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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Aliyah to Har HaBayit, Ascending the Temple Mount, Can Rabbis be Wrong?

Bli neder I intend to write more about the כנס צהר Tzohar Conference I attended yesterday, but for now I'll just mention one of the most explosive exchanges I witnessed there. I went to the panel discussion about ascending the Temple Mount.

Yehuda Glick, Rav Yoel Bin-Nun, moderator- Arnon Segel
Despite the obvious mutual admiration between Yehuda Glick and Rav Yoel Bin-Nun, they disagree on the importance of Jews ascending Har HaBayit.

As is very well-known, Yehuda Glick is one of the leaders of those of us who believe that it's of the utmost importance, and permitted by Jewish Law, for Jews to enter the Temple Mount. Not long ago, he was almost killed by an Arab terrorist who shot him, using the excuse that Glick promoted Jewish presence on that Holy Place. It is a very large miracle that Glick is alive today. And as Glick mentioned yesterday, it was also a great miracle that in 1967, two million Israelis 2,000,000 succeeded in defeating two hundred million 200,000,000 Muslims.  Please remember that the war aim of Egypt, Syria and Jordan was the destruction of the State of Israel. And not only did we survive and were victorious but we liberated the holiest and most important places in the Jewish Homeland.

Yehuda Glick brought up the terrible situation in which Torah observant aka Orthodox and Chareidi rabbis have participated in the conspiracy to brainwash the Jewish People into believing that the Kotel hamaaravi, the Western Wall is the holiest place for the Jewish People, and that the Temple Mount is holiest for Islam.

IDF soldiers are now brought up to tour the Temple Mount and only shown it from a muslim perspective.

At the end of the program, one of the audience asked Glick how it could be that he is accusing prominent rabbis, including Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook, ZaTza"L, of being wrong.

And Glick answered exactly the way my mind was going. He reminded the audience of how many of the great European rabbis prior to World War Two, when the Nazis were taking over, had told their congregations to stay put. And before then, with the beginning of the Zionist movement, most rabbis had declared it evil and told their followers not to join. Glick also brought up an important point, that the earlier Rav Kook, ZaTza"L, had been in the minority among rabbis and had been condemned for his stands re:Zionism and the Land of Israel. Davka, Tzohar follows the Jewish teachings of Rav Kook, so they shouldn't be afraid to be in the minority.

Considering that the main rationale of those rabbis who forbid ascending the Temple Mount is that one may accidentally enter areas of the Kodesh Kodeshim, Holy of Holies, I must say that my biggest surprise when I ascended the Temple Mount was to discover how enormous it it and how small a section is forbidden even by the most stringent measurements. 


Netivotgirl said...

I greatly disagree with your mention of Charedi rabbis saying that, "(the) Kotel hamaaravi, the Western Wall is the holiest place for the Jewish People, and that the Temple Mount is holiest for Islam." On the contrary, ALL rabbanim agree that the Temple Mount, the place of Kodesh Ha'Kodeshim of the Temple is indeed the holiest site in Judaism. The question is if one is at present allowed to ascend to the mount. Even Rav Goren himself,z'l, was against posting a sign regarding entrance to the Temple Mt. because he knew about the need to go to the mikva beforehand and was supremely versed in the EXACT perimeters of the areas on the Mount.He was worried that other people would unintentionally desecrate the site out of ignorance. Rav Kook was perhaps also afraid of desecration of this holy area as well and perhaps thus poskined as he did, although far be it for me to guess the reasoning of such a Gadol as Rav Kook, z'l!

Batya Medad said...

BE"H will answer from home on keyboard

Anonymous said...

The Chazon Ish said: Who keeps mitzvohs in our time and is still considered a non believer? Anyone who claims that it is the fault of the rabbis that 6 million Jews were murdered in Europe, and anyone who celebrates Independence Day (Reb Aharon Roter)

Yisroel Tzion

Batya Medad said...

NG, sorry my comments upset you, but you can't ignore the focus on the kotel and how Har Habayit isn't mentioned. There are many opinions even among chareidim. When I ascended Har Habayit I heard from Rav Yossi Elbaum. He is a very unusual chareidi.
If you look at the pictures from my visit or look at a good map, you will see that the Holy part is such a small fraction, and it would be so much better if we would be sovereign and then instruct people where they can walk and pray, rather than letting muslims take it over and abuse it and destroy things.

I did not say it was the fault of the rabbis. I said that sometimes the rabbis make bad judgement calls. Rabbis are fallible. Many rabbis in Europe told their congregations to stay put. That is a fact and they were responsible for many deaths. The Nazis certainly would still have murdered many, but fewer if the rabbis had encouraged their congregants to leave.

goyisherebbe said...

The rabbis probably didn't cause many additional deaths because the western powers were very careful to keep the Jews from getting visas.

Batya Medad said...

goyish, look at the whole picture from earlier on. From the beginning of the Zionist movement when it was easier to leave, the rabbis forbade it and later on when people came from all over trying to encourage their family to leave, the rabbis still recommended staying put. Once the Nazis took over it was too late for many.