Friday, October 31, 2014

Mainstreaming the Temple Mount

The Temple Mount has gone mainstream, according to Anshel Pfeffer

The shooting of Yehuda Glick is a stark reminder that those seeking a return to Judaism’s holiest site are no longer a bunch of fringe extremists. We dismiss them at our peril.


Yehuda Glick is a dangerous extremist whose actions could plunge us all into a bloody religious war. Yehuda Glick is a civil rights activist bravely fighting for freedom of worship. Yehuda Glick is a Jewish supremacist seeking to extend Israeli occupation to one of Islam’s most sacred sites...He also represents what could be the greatest ideological challenge in this century to the religious Orthodox establishment, to old-fashioned Zionism and to secular Judaism, all at once.

...Glick kept away some of the more militant Temple Mount activists who seek (and in at least one case actively tried) to destroy the mosques and build the Third Temple in their place...[nevertheless] the campaign to reestablish a more permanent Jewish presence on Mount Moriah is dangerous. Their Judaism is one that exalts sacred stones and hallowed soil above human life, and threatens to take the Zionist endeavour down a dark alley where it was never intended to go.

...a wider movement has also evolved and it isn’t just about religious extremism or ultra-nationalism but something much deeper.

...It is much too easy to explain away the growing Temple Mount movement as another phenomenon of the growing right-wing religious radicalism in Israel – though that does play a major role, of course. There is another motivation at work. I tried to ask a friend who has gone to pray on the Mount, a modern-Orthdox feminist lawyer who has worked for left-wing NGOs, why she did it and she answered that she wanted to try and “connect with something deeper and purer than the everyday mundane religious practice.”

...The Temple Mount movement, like any other wave of religious and national awakening, is full of political charlatans and racist fundamentalists, but those are easily identifiable and while extremely dangerous, have been countered and contained in the past...The real challenge is those motivated by a general malaise and disillusionment with a hidebound religious establishment and ultra-materialistic Israeli state, seeking a return to a fuzzy notion of an ancient and cleaner past. The fact that this past never existed and that by all historic accounts the Jerusalem temples, like any other godly institution, were rife with corruption and political intrigue, doesn’t diminish those yearnings.

For over a century most rabbis took a pragmatic line and prohibited entrance to the Mount on the grounds...But many young religious Jews today are challenging the rabbinate on just about every issue. Defying their edicts by going up to pray on the Mount is akin to their insisting that women should be allowed to recite kaddish in public or that Orthodox communities embrace homosexual couples. For them it isn’t about politics, but about challenging old norms...they are looking for a new frontier of Zionism. For some that means founding ecological cooperatives in the Negev desert, for others it is coming to grips with a mystical taboo at the heart of Jerusalem...empty Zionist slogans and flabby liberal cliches of tikkun olam are all failing to energize a disillusioned generation. Many opt out, lose interest in their heritage and seek a comfortable life in Berlin, while others seek to broaden the envelope of their Jewish existence. To them the Temple is the last frontier and Yehuda Glick is its brave pioneer.

The Temple Mount Faithful is no longer a fringe element or an obscure cult of religious extremists. Treating them like a bunch of dangerous, yet containable crazy fundamentalists, increases the chances they could cause a major disaster.

I wonder why he doesn't suggest annulling the law for the Protection of the Holy Places is he is so concerned but would that be democratic and liberal?  And why he doesn't seek to have the Muslims lower their level of violence, verbal and physical, or does he grant them the usual pass on their behavior? 


1 comment:

Anonymous said...


[The Reason Gentiles Should Be Judeophobia- Fear of Jews]


"If there was a legal case between a Jew and a Gentile (non-Jew), then the manner of judging between them is as I will explain: if we [i.e., a Jew] will win under their laws, we judge them according to their laws and say to them: this is your law! If it is better that we judge according to our laws, we judge them according to our laws and say to them: this is our law! And do not find it difficult, and don't be surprised by it, just as one is not surprised about the slaughter of animals even though they have done no harm, for one in whom human characteristics are not complete is not truly a man, and his end purpose is only for 'man' [that is to say, the entire raison d'etre of the Gentiles is only for the benefit of the complete man --
comment by Rabbi Y. Kapach shlita in his edition of Maimonides's Commentary on the Mishnah], and the discussion on this matter requires a separate book."