Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Round-up of Temple Mount Material

First, an interview:

Rabbi Cherlow: 'Human Rights' Includes Jews Worshipping on Mount

..."The term 'struggle' as it relates to the Jewish desire to worship on the Temple Mount does not accurately describe the desire, the longing of Jews to ascend to the Mount and worship G-d," he writes in an article in a journal distributed by the Yeshiva. Rabbi Cherlow appeals to "lovers of truth and justice" to identify with that desire – as a matter of freedom of worship, a basic human right.

...Respecting others' freedom of worship is a part of the mosaic of truth and justice, according to Rabbi Cherlow: "Despite our differences of opinions in other areas, I appeal to you, those with whom I have worked on such issues, to support me now. There is nothing more dangerous than hypocrisy. The power of a moral stance is only strong when there is no hypocrisy, when it is untainted by political motives. It is effective only if it is straightforward and honest. Those who seek to advance the cause of human rights and the basic elements of justice, but do not do so in an honest manner, cause untold damage to the cause of justice and ethics."

That logic applies when it comes to Jewish worship on the Temple Mount, he writes. "Those who fight for freedom of worship, but are quiet when Jews are shamed and bullied when they attempt to ascend the Mount, damage the cause of justice and morality. Those who claim that 'terrorists should not be rewarded' when it comes to a liberal cause, but here claim that we cannot ascend the Mount because of 'Muslim violence,' those who say that 'the time is not right,' but never seem to be able to find the right time, are committing terrible acts against the cause of justice – and still expect to be rewarded!...This hypocrisy hurts us all, right and left. Anyone who does profess those values of fighting for truth and justice has an obligation to fight in this instance, as well."

Next, an example of irrationality bordering on the criminal, and a lie as well:

Plot to "divide al-Aqsa Mosque" seen in latest Temple Mount violence

...The violence erupted when members of the Islamic Movement mobilized to the site to prevent followers of the right-wing Eretz Israel Shelanu [???] from holding a gathering at the Temple Mount...many Palestinian leaders see them as a tool in a larger Israeli agenda. In a televised news conference from Damascus after the riots, Hamas official Khalid Mash'al warned that Israel could attempt to divide the al-Aqsa Mosque compound: "It was the first time Israeli army locked the gates of the mosque with chains, barring the call to prayer, breaking into its yards for long periods of time...These acts are intended to divide Al-Aqsa and force their [Jews'] religious rituals on it." This was a seeming allusion to the division of the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron, half of which is controlled by Israeli settlers.

"Jerusalem for us, as Palestinians, is all of Jerusalem with all of its land, residents and its Islamic symbols... The Jews have no right to it," he added. "Jerusalem’s fate will not be decided in negotiations but in the balance of confrontation and resistance."

And another example of a bit of wrong-headed thinking:

Israel's "Third Templars" don't seem to care about the consequences of stoking an apocalyptic religious war with Islamic civilization - 56 countries, 1.57 billion faithful, most of them currently on the sidelines of the Arab-Israel conflict.

...AFTER ISRAEL captured the area from Jordan in 1967, Moshe Dayan decided to be magnanimous in victory and continue the authority of the Muslim religious trust, or Wakf, to administer the site. Jews, previously barred by Muslims from reaching the holy places, were allowed to ascend the Mount during visiting hours. In keeping with Jewish tradition and in cognizance of Muslim sensibilities, they were, however, prohibited from conducting religious services.

This seemed the perfect compromise...Now [now?] a diverse group of mostly post-Zionist settler rabbis, messianic followers of the late Lubavitcher rebbe and practicing "Third Templars" - abetted by a smattering of ultra-right-wing Knesset members - [no one else? Rabbi Tendler?] have banded together to force the "hand of God." Ostensibly, they are calling upon the Jewish masses to ascend the Mount and assert a Jewish presence there; we suspect that what many of them really want is to "disappear" the Muslim shrines, put up a Jewish temple and recommence animal sacrifices. [you mean like what every Jew prays three times daily?]

Therein our dilemma: Step back from the Temple Mount, and Arab intimidation wins. Assert Jewish rights, and risk heartening a band of Jewish extremists high on a toxic [toxic?] potion of piety and politics. That even a "moderate" Palestinian leader like Mahmoud Abbas does not accept the Temple Mount as sacred to Jews further complicates the predicament.

ONE POSSIBLE approach is for the government to explicitly remind the Wakf that its administrative role on the Mount derives from the authority vested in it by the Jewish state. [oh yes, the old nu-nu-nu approach; that has worked so well, especially with a Waqf that considers Israel as a non-existent illegitimate entity] Successive governments have abdicated their fiduciary responsibilities by failing to monitor Wakf treatment of Jewish visitors and, most troublingly, looking the other way as the Muslim trust carried out unauthorized excavations.

...Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu...should disabuse anyone who imagines that the antics of these "Third Templars" have support on the sane Right.

Given the Palestinians' endemic intransigence and quick resort to violence - including, it should be stressed, via malevolent inflation of tensions on the Mount - it is easy to be dismissive of all their grievances over Jerusalem. But sometimes, more sensitivity could be applied.


Anonymous said...


I'm having some trouble understanding the Temple Mount from the perspective of the Rabbi's who keep saying that no Jews can go up on the Temple Mount.

If you don't go up on the Mount, how can the third Temple be constructed, etc.?

It seems this goes along with what you are saying in this blog.


YMedad said...

They have no problem: either Messiah comes and builds it or it comes down from on high all set and ready for sacrifices. Too bad Ezra did have that type of help, nor Herod.