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Elyashiv: Jews mustn't visit Temple Mt.

reprinted from The Jerusalem Post
Oct. 8, 2009

by Greer Fay Cashman

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, considered one of the greatest living experts on Jewish law, has reiterated that it is halachicly forbidden for Jews to ascend the Temple Mount.

Elyashiv told this to President Shimon Peres on Thursday when the latter visited him in his succa in the capital's Mea She'arim neighborhood.

Peres, 86, who makes it a practice to pay Succot visits to the chief rabbis of Israel as well as to Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, 89, had not previously called on Elyashiv, 99.

Peres raised the Temple Mount issue in light of renewed hostilities between Muslim religious authorities and small groups of Jews who choose to ignore the halachic prohibitions, thereby provoking Muslim antagonism, such as the call by Muslim leaders to safeguard the Temple Mount area.

Such calls were issued recently after the pre-Yom Kippur visit by a group of non-Muslims to the compound sparked disturbances on the mount and elsewhere in the Old City. The security concerns prompted by those calls, as well as by the discovery of wheelbarrows filled with rocks in the Aksa Mosque, led police to restrict access to the compound, which in turn, led to more Arab riots in the capital. Access to the mount was still restricted Thursday to Muslim men over 50 with Israeli ID cards and to women.

Arab rumors have since been circulating regarding Israel excavating under the Temple Mount and Jews' plans to ascend the mount, and there was even a claim of Jewish plans to build a synagogue there.

Aside from halachic prohibitions, said Elyashiv, it was important to consider that any provocations on the part of Jews who are determined to reach the Temple Mount could lead to needless bloodshed and further condemnation of Israel by the nations of the world.

Nonetheless, there are those in the religious camp who disagree with Eliashiv. Yehuda Glick, director of the Temple Institute has been arrested several times this year for encouraging Jews to ascend the Temple Mount. The Temple Institute is dedicated to the construction of a Third Temple on the Temple Mount "to serve as a royal house of prayer."

Aspirations of this kind have aroused the fears and ire of the Islamic Waqf which has managed the Temple Mount continuously since 1187, and prompted riots in the old city earlier this week.

In light of the recent clashes between Arab rioters and security forces in Jerusalem, Palestinian leaders, among them Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, have accused Israel of trying to 'Judaize' the capital.

Peres noted that the voice of such a renowned and revered authority as Elyashiv should be heard and heeded.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Elyashiv gave Peres a special blessing, saying to him: "As President you need a special blessing to steer the nation on the right course in these difficult times."

Rabbi Elyashiv: Don't go to Temple Mount

reprinted from Ynet

Head of Lithuanian haredi stream tells President Peres, 'According to halacha Jews forbidden from going to Temple Mount... beyond halachic aspect, it could lead to bloodshed' Peres says in response, 'Your position must be heard'

by Kobi Nahshoni

President Shimon Peres met with leader of the Lithuanian haredi stream, Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashiv in his sukkah in Jerusalem on Thursday as part of a round of meetings with head rabbis, including Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Israel's chief rabbis during the days of Sukkot.

The president was accompanied by Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, and discussed with Elyashiv, among other things, the religious tension to sweep over east Jerusalem in recent days.

At the start of the meeting, Peres said, "I am here to greet you on the holiday of Sukkot. Israel faces many challenges, and one of them is preventing the deterioration of the tension in Jerusalem to the point of a religious war. In all matters related to the Temple Mount, the inciters can set the whole thing on fire"

In response, Rabbi Elyashiv told the president that according to halacha, Jews are forbidden from going to the Temple Mount both because of its sanctity and because of the political repercussions their presence may have.

"I have declared this in the past, and I repeat once again my statement," the rabbi said, "Beyond the halachic aspect, it is also a kind of provocation of the world's nations that could lead to bloodshed, and this would be one sin leading to another."

Peres went on to praise his host, saying, "Your voice has been heard. You are a great man of the Torah and are respected by the public. We must make sure that your position is heard.

"The people have ears and your voice must be heard," he added.

The rabbi parted with the president, saying, "As president, you need a special blessing to be able to steer the country at this difficult time."



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