Photo Credit: TPS
Activists with Return to the Temple Mount movement carry a large menorah through the Old City of Jerusalem, intending to return and light the sacred object at the holy site. Chanukah 5781

About 30 Temple Mount activists carried a giant menorah through the streets of Jerusalem on Monday night, marching toward the Temple Mount in a call to return a menorah to the sacred site, as well as permit other Temple activities that were once performed there.

The activists from the “Return to the Temple Mount” movement marched from Zion Square in central Jerusalem to the heart of the Old City carrying the menorah which they said they intended to light on the Temple Mount.

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Such a move, had it succeeded, would have renewed for the first time since the destruction of the Holy Temple the tradition of lighting the menorah on the Temple Mount.

Upon reaching the gates to the Temple Mount — about 100 meters from where the ancient menorah was lit in the Holy Temple — the activists were blocked from entering the compound by Israeli police.

Return to the Temple Mount activists at the gates to the Temple Mount, Chanukah 5781

This is the seventh year Temple Mount activists have marched to the site, but it’s the first time they managed to reach the gates without the situation deteriorating into a clash with police.

“Today we are all celebrating the victory of the Maccabees, the movement said in a statement. “But we forget the essence of the joy, which is the cleansing of the Temple, the lighting of the menorah and the return of the daily sacrifices.

“Today, after the establishment of the state and the liberation of the Temple Mount, we must continue on the paths of the Maccabees, purify the place of the Temple . . . and renew the daily worship and the sacrifices.

“Every year we would encounter violence and arrests by the police,” the statement continued. “This is the first year we managed to get as far as the Temple Mount gates. We will continue to struggle until the menorah is lit in its original place on the Temple Mount.”

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TPS - The Tazpit News Agency provides news from Israel.