Temple Mount Access: Oh, the Irony

by | Feb 6, 2014 | Israel & Jewish Roots, Standing With Israel

The recent visit of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Israel brought a lot of excitement. It was a week when I could not have been prouder to be a Canadian-Israeli.

Harper’s support for Israel is both trailblazing and legendary. In fact, his support for both the Jewish people and the state of Israel is unwavering, and ultimately for one reason—“Because it’s the right thing to do.”

I doubt whether there is any other leader of comparable dignity and integrity in the entire Western world.

There was one unfortunate issue with Harper’s visit, however, which is worthy of discussion in this week’s column, and that is his visit to the holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. His visit to the Kotel (Western Wall) was supposed to be followed by ascending the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock, just above and beyond the wall. But the tour was canceled. Why? It’s because two of the prime minister’s bodyguards were Jews. (No, there is no typo here.)

How can it be that Muslims decide who gets to visit the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism? What’s more, Jews (those who are eventually granted access to the Mount) are forbidden from praying on the Temple Mount! That’s right. It is not true that a Jew is permitted to pray anywhere and everywhere in the State of Israel. It is against the law for Jews to pray on the Temple Mount.

Although Israel liberated the Temple Mount in 1967, the government has allowed the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic Trust) to retain control of the site. Since then, the Waqf does not cease to destroy any trace of Jewish history or identity there.

Not only is this policy an abomination of our political independence and sovereignty, but it also contradicts the entire purpose of the Temple and the Temple Mount. There is no better place in the entire state of Israel where Jews, Christians and Muslims should all be welcome to pray than at the Temple Mount. As the prophet Isaiah says:

“I will bring them to my holy mountain and I will fill them with joy in my house of prayer. I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices, because my Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations” (Is. 56:7).

That being said, I would be remiss not to point out that there is a school of thought within Orthodox Judaism that forbids Jews from ascending the Temple Mount. This is not for any political consideration, but rather for a religious one. This is because nowadays, we are considered to be ritually impure. Today, we do not have the ability to fully purify ourselves. In Temple times, one could be purified with the ashes of the red heifer. Now, however, in the absence of a functioning temple, this ritual cannot be carried out.

Today, Jews are able to attain a certain level of purify by immersing themselves in a mikva, a ritual bath. Nevertheless, this purifies a person only to a certain point, not to the fullest extent. Complete purity, which is required in order to enter the holier areas of the Temple Mount, can be attainable only with the arrival of the Messiah and the rebuilding of the Temple.

According to all authorities of Jewish law, a mikva does sufficiently purify a person for ascension to the outer areas of the Temple Mount. The question is: Do we know exactly where on the Temple Mount the holier areas—where we may not enter—was located? According to one line of thought, the answer to that is yes: Due to compelling archaeological evidence, we do know where the holiest areas, including the Holy of Holies, were situated. At the very least, we know where the holier areas are not situated. Therefore, the outer areas of the Temple Mount may be visited after immersing in a mikva.

Throughout the ages, rabbinic scholars had personally ascended the Temple Mount, including the 11th-century famous Torah authority, philosopher and physician Maimonides. Those who ascend nowadays follow his ruling.

Other Torah scholars, of which there are many, feel that since the transgression for even accidentally entering the area where the Holy of Holies had once stood is so severe, we should not take any risk. As such, they rule that all ascent to the Temple Mount is forbidden. This is also the ruling of the chief rabbinate of the state of Israel.

As pointed out by Rabbi Dr. Ari Zivotofky in an article posted on the Orthodox Union website, “Advocates [for visiting the Temple Mount] insist on extreme caution and intense reverence, but see a value in establishing a connection between the Jewish people and the awesome holiness of Judaism’s most sanctified site.”

So, where does that leave Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada? Well, he is not Jewish and therefore not subject to Judaism’s rules of purity and impurity. As such, he is welcome to tour the Temple Mount anytime. We look forward to his return.

Ari Enkin is the rabbinic director of United With Israel. For the original article, visit unitedwithisrael.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

Most of my life I tried to avoid one thing—being crazy or insane. When I was growing up my mother had emotional issues and saw a psychiatrist regularly. She was on medication which only seemed to make her mood swings worse. She had high highs, and low lows. When I...

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFFqAgykmU A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis,...

RECENT ARTICLES

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder...
Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong July Employment Report.  Total nonfarm employment was 528K (398K previously, 250K expected).  Private nonfarm employment was 471K (404K previously, 230K expected). The headline unemployment rate dropped to...

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

The wind is a funny thing. We do not know where it comes from nor where it goes. We cannot see it, but we can see and feel its effects. Wind can be gentle and refreshing, cold or hot, strong, and dangerous, and everything in between. When the wind blows, we must...

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding change and the specific strategies to deal with change more...

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]