March 6, 2012 Tuesday 12 Adar 5772
by Jeremy Sharon
Sepahardi Chief Rabbi Amar, others issue statement amid increasing organized attempts of late to go up to the holy site.
Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, along with several other senior rabbis, has issued a public statement to warn the public that visiting the Temple Mount is forbidden by Jewish law.
According to the statement, the warning is being made at this time because of increased organized attempts of late to go up to the holy site.
“It is a sacred duty to awaken your hearts [to the fact that] it is completely forbidden according to Jewish law to go up to the Temple Mount,” the statement reads. “This prohibition has been simple and clear for a long time, and has been forbidden by all of the great Torah scholars.”
Because many different organizations have been calling on the public to visit the Temple Mount in recent months, the declaration continues, it is incumbent upon the signatories to reiterate that the prohibition remains.
The Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site. However, Jewish law requires those going up to the site to be ritually pure, a status only obtainable through a ceremony that cannot be performed today.
Some rabbinic authorities say that the prohibition only applies to certain areas of the Temple Mount complex and that most parts of the site may still be visited even without undergoing this ritual.
Along with Chief Rabbi Amar, the much-respected rabbi of the Old City of Jerusalem Avigdor Neventzal, former Sephardi Chief Rabbi Bakshi Doron, and dean of the Porat Yosef yeshiva in the Old City all signed the statement.
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger also added his name to the declaration and said that anyone giving permission to Jews to visit the site was leading people astray.