Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Settling on "Second Best," A Visit to The Kotel

Contrary to the popular myth, the כותל Kotel, Western Wall is not "the holiest spot in the world for the Jewish People."  The wall is just an outer wall to the Herodian expansion of the Temple Mount, הר הבית Har HaBayit. Unfortunately, since a section of the actual site is very holy and we are required purify ourselves before visiting, the rabbis have taken the easy, lazy and dangerous decision of banning Jews from entering all of the Temple Mount.  I crossed out the word "the" because recently many rabbis encourage visits after the necessary purification.

Banning all visits by Jews to Har HaBayit is like saying that we must all be vegetarians, because we can't be trusted to properly slaughter, clean and cook the permitted animals and birds before eating. Think about it!

I don't see how deserting our holiest site and giving it to our sworn enemies is  what G-d wants us to do.  It's a Chillul Hashem, not a Kiddush HaShem.  By abandoning the Temple Mount, we're making the Moshiach feel very unwelcome.

It's like making the King go through the service entrance.


bracha said...

I love your blog Batya.
And I agree that we must NEVER relinquish our heritage, the Temple Mount!
I feel you are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT in saying that IT is the most sacred place on earth.
However, I have always understood that the reason our Sages have forbade us to go up there is simply because without our Holy Temple we do not yet have the sacred waters of the Parah Adumah, (the Red Heifer) to cleanse us of Tuma't HaMet, the spiritual uncleanliness that one gets upon contact with a dead person.
Mikvah will certainly cleanse the Tamei (spiritually) 'unclean' person.
However, when it comes to defilement of the nature of Tum'at HaMet - mikvah is not enough!
One must be cleansed through the waters of the Para Aduma.

Y'hi ratzon....sheyibaneh Beit Hamikdash bim'heira b'yameinu...
May it be the Will of Hashem, Our Hashem and the G-d of OUR FOREFATHERS that the Beit Hamikdash be rebuild very speedily. Amen.

Hadassa said...

The areas of the Temple Mount which are known NOT to be the site of the Temple itself are permitted after the requisite purification, which is required of men and women. The Rambam and other highly respected rabbis prayed on the Temple Mount. Only the site of the Temple itself requires purification with the Para Aduma. The exact site of the Temple is not known, but there are areas known not to be the site. Of course there are differing opinions, but observant Jews going up onto the Temple Mount are careful to enter only areas considered by all halachic authorities to be permitted.
It's rather ironic that by the Israeli government not keeping control over the Temple Mount after the Six Day War the rabbis and others who were so concerned about Jews going onto the Mount have created a situation in which non-religious Jews who are not interested in properly preparing themselves are able to enter the Mount much more easily that Jews who are meticulous about preparing themselves.

Batya said...

bracha, thanks for your encouraging words. I appreciate it. Unless we make efforts to build and prepare for the next Beit HaMikdash, G-d won't do His part. Remember that Nachshon wasn't suicidal when he jumped into the water.

Hadassa, thanks, as always.

MAOZ said...

" saying that we must all be vegetarians, because...."

Excellent analogy!

Batya said...

Maoz, thanks!