Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Rabbis Are Wrong

Nadav Shragai has a Temple Mount article up at Haaretz.


...a few months ago an emissary visited the Temple Mount on behalf of ultra-Orthodox rabbinical judge, who concluded that, contrary to the ruling of the most revered ultra-Orthodox rabbis, under certain circumstances it is possible to allow the entry of Jews to the Temple Mount. The well-known judge hastened to share his findings with his close circle, family and friends, but they just as quickly cooled his enthusiasm, warning him against publishing his conclusions.

In the ultra-Orthodox world there is absolutely no tolerance for anyone who violates the prohibition against visiting the Temple Mount. Tendler, who openly visited the mount, has been roundly censured. About 20 years ago the Belz Hassidic Elboim family, which founded the Movement for Establishing the Temple faced similar responses, but continues to visit the Temple Mount every week.

Yosef Elboim, the movement's leader, has had excommunication orders issued against him, disallowing him from being counted in a minyan; the mezuzahs have been torn off the doorpost at the entrance to his house, and his front door was set on fire. In Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, announcements were plastered on the notice boards, denouncing him and the "other sinners" who joined him. The harassment stopped only after Elboim's friends responded by protesting outside the home of the then rabbi of the ultra-Orthodox Ezrat Torah neighborhood, the late Rabbi Simcha Bunim Waldenberg.

This week, when the most respected ultra-Orthodox rabbis saw the widening crack in their following, and amid growing fears that others would be drawn toward the lenient national-religious ruling, the rabbis mounted a counteroffensive. Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, instructed Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, who presides over the Western Wall, to reissue the rabbinical ruling from 40 years ago, forbidding visits to the mount. "The rabbis who allow this are mistaken," announced Yosef, "and they will ultimately be held accountable."

No comments: