|Tisha B'Av: What Happened at the Temple Mount this morning?
Rabbi Richman's personal statement:
We arrived early this morning, large numbers of Jews from all over the country, to await the opening of the Temple Mount.These Jews had
followed halachic procedure to ensure that their ascent in purity would be in accordance with Jewish law. The motivation: to be seen by G-d in this holy place on the day commemorating the Temple's destruction, to show that we are ready to rebuild.
During the previous week we had been assured by the highest police commanders that the Temple Mount would indeed be open for Jewish visitors. Standing on line waiting to ascend, the atmophere was high, tinged with anticipation and joy in the midst of the Tisha B'Av mourning, with a feeling that we were
really doing something concrete to stop the cycle of pain, and not just wallowing in the misery of destruction and exile. All of a sudden, we were told by the police that they changed their minds, that the Mount would be closed today. No explanation was offered. After making some telephone inquiries of our own with high ranking inviduals within the police, we were told that this decision was made by the new Jerusalem district commander "for security reasons," because intelligence indicated that "provocations" were planned.
No provocations of any kind were planned and none would have taken place. This was a shallow excuse that was used in order to justify denying
these Jews their most basic rights. Sadly, this is an indication of the basic civil, legal, and human rights that are systematically denied to the Jewish people in their own country, regarding Jewish right to pray on the Temple Mount. Our holiest site is trampled upon and our sensivity is disregarded; the plight of the Temple Mount is a perversion of our soverignty and if we are denied the right to pray on the Temple Mount, then our entire connection to the Land of Israel is in jeopardy. The Temple Mount is our spiritual center and as long as we are distanced from it, and the feelings of Jews who want to be close to it are totally disregarded, then we shall never achieve our goals as a people in this land. It is impossible to understand this gross violation of Jewish rights in the State of Israel. The battle for the Temple Mount, seat of G-d's honor in this world, is the battle for the heart,mind and soul of the people of Israel.