Photo Credit: Byadenu
Jews in the Temple Mount compound, June 17, 2021.

More than 20,000 Jews ascended the Temple Mount since the month of Tishri, Beyadenu reported last week. This marks an increase of 139% from the same period in 2021 when only 8,373 Jews ascended to the holiest site for the Jewish nation.

“Beyadenu” is a reference to the immortal declaration “The Temple Mount is in our hands!” (Har Habayit beyadeinu) uttered in June 1967 by Mordechai “Motta” Gur.

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This continue the sharp increase in the number of Jewish pilgrims to the Temple Mount since it was reopened following Operation Guardian of the Walls. 20,311 Jews ascended the Mount since the beginning of the Hebrew year, 4,916 since the beginning of 2022.

In the last two weeks, there has been a sharp increase in the number of pre-military academies ascending the Mount. Twenty-two academies ascended, most of them guided by guides from Shahar Academies and Beyadenu. Some 80 students from Tzur Hadassa High School ascended last week, in addition to Harduf High School students, who have been ascending to the Temple Mount for the past three years, assisted by Beyadenu guides.

Guides are essential to the pilgrimage of Jews to the Temple Mount because much of the area is forbidden Jews to set foot on by Jewish halakha, lest they step on the site of the holy sanctuary.

An estimated 500 Jews belonging to many Israeli groups ascended the Temple Mount in the past two weeks and were allowed to circle the compound freely, without tight police escort – the original main goal of Beyadenu. However, a few students of pre-military academies were forced to remove “religious symbols.” Removing this limit, too, is on Beyadenu’s future agenda.

Beyadenu guides report receiving many requests for guided tours from individuals ascending for the first time. Around 150 groups and families ascending for the first time were guided by the organization for free since the beginning of the year.

Pilgrims were forced to leave the compound before the allocated time or were stalled at the gates, at least 13 times in the last month. Police interference of prayer services took place at least 10 times.

Beyadenu CEO of Tom Nisani said: “We have crossed the 20,000 ascenders mark in just a few months, while ascendance is only possible for a few hours during the morning and early afternoon, and under severe restrictions and discrimination. This does not stop the flow of guidance requests from groups and individuals interested in ascending for the first time. Our activity will continue and grow and so will the number of ascenders.”

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.