Probably not since the Second Temple was standing has the Temple Mount seen so many Jewish visitors. Jewish worshippers visiting the Temple Mount set a new record this week when the number of Jewish visits to the holy site since the beginning of the Jewish year crossed the 50,000 marker.
This precedent number surpassed by a large margin all previous years, which stood at less than 30,000.
According to the count of the “Beyadenu – for the Temple Mount” organization, this number is a 95% increase from last year, when only 25,582 Jews visit the Temple Mount, and a 69% increase from the previous record of 29,420.
Tom Nisani, CEO of Beyadenu, said Thursday that “despite the restrictions, harassment, the limited five hours a day and only on weekdays limitation, despite it all – a record was broken this year in Jewish visit. The Jewish People are returning to the Temple Mount! The next goal is 100,000 visitors a year!”
Assaf Fried, of the Temple Mount Administration, said that “the dramatic record on the Temple Mount is a result of the great transformation that has taken place on the Temple Mount in the last seven years. The Temple Mount has transformed from a scene of struggles that remained in the margins, to a place of Torah and prayer.”
These historic numbers were recorded despite the fact that Jews’ visits to the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, are limited in time, space, as well as the number of visitors allowed access at any given time. While Jews’ rights to worship at the site have improved in recent years, much remains wanting, and the full freedom of worship has yet to be granted by the State of Israel to Jews visiting the Temple Mount.
While Muslims enter the holy site freely, Jews are screened by metal detectors, undergo security searches, and are banned from bringing Jewish religious objects to the site.