Sunday, August 16, 2015

Toward a Unified Policy on the Temple Mount

Would you ask a Christian if you could replace the main sanctuary of his church with a synagogue? If not, then why should Jews allow a Mosque on the place reserved by God for His Holy Temple? And when God has tied world peace to the rebuilding of the Jews' Temple, on it's reserved place, on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, this call for fair play is much more than that. It is indeed an imperative, our communal call for Divine mercy to descend upon all humanity, to finally remove the scourge of war from this blessed planet, and protect the lives of all innocent among the wondrous creations, built in the image of God, by the blessed Creator Himself.

The Temple is a seal of approval from Heaven and acknowledgement from humankind that God is real and God is with us and we accept His Will. The Temple Mount has for thousands of years been the reserved location for a third Temple. The prophecies could only be speaking of a Temple that has not yet been built so far, as it is tied to the time of world peace,

"And it shall be at the end of the days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be firmly established at the top of the mountains, and it shall be raised above the hills, and all the nations shall stream to it. And many peoples shall go, and they shall say, "Come, let us go up to the Lord's mount, to the house of the God of Jacob, and let Him teach us of His ways, and we will go in His paths," for out of Zion shall the Torah come forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge between the nations and reprove many peoples, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift the sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." (Isaiah, Chapter 2)

There are those who are for freedom of Jewish worship on the Temple Mount today. Jewish prayer groups just as there are Muslim ones. But in Talmudic Law, that movement is problematic for the following reasons.  

First if a place is reserved for one religion, to share it equally is an assault on the religion to whom the site is most holy.  If no Church in Mecca or Mosque in the Vatican, then no Mosque on the Temple Mount either.

Second, a more nuanced matter, while these Temple Mount activists mean very well, and are making a profound nationalistic political statement, and are trying to adhere to a great rabbi's opinion, not just doing only as they desire for nationalism. But as I have stated before they should not be going on the Temple mount for this activism. The majority of Rabbis say it is still forbidden for any human to go there until the Biblical methods of purification are reinstituted.  They consider it an act of desecration, not holiness with each visit to the Temple Mount under current circumstances.  By Torah Law, the halacha must follow the majority of the great rabbis of a generation.  Therefore the activists, and we as a nation, should not rely on a minority view to represent a place where all of the eternal religious aspirations of our entire nation are focused on.

I agree, it's important to claim it as our own. But rather than allowing only those who follow Rav Goren's heter (dispensation) to do the work for us, we need to find a way to do this together. If we find a common ground we can have a universal policy by religious Jews for the Temple Mount. The imperative to widen the Temple Mount movement is clear from both religious and political perspectives.

The method of doing so, I suggest, would be for now to place a full blanket prohibition of any humans on the Mount for the time being.

Now that most not just some Rabbis are saying that Moshiach (the messiah) is coming soon, it's not too much to demand this from the followers of Rav 
Goren, to temporarily close it down to all traffic for the sake of a unified policy and message. But this is only possible if it is clear we are doing this for God's honor, as told to the prophets of Israel. If we try to continue with the old policy of equal freedom of religion on the place of inner sanctum of the greatest of all synagogues, we are failing to keep our faith as God clearly intended for us. 

If we continue to fight as a small group of Maccabees, but in competing directions, politically we cannot expect to mirror the success of the Maccabees with such incredibly well intended but effectually contentious behavior.

The Temple Mount prayer now movement is trying to fight the good fight, but it is not the rebellion against Hellenism it is intended to be.  Effectively speaking, it is separation from the majority of rabbinical support, and thus a majority of religious Jewish support. Consequently, it is a part of the division of religious defense of the very Temple Mount rights it proposes to defend. But not from evil, only from an ineffective political stance, at the risk of angering a majority of the very religious constituency the movement requires in order to grow.    

By uniting to place a full blanket prohibition of any humans on the Mount for the time being, this new hybrid Temple Mount Movement could easily quadruple enrollment overnight. And without disrespecting the majority rabbinical position, many people of conviction would be enabled to step forth to join the new movement. One based on consensus building with that segment of society that would house the majority pool of ardent activists. 

To remove Divine wrath against the world that war may forever be removed from the Earth, we first need to remove the excuses and false fears that prevent us from making this a priority. And as making this a priority is guaranteed by God to usher in the era of world peace, to fail to do so should be recognized as a crime. To fail to do so should be recognized as an anathema to the project of the continued path of human enlightenment and world peace. We should do that which will bring humanity the Divine blessing of world peace, the building of the Third great Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. May it soon be so, B'Ezras HaShem Yisborach, by the grace of God.

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