Wednesday, November 11, 2015

When A Jewish Mother's Breast Meets the Muslim Dome of the Rock

The campaign for Jewish rights to the current Temple Mount compound and within its precincts has always had its feminine side.  There is a "Women on Behalf of the Temple and Temple Mount" group with their Facebook page.  Others promote specific preparatory crafts, such as weaving, as a means for raising consciousness about the restrictions Jews face at their most holy site.  In the past, Rabbanit Penina Pel'i, Esther Abutbol and Rabbanit Esther Breuer were among the leading figures two and three decades ago. Today, Rabbanit Rivkah Shimoni and Rachel Sela and others.

Sometimes, they are physically attacked (and children, too) by Muslim women in addition to the shrieks they sound off.

Yesterday, Tuesday November 9th, was, perhaps, a turning point.

Those who wish to ascend while keeping to as full a commitment to the stringent Jewish ritual obligations as possible face a daunting task.  There is the mikveh immersion previous to arrival and keeping within a limited route for the walk-about.  Since the police are very uncooperative, there are long waits which include rising early to get there in time for the 7:30 AM opening and the long wait to enter, while hundreds of tourists go in through a parallel security check gate freely.

A nursing mother faces a daunting possibility: will she be able to complete the entire procedure without recourse to suckling her infant, or not.

Yesterday, Michal Ben-Uri needed to feed her infant while within the Temple Mount.  The police refused her permission and did it in a nasty and brusque if not brutal fashion.  Here is a short clip:

A second, longer clip, was posted at a major Israel news web site.

There were Rabbis who reacted in a negative fashion, asking whether the act was to be done in a modest way, that is, no flesh seen.  Others even asked if the act itself is permissible.

The responses came and noted that at the Hakhel ceremony at the end of the Shemittah seventh year period, all were to be present when the King read out from the Torah scroll. Others noted that every year during the Succot holiday, there was a special joyful Drawing of the Water event at which children were also present.  It would be logical that infants were there and that they would be needed to be fed.  Presumably, if modesty were kept, there would be no problem.  The Talmud, Tractate Chagiga 6A notes that while minors are technically exempt from the command to see and be seen at the Temple,* nevertheless:

Abaye said: Wherever a major is obligated according to the law of the Torah, we also initiate a minor according to Rabbinic law

The Western Wall feminists have been successful.

Will the Women of the Temple/Temple Mount be so as well now?



Chagiga 7A:  What is meant by Re'ayon [ראיון]? — R. Johanan says: [It means] appearing10 in the Temple Court.

(10) The different form of the word implies a different meaning from ראיה; the latter in this context would mean ‘the (cost of the) pilgrimage burnt-offering’; the former signifies ‘appearing’ in the Temple.


The Temple Institute has the story up.  And this comment and response.


Can you imagine this ceremony on the Temple Mount?

Three MKs have called on Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, supervisor of the Western Wall and the holy places, to allow a Hanukka candle-lighting ceremony to be staged in the women’s section of the Western Wall for the upcoming holiday.
MKs Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Union), Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) and Michal Rozin (Meretz) made their call following a campaign launched this week by the Women of the Wall prayer-rights group, which is calling on public officials to refuse invitations to participate in the annual public candle-lighting ceremony staged at the Western Wall.
A Hanukka candle-lighting ceremony is staged every year at the Western Wall in the men’s section of the plaza, in which prominent leaders and public officials are invited to light the Hanukka lights each night of the eight-day holiday.
Women are not invited to participate, however.

Incidentally, the Rambam records in Hilchot Bi'at Hamikdash that a Kohen who performs the Temple service while drunk on milk is to be punished but, most importantly, his service was kosher as "drunk" refers only to wine.   


Chapter 2
Halacha 1
Whenever a priest who is fit to perform Temple service drinks wine, he is forbidden to enter the area of the Altar or [proceeds] beyond there. If he entered [that area] and performed service, his service is invalid and he is liable for death at the hand of heaven

Halacha 2
If a person is intoxicated from beverages other than wine, he is forbidden to enter the Temple. If he enters and performs service while intoxicated from other beverages - even if he is intoxicated from milk or figs - he is liable for lashes, but his service is valid, for one is liable for death only when drinking wine at the time of service and one does not invalidate service unless he is intoxicated from wine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

תימלול של פניני השוטרים בסרטון הזה:
תתקדם... תתקדמו בבקשה. יקירתי, לא שאלתי אותך. תתקדמי בבקשה. אני לא מנהל משא ומתן. נגמרה ההצגה, תתקדמו. תתקדמו בבקשה. לאיפה את הולכת? לאיפה את הולכת?! את הולכת לאיפה שאומרים לך. להמשיך ישר. זו לא פעם ראשונה של אף אחד מכם. תתקדמו בבקשה. גברת, משם בבקשה. אין משא ומתן. אני לא מנהל איתך משא ומתן. לא יושבים פה. לא מחכים לאף אחד. אנחנו ממשיכים. תתקדמו בבקשה. נגמרה ההצגה. אדוני, תצטרף בבקשה לקבוצה. פנה שמאלה. בוקר טוב, אין משא ומתן. זה מה שאת לא מבינה. הבנתי. חבר'ה, תתקדמו בבקשה. חברים, תתקדמו כולם בבקשה כמו שצריך. חבר'ה, זה לא עובד ככה. די. די. מספיק. אי אפשר. די. די. חבר'ה, בואו כולכם. תתלונני. למה אתם מתעקשים פה? למה את מתעקשת פה? זה לא משא ומתן. להמשיך להתקדם, חבר, להמשיך להתקדם.