It’s Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day.
I can’t watch this footage, can’t listen to the words of Motte Gur “The Temple Mount is in our hands” – “הר הבית בידינו” without crying.
It’s now 48 years since Jerusalem was unified, but today, Jews cannot easily go to the Temple Mount, and that’s what makes me cry. I went up to the Temple Mount the first time I came to Israel, when I was 6 years old, with my beloved late grandparents. And I remember it well.
The Temple Mount, above the Western Wall, the Kotel, where our Holy Temple stood, twice, and will stand again for eternity, is not readily accessible to us, the Jewish people, in our unified capital of Jerusalem today. Today, there are very limited hours during which we are allowed to go up to the Temple Mount, and even then, it is against the law – against the law of the land of the Jewish people!! – to utter words of prayer on the site where our Temple stood. Jews are allowed to pray at the Kotel, but not on the Mount itself.
People of other religions may go up to the Temple Mount freely. And pray. Muslims pray there at the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa mosques. No one will stop a Christian praying up there. Only Jews are not allowed to pray up there. And when small groups of Jews (the limit is 10 in each group) are brought up to the Temple Mount (because they must be accompanied, and are not allowed to go up unless they are in a group) they are subjected to verbal abuse by those who are free to pray up there. The Jews are not allowed to photograph or video on the Temple Mount. They are not allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. They are allowed to go up, to see, and to be verbally abused while they are up there.
I’m not one for posting politics on my blog, but this is the first year I’m back in Israel, and last night, on our way back from spending Shabbat in Gush Etzion, which has also been back in our possession for 48 years, we took the road through Jerusalem. A city where thousands of years of history meets modernity. A city where you see Jews, Muslims, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Armenian Christians, and many other denominations of Christianity and other religions, walking the streets of the city, both old and new, freely. But to the Temple Mount, only the Jews cannot go freely.
I pray that next Yom Yerushalayim we will be celebrating the rebuilding of the third and final Temple, and the coming of Mashiach, a time when the Jewish people will once again pray on the Temple Mount.
Happy Jersusalem Day! יום ירושלים שמח