names in the Holy City “is a kind of intentional falsification of history and heritage, and a desperate attempt to deny the [city’s] Arab and Islamic character and force a new, invented character – the Jewish character. He noted that this was a most dangerous step, heralding grave consequences. “

Frosty Visits the Kotel

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Snow on Temple Mount

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/frosty-visits-the-kotel/2015/02/20/

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