Attorney Aviad Visoli, whose clients include the Temple Organizations that advocate the return of free Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, posted on Tuesday on the Rotter citizen-reporter site (לראשונה זה שנים התקיימה תפילת מנחה רשמית בהר הבית): “Today we were privileged to pray Mincha with a minyan on the Temple Mount. A full prayer with a minyan and with a shliach tzibur (the leader of the prayer service) and the Hazarat Ha’Shatz (group prayer that follows the segment of individual prayer).”
Mincha is the afternoon prayer, which on Tuesday could be carried out at any time between 1:15 and 6:57 PM.
According to Visoli, it was “a proper prayer with all its details and particular components, including—for the first time in our lives—responding to the shaliach tzibur with “Blessed be the glory of His majesty from this world to that world” for all the blessings of the Amida Prayer. It was thrilling.”
Visoli, who did not offer details regarding where on the Temple Mount, and with whose participation the minyan prayer was carried out, registered that “in all the decades I have been ascending to the Temple Mount I did not have the privilege of saying a prayer in the minyan openly.” But this time, he reported, “the policemen looked at us and knowingly allowed the fullest prayer. Including a blessing for the sick.”
“This is the most significant progress in the rights of the Jews on the Temple Mount since the destruction of the Second Temple,” an exuberant Visoli proclaimed. “It is not possible to retreat from this point. The Temple Mount is in our hands!”
That last proclamation is known to most Israelis, having been made originally by the commander of the brigade of paratroopers who liberated the Temple Mount in the Six-Day War, Mordechai “Motta” Gur. Later thereafter, then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan turned over the Temple Mount to the Jordanian Waqf charity, because, as Dayan confessed in his journal, the last thing he needed was a Jewish Vatican in the middle of Jerusalem.
Visoli concluded: “Congratulations to the joint headquarters [of Temple organizations] and the police who make possible the revolution of Jewish prayer a the minyan and openly on the Temple Mount. You have bypassed the State Attorney’s Office and the High Court in a big way.”
This event may or may or may not be marked as a turning point in the struggle to open up the most sacred site to Jews. To this day, the majority of Orthodox rabbis oppose such a move before the arrival of the messiah. Presumably, the change in police attitude regarding open Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount has to do with the man who runs the police these days, Minister of Public Security Amir Ohana (Likud).
And we must concur: the idea of saying Kedusha in a minyan in the House of our father is as thrilling as they come.