Photo Credit: Sliman Khader / Flash 90
A group of Jews visit the Temple Mount, May 31, 2020.

More than 200 Jews ascended to the Temple Mount compound on Sunday to mark the start of the Hebrew month of Nisan on the Jewish calendar, the day the Tabernacle was first erected, according to the Hebrew-language Har Habayit website.

Among the participants were yeshiva students, men about to be married, a group of women escorting a young girl on her Bat Mitzvah, and even a young three-year-old boy whose parents came with him to celebrate his first haircut at the gates of the sacred site.

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Those who went up to the site included groups of “Women for the Temple,” students from the Har Bracha yeshiva, and former Knesset Member Yehuda Glick, among others; the participants also succeeded in climbing the stairs in the western part of the Temple Mount, said the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation.

This month is expected to be “full of aliyahs” — ascents to the Temple Mount — especially around the upcoming holiday of Pesach and the intermediate days of the week-long holiday.

“The People of Israel are beginning to wake up and ascend the Temple Mount after a year of the Coronavirus plague,” Temple Mount Heritage Foundation Executive Director Tom Nisani told JewishPress.com.

“Our guides welcomed about 250 people who ascended the site today,” he said. “We expect and are preparing to welcome thousands more on the Passover holiday.”

Assaf Fried, spokesperson for the Temple Mount Organization, was quoted as saying the large crowd signifies the advent of spring and underscores the exit from winter sleep and the coronavirus crisis. “This day on which the Tabernacle was first erected, which is also a Rosh Hashana for kings and pilgrims, is a day of beginnings and renewal, awakening and progress, which will intensify over the coming days and Passover,” he said.

“The great public response and ascent to the Temple Mount… is a significant step towards inspiring the Shechinah in Israel and the return of Israel to the Temple,” he said.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.