Sunday, August 24, 2008

Temple Mount - renewal of ban

Israel's leading ultra-Orthodox rabbis are waging a new offensive against Jews visiting Jerusalem's Temple Mount. Rabbis Shalom Elyashiv, Chaim Kanievsky and Ovadia Yosef sent a letter recently to Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, the overseer of holy places in the Western Wall complex, urging him to reiterate the religious decree signed 40 years ago by most rabbis in Israel forbidding Jews from entering the Mount.

The rabbis' efforts follow the publication in Haaretz last month of the visit of Rabbi Moshe Tendler, the son-in-law of prominent U.S. rabbi Moshe Feinstein, to the Temple Mount. Rabbi Tendler was photographed visiting the plaza atop the Mount, where the Dome of the Rock Islamic shrine now sits, igniting a firestorm of controversy in the ultra-Orthodox community. Several other prominent ultra-Orthodox rabbis have ascended the Mount in recent years, including Rabbi Dov Kook of Tiberias, the husband of Elyashiv's granddaughter.

The rabbis' statement calls for a complete ban on entering any part of the Temple Mount complex for fear of compromising the "purity" of the area.

The declaration stated that "as time passed, we have lost knowledge of the precise location of the Temple, and anyone entering the Temple Mount is liable to unwittingly enter the area of the Temple and the Holy of Holies," referring to the inner sanctuary of the Temple tabernacle.

Rabbi Elyashiv urged Rabinovich to place notices and guards around the complex to warn the faithful of the prohibition.

Rabbi Kanievsky wrote that "entrance to the Temple Mount, and the defilement of the Holy of Holies, is more severe than any of the violations in the Torah."

After Israel gained control of the Temple Mount in the 1967 Six-Day War, the chief rabbinate placed signs around the complex informing visitors that entering the area would result in divine punishment, namely death.

But recent years have seen a change in position among national-religious rabbis, many of whom have made efforts to lift the ban on visiting the Mount. The change in position is due partly to damage caused to Jewish antiquities at the site, and the denial by Muslim authorities of Jewish links to the area. Kiryat Shmona chief rabbi Zephania Drori, chief rabbi of Judea and Samaria Dov Lior and Ma'aleh Adumim yeshiva head Nahum Rabinovich are among the religious authorities calling for a review of the ban.


  1. am i on the only onewho gets annoyed when these secular press people cant get the names of ourgedolim correct?
    Rav Elyashiv goes by the name R' yosef sholom, not r' sholom.

    And why, rabbi daas torah, cant you at least fix it on your blog? Its irks me to no end!!!


  2. And why, rabbi daas torah, cant you at least fix it on your blog? Its irks me to no end!!!
    Sorry to hear you are upset. There are more important things in life than editing secular newspaper reports. Blogging takes considerable time as it is.

  3. The rabbis acknowledge that we forgot the location of Makom HaMikdash, but take it for granted that it is somewhere between the walls of the Charam, ignoring the most likely location, south of the Charam. It is readily accessible. Enter Ir David, turn left to the look-out point, and go up the stairs. Turn to the North, and look down. Makom HaMikdash.

  4. I'm shocked and astounded.

    How did a Kook manage to marry into the Eliashiv family?!?

  5. The Elyashiv family is in Israel because Rav A.I. Kook brought out Rav Elyashiv's father. Rav Elyashiv also used to attend a shiur with Rav Herzog on Friday morning's and there is a famous picture of him in Heichal Shlomo ...

  6. I'm shocked and astounded.

    How did a Kook manage to marry into the Eliashiv family?!?
    Rav Kook was very close with the Leshem (Rav Eliashiv's grandfather) and was his student in kabbala. Rav Eliashiv's father in law - Rav Aryeh Levin quotes Rav Kook regarding the greatness of the Leshem in his biographical introduction to the Leshem's sefer.
    Furthermore Rav Kook was mesader kiddushin at Rav Eliashiv's chasana.

  7. Daas Torah Sir,
    You also forgot that Reb Tzvi Yehuda Kook was the shadchan for Rav ELyashuv with his rebbetzin, the daughter of Rav Aryeh Levin (BTW. Rav Levin was one of Rav Avrohom Yitzchak Hakohen Kooks closest yedid nefesh)
    On this subject, we might as well burn, ignore and stop learning torah baal pah (gd forbid) which is a sefer dedicated to arguments, and difference of opinions on halacha and hashkafa. There are many rabbanim who differ with each other on issues leshem shamayamin. During a shmittah year, those who follow the psak of the Chazon Ish treat Arab produce as kedushas shivis while the Yerushalmi Edah ignores the kedusha entirely. Is anyone yelling, screaming and putting the other in cherem ????? There is an outright differences of psak on this issue, and I say "Baruch Hashem" that we have a living and functioning Toras Hashem. So to with the inyun of kedusha of the har habayis.

  8. While the concept of an intra Orthodox (haredi/RZ) war might fit the agenda of those whose goal it is to "divide and conquer" the Jewish people, it is not accurate.


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