To Whom Is The Temple Mount Holiest?

We constantly hear from the mainstream media how the Temple Mount is holy to both Jews and Muslims – and that is if we are lucky (many mention its sanctity to Muslims only).

How holy is the Temple Mount to Jews? I’ll let this latest report do the talking.

Temple Mount activist MK Rabbi Yehuda Glick (Likud) told Hakol Hayehudi on Wednesday that he believes Jews should be encouraged to ascend to the Temple Mount even if they did not dip in a mikvah first.

Glick prefaced that statement by saying, “As the rabbis wrote, ascending to the Temple Mount requires ritual purification, this is what Halakha (Jewish law) obligates us to do and we are committed to halakha and see a great obligation to encourage the public to ascend properly.”

Naturally, Glick stresses that “it is preferable that whoever leads the ascent be rabbinic scholars who would guide the public, that is our goal,” but adds that “when I look at the phenomenon and the process I say unequivocally – it’s better to have as many Jews as possible [go up to the Temple Mount], rather than having only a few go up due to their fears.”

“Our obligation, first and foremost is to ensure that the people of Israel go up to the Temple Mount, therefore, if you ask me, it is important they go up in holiness and purity, but it is preferable that people go up not in a state of purity rather than there be no Jewish presence on the mountain.”

MK Glick spoke in response to a statement by several National Religious rabbis, led by Rabbi Dov Lior, Chief Rabbi of Hebron, and Rabbi Nahum Rabinowitz, Dean of the Ma’aleh Adumim yeshiva, which encouraged Jewish ascent to the Temple Mount, but attempted to regulate the ascent, asserting, among other points, that Jews must dip in a mikvah before entering the holy site, an act they claim is commanded directly by the Torah.

It should be noted that dipping once in the mikvah does not remove the tumah of a dead person, which is the source of the prohibition by the majority of today’s rabbis against entering the Temple Mount. The removal of “tumat met” requires a week-long process that involves being sprinkled with the ashes of a red heifer, which is not available to us. So that it appears that the dipping in the mikvah prior to entering the holy compound is, essentially, an important expression of reverence, and—as stressed by Rabbis Lior and Rabinowitz et al—visiting Jews should still stick only to the periphery (machane levaya).

And how important is it to Muslims? I am no expert on the Quran, but do the math.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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