Thursday, October 08, 2015

Contra The Coalition of Nay-Sayers

The entrance into the current Temple Mount compound (not to be confused with the original halachic boundaries of a 500 cubit square that was sanctified) is, admittedly, a religious problem.  But over the years, and recently, more pronouncedly, the more rigid haredi sector (but not exclusively; there is Rabbi Aviner)  opposed to entrance adds a theological-political element: the act simply upsets the Muslims so much that it is a cause for them to murder Jews, making those who promote entrance therein guilty of shared responsibility for deaths of Jews.

For example, Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, a senior Edah Hareidit rabbi, declared this week that the tragedies hang on those who ascend:

הבוקר (הושענא רבא) אחרי התפילה אמר הראב"ד למקורביו כי "הפיגועים הם בעוון עליית יהודים להר הבית".
the terror attacks result from the sin of Jews ascending to the Temple Mount.

Three months ago, the ultra-Orthodox Yated Ne’eman newspaper published a scathing editorial that combined halachic arguments with diplomatic considerations as grounds for opposing such visits. The editorial called Jews who insist on visiting the site “wild weeds,” and said, “They make it a point to throw a match into an oil well that could bury the Middle East in smoking ashes.” Surprisingly, the newspaper’s editorial...reflects claims of the Israeli left, which argues that going up to the site is an act of political provocation...

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, chief rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Sites, also takes an unequivocal position opposing visits to the Temple Mount.

Already in 2008, we read of Haredi Rabbis demanding the renewal of the ban on Jews entering the Temple Mount.  A year ago, Yated Ne’eman, called for the government to close the site to Jewish visitors, labeling Jewish visitation to the spot as provocative and contrary to Jewish law.

“They are laying out a red carpet for terrorists which will only become redder with blood as the tensions are intensified. These [people] will not be satisfied

One response to this rabbinical attitude has been that there is a status quo that prohibits prayer and not to be present within, even as 'tourists', not only would be a fatal error (but then again, there are several who are happy the Arabs control the compound and so prevent Jews from entering and are not at all interested in the issue of political sovereignty) but would endanger Jews down below at the Western Wall.  They would be struck by rocks coming down from above and soon enough, pressure will increase on Jewish residency within the Old City walls.

My thinking is that the only way we can counter Arab delegitimization and denial of Jewish history is to be there.  Take this attitude:

Arab-Israeli MK: Jews Have No Connection to Temple Mount

...In an interview Friday in a Hebrew-language publication, Joint Arab List MK Hanin Zoabi said, “The name is al-Aqsa, not the Temple Mount, and there is nothing there for Jews...the Temple Mount, which is adjacent to the Western Wall, is “a place for Muslims only, according to all the agreements signed after the occupation of Jerusalem, and the agreements between Jordan and Israel.

...When a reporter asked if she acknowledges that Judaism’s first and second temples once stood on the site, Zoabi said the temple “is not part of the political reality in which we live.”  She added that “the existence of the temple is not verified scientifically.”

Abbas' UN speech last month was noted by Jonathan Halevy

On Sept. 30, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas gave a speech to the UN General Assembly in which he outlined the unilateral steps he intends to take to achieve Palestinian sovereignty in the territories and east Jerusalem without reaching a peace agreement with Israel.
Abbas’ speech revealed his basic stance, which includes unequivocal support for terror, a racist attitude toward the Jewish people, an entrenched hatred for Israel, and a will to destroy it.
"Palestine is the land of holiness and peace, the birthplace of Jesus the emissary of love and the place of Muhammad’s ascent to heaven," Abbas said. He pointedly refrained from mentioning that the land is also holy to the Jewish people whose history has been entwined with it for millennia.

My conclusion is that a Jewish presence, not of soldiers or policemen, be a constant, accepted and recognized reality at the Temple Mount.  If the halacha recognized exceptions to the rule of ritual purity, for example,

There was a place in the upper storey [of the Temple]which was...entered only once in seven years, to [inspect it] and find out what is necessary for its repair...It is a mitzvah for [those who enter] to be ritually pure. If no [capable craftsman] who are ritually pure can be found, impure [craftsmen] may enter...All those who enter to repair the Temple should be lowered down inside crates [from the upper floor]. If no crates are available or if it is impossible [to make arrangements for them to enter] using crates, they may enter through the [usual] entrances.

then our current dilemma can also be similarly treated. 



NormanF said...

In essence, the real problem is Jews fleeing from their identity, their history and their roots in the Land.

Netanyahu's last minute decision to temper his evil decree by also banning Arab MK's from visiting the Temple Mount makes it far worse because places Jew-hating Arabs on a morally equivalent plane with the Jewish victims of their violence.

Hoping for calm doesn't address the real issue: it matters not so much now if Jews can pray on the Temple Mount but the Jewish connection to the Land and Jewish national rights.

None of which should be noted, where even mentioned by Netanyahu in recent address to the UN.

In a word Israel's real problem isn't Jew-hating Arabs, its Jews' failure to set forth their own narrative to their own people and the rest of the world.

When Jews know who they are, all the rest will fall into place.

Anonymous said...

off-topic: Am I the only one who notices that israelnationalnews-dot-com is becoming totally unusable, because they've overloaded it with excess advertising that constantly re-loads and re-loads and re-loads?

i'm on the verge of giving up on them.

PS: jpost-dot-com is the same.