Thursday, October 08, 2009


The Heart

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

The heart of the Jewish people is Israel. The heart of Israel is Jerusalem. And the heart of Jerusalem is Har HaBayit - the Temple Mount. This is the spot where Avraham brought Yitzchok, where Yaakov had his dream. It's where the Holy Temples stood, where the Divine Presence dwelt.

- The Israeli government would like to ignore it, to keep Jews away and just let the Arabs quietly continue their use of the place. (It's understandable, governments just want quiet.)

- The ultra-orthodox establishment would like to ignore it and keep Jews away from there. There's many serious halachic (Jewish law) issues as well as hashkafa (Jewish tradition/theology) issues that come to the fore there. (It's understandable, what rabbi wants the challenge of facing the most serious issues of the religion?)

- The secular Israels would just wall the place off, they don't want religious stuff putting lives or starting battles. The secular Jews outside of Israel for the most part don't even know what I'm talking about.

But some how (meaning hashgacha pratit - Divine providence) Har HaBayit keeps coming to the fore...

For those who haven't been following the news, before Yom Kippur a normal quiet small (kosher) Jewish tour of the Temple Mount was going on. Suddenly the tour was confronted by hundreds of muslims who attacked them with rocks and bricks. The police stopped the budding riot (and stopped the muslims from moving on to the Kotel and throwing bricks from 5 stories above onto the heads of the Jews below).

Since then the muslim preachers have been trying to start a religious war, calling for the world of islam to come and defend the mosque there against the massive Jewish incursion (50 people touring). Every day new claims of religious outrage are made and calls for violent defense declared.

The Israeli police found much of the situation a set up (riot materials pre-piled for example), and limited access to older worshippers (less likely to riot).

On Friday, Hoshannah Rabbah, the muslims have called for MASSIVE RIOTS in Jerusalem. Friday being Hoshannah Rabbah, it's also a very big day for Jews to come to the Kotel.

Once again we're being reminded that even if we try to ignore it, Har HaBayit won't go away. Even if we try to abandon it, we won't be allowed to. We cannot keep Jerusalem without Har HaBayit, and we cannot keep Israel without Jerusalem.

And it's almost Hoshannah Rabbah, where it's coming to a head.

h/t Israel Matzav - Day of Rage


Michoel said...

"It's understandable, what rabbi wants the challenge of facing the most serious issues of the religion?"

With all due respect, this is a very silly statement. It is not a question of wanting or not wanting. Gedolei Torah take the challenge because that is their job and their responsibility. You need to be open to the possibility that their opinion is not the same as your opinion.

Yosef said...

I have to agree that making such a general and derogatory statement about gedolei Yisrael is not befitting your blog, which shares so much Torah and mitzvos with people.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that what 'the heart' is all about?
Personal views?

Shiloh said...

Excellent post Akiva. What rabbi's on the planet want to actually confront what the Torah say's. They issue anti-Torah halachot instead. And we wonder why we have such hell here in Our Land!!!! We just cannot get it. Hope the 'rabbi's' have not pee'd off the Mashiach too much.

Anonymous said...

you make a serious error here. please reconsider and delete this post. how can you or any other jew in israel go against rav tzvi yehuda hakohen kook zt'l??? r' elyashiv, shlita, is an acknowledged expert on halacha in these matters.
visiting har habayit is not the issue. following the torah and cultivating unity and ahavas yisroel is.
the only thing that israel needs to do re har habayit is prevent ishmael from destroying artifacts, areas, etc. this is hard enough.
an essential part of our honoring the mesorah, akiva, is honoring what our elders and rabbeim have said: currently and over the centuries.
really, who are we to question it? the people at the temple institute are not doing a service to am yisroel in this regard.
please reconsider the implications of your post and revamp or delete it: l'shem shamayim!!!!

Anonymous said...

i must tell you that i also hope and pray that israel will deport all the mamzerim aravim from the knesset...and deport all the bad guys from islamic movement etc.
the key though, for us, is achdut, jewish unity, and one good place is honoring our mesorah re har habayit.

Shiloh said...

PS Anonomous, why the hell don't the rabbi's follow our Torah and not the traditions of men? The Torah states exactly what we are to be doing, along with the Prophets. Do not follow the majority to evil. Banning Jews from Har HaBayit is pure evil.

Akiva said...

Michoel & Yosef, ??? I didn't state an opinion on accessing Har HaBayit in this article, just that in general the subject is being ignored (not access, dealing with Har HaBayit as a whole).

Anonymous 4:11, same statement. "the only thing that israel needs to do re har habayit is prevent ishmael from destroying artifacts, areas, etc. this is hard enough." Ok, I'm fine if that's the halachic position. But if it is, then I expect to see serious Jewish protest next time a tractor heads towards Har HaBayit. You know, the kind I saw recently when the city opened a parking lot on Shabbos near the Old City.

See here's the point. We will riot and burn down our neighborhood for the kavod of Shabbos in Jerusalem - not in our neighborhood nor directly affecting us - for the kavod of Shabbos in Jerusalem. Why? Because Shabbos matters that much!

But what about Har HaBayit?

Shabbos we understand we have to take in our hands. We do our part and pray that Hashem does His part.

But Har HaBayit?

Where's our protest? Where's our voice telling our government that it MATTERS to us? Where's our demonstration when they rain ROCKS and BRICKS down from Har HaBayit onto the Kotel plaza?

Anonymous said...

ah, so you know better than r' tzvi yehuda hakohen kook zt'l?

akiva:yes, am yisrael must show our opposition to these things. rioting on or re shabbos is also not correct.

i do agree that more must be done to stop the wackf (my spelling) from harming one inch of har habayit.

my main point here is honoring what r' tzvi kook and others before and after him said re jews setting foot on har habayit.

the problems we incur from heaven by transgressing this are serious, as you know.

we also have to stop the pure emotional/inaccurate statements that only cause problems and do the opposite ch'v of ahavas yisroel.

Rachel Tzipporah said...

BTW, Baruch Hashem nothing happened on Hashanah Rabbah. Hashem wants His Yiddin to come to Him, and He is prepared to protect them.

Now that the chag is over though, I am a bit more worried.

Anonymous said...

re the har habayit:
please see likutey moharan 61:6
note 144 (english/hebrew edition).

it describes how the even shetiyah/foundation stone mitigated all the dinim. that the only person who could go there was the kohen gadol on yom kippur. (the same stone where avraham bound yithak and where yaakov had his dream)....

so, friends, this stone, which is under the current 'dome' so holy that only the kohen gadol could go there and only on yom kippur...

don't you now see why our rabbeim..such as r' tzvi yehuda hakohen kook zt'l, r' elyashiv etc...have ruled that we can't ascent to the har habayit?
can't you see that there is a danger of stepping somewhere, we don't know where...where it is prohibiited.
no matter how much we think we know, or other rabbis think they know, i think it is wise for us to follow the guidance of such people as t.y. kook and elyashiv.
because, ultiamtely, it is our honoring of the torah which keeps us. not what we think or wish to think: not what we wish were true.
we can ascend w/moshiach. to bring moshiach we have to honor the torah as best we can. and this means honoring what our sages have taught us.
please, am yisroel who read this blog, please understand this and don't lwt certain people from a7 or wherever cause problems.
yes, we do need to stop ishmael from desecrating and destroying the site. but for this, as well, we need to consult with our wise rabbis.
i know that i don't have the wisdom of a kook or an elyashiv:do any of you? if you think you know better, you need to check yourself.
may H' grant us ahavas yisroel and shalom al yisrael today!
it says in tehilim, in the commentaries..when will moshiach come? today, if you hearken to His voice.

Yosef said...

The part that I thought wasn't appropriate was the suggestion that gedolei Yisrael "don't want to deal" with the serious issues of Judaism, and that that is why they prohibit going on Har HaBayit. I didn't think it was right to publish that, since it is character assassination, and also not true.
About "waking up" to the issue of the Arabs desecrating Har HaBayit and destroying who knows what, I agree.

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