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Temple on Mt Moraiah

Rabbis' lame, legalistic, attitude
about the Temple Mount

Arutz Sheva News Service
Sunday, April 20, 2003

The Supreme Court rejected yet another petition by the "Temple Mount Faithful" today, in which the group requested to be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount.  Jews have not been allowed to ascend to the site - the holiest in Judaism - since the onset of the Oslo War over 2.5 years ago.  The police explained that allowing Jews to visit the site might lead to Arab riots.

Yehuda Etzion, head of another Temple Mount group called Chai VeKayam, and who has spearheaded similar court petitions in the past, explained to Arutz-7 today why he has given up on that approach:
"The police, government, and the courts have an unwritten agreement to totally close off the Temple Mount to Jews, and to maintain the Islamicization and Palestinization of the site.  We had better realize this and not fool ourselves any longer."  He said that protests should be carried out that do not in any way indicate cooperation with the ban on Jewish entry to the holy site.

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, rabbi of the Western Wall and the holy sites, takes the other position.  He asked the police to prevent the Temple Mount group from "arriving in the area and causing provocations and disturbances," which, he said, they do "every time we have a Birkat Kohanim" (Priestly Blessing) ceremony.  Tens of thousands of people in fact participated in the traditional Birkat Kohanim at the Western Wall this morning.  Rabbi Rabinovitch explained to Arutz-7 today that the Chief Rabbinate has long forbidden Jews from setting foot on the Temple Mount for Halakhic [Jewish legal] reasons:
"The Torah forbids us, in our present state of impurity [which cannot be changed without the ashes of a ritually-offered Red Heifer], from entering parts of the Temple Mount compound.  We do not know all the exact places that we may enter and which not; even in those areas that we know are permitted, the rabbis in 1967 banned entry, in order to distance ourselves - and others who are not knowledgeable or careful - from violating this very severe Biblical prohibition."

Rabbi Rabinovitch said that the Chief Rabbinate issued the ban after the Six-Day War in 1967, and that it was signed by then-Chief Rabbis Nissim and Unterman, as well as by Rabbis Tzvi Yehuda Kook, Ovadiah Yosef, Shlomo
Zalman Auerbach, Shalom Yosef Elyashiv, and others.

Arutz-7's Yosef Zalmanson asked him if the late Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren also agreed.  "Rabbi Goren sought to have a change made in the ruling," Rabbi Rabinovitch responded, "but the Chief Rabbinate Council did not agree."

A-7: "Didn't former Rishon LeTzion Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu suggest building a synagogue on the Mount?"

Rabbi Rabinovitch: "He did not suggest this while he was Chief Rabbi."

A-7: "Doesn't the ban on Jewish entry to the holy site in effect give the Temple Mount to the Arabs?"

Rabbi Rabinovitch: "We would prefer that no one, including Arabs, be allowed to enter - but given that this is not the case, how would it help if Jews also go there? Would it make it ours?  The Arabs would still be there, and it wouldn't solve anything."

Not all rabbis agree with the ban, however.  Kiryat Arba Chief Rabbi Dov Lior has explained in the past that there are areas that are one may definitely enter, "provided one knows what they are and has immersed in a mikveh."  The Yesha Rabbis Council recently declared, "This situation, in which the Temple Mount is closed to Jews and open only to Moslems, is a desecration of G-d's Name to the fullest extent, for in this way we broadcast to the whole world that the Arab connection to our holy site is stronger than ours, Heaven forbid."

(Most Rabbis obviously do not understand that the Muslim's control of the Temple Mount gives legality to their claims of all of the territory  promised to the Jews. It explains why an image of the Dome of the Rock appears in the logos and symbolism of just about every Arab and Muslim organization in Israel, including Arafat's terrorist Authority. Destruction of the Dome of the Rock (Mosque of Omar) will remove their legimacy - Zionsake Editor)


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