Israel and Jewish Prophecy

A SYNAGOGUE ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT? ACTIVISTS CALL FOR CONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN

A SYNAGOGUE ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT? ACTIVISTS CALL FOR CONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN

A large group of Israeli activists are calling on the government to establish a synagogue on the Temple Mount and open it for Jewish prayer, according to media reports.

BY JERUSALEM POST STAFF MARCH 5, 2019

A large group of Israeli activists are calling on the government to establish a synagogue on the Temple Mount and open it for Jewish prayer, according to media reports.

On Sunday, Religious Zionists leaders gathered to discuss the situation on the Temple Mount, known as Har Habayit in Hebrew. The reports did not indicate specifically which leaders took part in the talks.

Jews believe the site – venerated as holy in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam alike – is where the Beit Hamikdash used to sit.

Late last month, riots erupted on the Temple Mount as thousands of Palestinians stormed the Golden Gate, which had been closed by a court order since 2003. Then, Jerusalem police arrested two senior Waqf officials – east Jerusalem Waqf chairman Sheikh Abdel Azim Salhab and deputy director of the Waqf Sheikh Najeh Bkeirat – banning them from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for 40 days.

The Israeli activists said that based on the violation of the status quo on the Temple Mount, they wanted to establish a synagogue in the Golden Gate area, which Jews refer to as “Sha’ar HaRachamim.” The Muslims recently established another mosque there.

The Israeli activists also said that Jewish prayer on the mount should be a precondition for any future coalition agreement, according to reports.

Currently, the Jerusalem Waqf Islamic religious trust controls and manages the Islamic edifices on and around the Temple Mount. The east Jerusalem Waqf is controlled by Jordan. No Jewish or Christian prayer is allowed on the mountain and such prayer is subject to arrest.

Since last month, the Golden Gate area remains open despite Israeli attempts to close it and in violation of a court order. The Muslims have threatened violence if Israel attempt to re-shut the area.

This latest call for a synagogue on the Temple Mount is not the first.

In 2017, MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) called for the construction of a synagogue on the Temple Mount in the aftermath of the brutal Halamish terrorist attack, in which a Hamas terrorist infiltrated the West Bank settlement of Halamish (also known as Neveh Tzuf) and murdered three people at their Shabbat table.

 

“I would set up a Synagogue on the Temple Mount today, this morning,” Smotrich said then. “If someone thinks that through terrorism, violence, and the massacre of a family he will push our sovereignty back, then – if I am the Prime Minister – this morning I would close the Temple Mount to Arab prayer and establish a Synagogue for Jews. And if the terrorism continues, I would close the mount to Arabs and there will be only Jews there.”

A similar demand was made in 2014, when a large group of Religious Zionist rabbis, including  Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Eliyahu Zinni, and Rabbi Haim Cohen, penned a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu advocating the construction of a synagogue on the Temple Mount. No action was taken.

Further, there have been bills raised in the Israeli parliament calling for equal prayer rights for Jews on the Temple Mount, but they have generally been shut down, as Muslims threaten violence if the status quo is altered.

The late Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu (1929-2010) was among the most outspoken proponents for building a synagogue on Har Habayit. He wanted to erect the synagogue in the open area to the northeast of the Dome of the Rock, closer to the eastern wall of the Temple Mount.

 

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