On December 15, 2022 High On The Har was on site at the entrance to the Temple Mount when a sign was hung, issued by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, explicitly warning visitors that entry to this Holy site was strictly prohibited by Torah law! Watch what happened below.
This act occurred as a direct result of a hostile article published by Haaretz on December 8, 2022, which noted that the previous sign had been removed during Tisha B’Av by worshippers waiting at the gate.
Wherein we respect the authority of Israel’s highest rabbinical office, we firmly and staunchly reject their position that the Torah prohibits Jews, and people of any faith, from visiting the house of G-d. And we have good reasons why…
There are five mitzvoth which we fulfill when visiting the Temple Mount.
First, as Rambam explains, to seek His presence. As the verse says, “Only on the site that G-d your Lord will choose from among all your tribes as a place established in His name. It is there you shall go to seek His presence” (Devarim 12:5).
Second, as Rambam further explains, to serve Him. As the verse says, “The Lord your G-d you shall fear Him and you shall serve him” (Devarim 6:13).
Third, as the Torah states, “You shall observe My Sabbaths and revere My Sanctuary” (Vayirka 19:30). This, as the Sages derived, implies, “Just as we are to keep the Sabbath forever, so are we to revere the Temple forever” (Yevamot 6b).
Fourth, as the Torah demands, “Lo tekhonem” (Devarim 7:2), which is interpreted to mean, “do not give them a foothold in the land” (Avoda Zara 20a). As Rabbi Shlomo Goren notes, “our halakhic authorities established that loss of sovereignty is like destruction. It turns out that when the government forbids Jews from going up freely it is redestroying [sic] our Temple (Har HaBayit).”
Fifth, as Rambam writes, “we should not leave it in the hands of the nations, or desolate,” for the verse says, “conquer the land” (Bamidbar 33:53). As Rabbi Elisha Wolfson elucidates, “when we go up to the Temple Mount we merit to fulfill the positive commandment of settling the land.”
To learn more about your right of ascension:
Click here to read, “There You Shall Go To Seek His Presence: A Comprehensive Halakhic Analysis Regarding Ascending the Temple Mount” by Rabbi Elisha Wolfson of Yeshiva Har HaBayit (in Hebrew).
Click here to read, “Ascending With Sanctity: Why I Pray On The Temple Mount” in The Times of Israel, by our co-founder Dr. Melissa Jane Kronfeld (in English).
Click here to watch a video from our-co founder Rabbi Yehuda Levi explaining why we are all permitted to visit the Temple Mount (in English).
We call upon the Chief Rabbinate to remove this sign from the entrance of the Temple Mount, and we encourage you to use your voice to do the same! Until then, we will continue our daily ascensions, each and every day Jews are permitted on the Temple Mount. And we will continue to welcome guests to join us at the House of Prayer for all nations to learn Torah, experience our minyan, normalize a Jewish presence at our holiest site, and stand with us in the fight for equal rights and access.
Join the most important civil rights struggle of our generation and book a complimentary tour of the Temple Mount today at HighOnTheHar.com/tours