On Sunday afternoon, Ben Shapiro, the editor emeritus of The Daily Wire, ascended to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to pray with his parents and a group of followers.
Shapiro’s first visit to the Temple Mount was during the holiday of Sukkot back in October 2019. That visit was cut short after someone in his group was found to be carrying a willow branch in his pocket as a mitzvah for the last day of Sukkot, leading to the group’s removal from the holy site.
While waiting for security to clear the group to enter the complex this time around, Shapiro told JNS that he hoped to be permitted to complete the tour this time.
“Hopefully, we actually make it all the way around the outside of the compound this time,” he said. “I wish we could all daven (‘pray’) openly there—the freest thing to do. The only place that Israel is an apartheid state is only on Har HaBayit [the Temple Mount]. That’s the only place.”
While on the complex, Shapiro and his group recited afternoon prayers, and his father said Kaddish for his grandmother, who passed away less than a year ago. During prayers, the group was repeatedly interrupted by Israeli police, who rushed them through their visit.
Shapiro’s group was escorted by five Israeli police officers with one Jordanian Waqf guard watching at a distance.
According to Melissa Jane Kronfeld, founder of High on the Har, a group that prays daily on the Temple Mount, the police presence is typical as protection for groups with religious Jews.
“The Israeli police protects us from Islamic extremists, for which we are grateful,” she said, citing the riots in June as an example... Click here to continue reading, or click here to watch more of Ben's tour of the Temple Mount with High On The Har.