Sunday, August 24, 2008

You Know You're Right When You're Criticized

Haredi rabbis call for renewing Temple Mount 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' 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.

...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...Visits by religious Jews to the site have also increased significantly. Some rabbis have cited the principle of the "law of conquest," according to which territories in the Holy Land must be wrested from "foreign" control.

The key, as we all know, is simply delinieating where the Temple Mount, originally a 500 square cubit area, was not.

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