Photo Credit: Kobi Natan / TPS
Yair Hanoch and his sacrificial goat wait for the train to the Temple Mount on Sukkot. Oct. 1, 2023.

Israeli Police arrested a Jewish man in Jerusalem on his way to sacrifice a lamb on the Temple Mount on Sunday morning.

The man, Yair Hanoch, an activist from the Return to the Mount organization was detained at a light rail station near Jerusalem’s Old City.


Return to the Mount is a group seeking to renew animal sacrifices on the Temple Mount, where the First and Second Temples stood.

“There is no more room for Muslim rule on the Temple Mount – the time has come to build a Jewish temple and renew the sacrificial works,” the organization said after Hanoch’s arrest.

The Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Places, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz banned the bringing of animals to the Temple Mount in April to prevent Jews from trying to bring Passover sacrifices on the holy site. At the time, Returning to the Mount leader Rafael Morris was arrested trying bring an animal to the holy site as a Paschal offering.

During the times of the First and Second Temple, the week-long festival of Sukkot was marked by sacrifices, and specifically sacrifices for all the nations of the world, water libations, and the custom of circling the altar while holding palm fronds (hakafot).

The Temple Mount is the overall holiest site in Judaism.

To avoid upsetting the Muslims, Jews and non-Muslims are sometimes allowed to visit the Temple Mount, but not pray there.

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