Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
Ashkenazi Rabbi Aryeh Stern (C) seen with Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar (R) and Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv in 2015

The Chief Rabbis of Jerusalem – Rabbi Aryeh Stern and Rabbi Shlomo Amar – have issued a strong appeal to the Jewish public, reiterating a generations-old ban on ascension to the Temple Mount. The rabbis specifically called on the public not to ascend the Temple Mount in the holy city.

The two rabbis published a letter reminding the public of the ancient ban, and appealing to Jews to avoid the Temple Mount while pointing out that generations of rabbis in past years have forbidden entry to the site.

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“Recently, the phenomenon of Jews entering the Temple Mount has increased, and this causes many obstacles and harms the sanctity of the place,” the rabbis wrote.

“The chief rabbis of the generations, including the Torah greats like Rabbi Kook zt”l; Rabbi Yitzchak Nissim, Rabbi Isser Y. Unterman, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Rabbi Avraham Shapira, and Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, as well as the rabbis of Jerusalem throughout the generations, including the Gaonim Rabbi Shmuel Salant, the Gaon Rav Frank, Rabbi Betzalel Zolty, Rabbi Shalom Mashash, and Rabbi Yitzchak Kolitz, may the memory of these righteous be for a blessing, always warned the public from ascending the Mount or touching its edge,” the wrote.

“We join our predecessors, the Rabbis of Jerusalem, and warn the public not to enter the entire Temple Mount,” the added.

“Of course the Mount does not belong to the gentiles, but it is the Mount of the L-rd and the house of the G-d of Jacob.

“There is no permission for foreigners or for Jews to enter there, even if we cannot at present prevent foreigners’ entry.

“However, we call on the government and security forces to do everything possible according to Jewish law, to end the sacrilege perpetrated on Mount Zion.”

“We call on the public to strengthen Temple observance and study its laws, together with preserving the awe fitting for the place of our Temple. ‘It is not the Temple you fear, but He who commanded it,'” the wrote.

Rabbi Amar added in his personal handwriting, under his signature, a separate warning: “Woe to the ears that hear this lightly, which leads to contempt for grievous matters.”

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