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Rabbi Shapira Forbids Visiting Temple Mount

reprinted from Ynet
14 May 08

Dispute over issue of Jews visiting Temple Mount escalates, as prominent Zionist Rabbi Avraham Shapira condemns Zionist rabbis' entry to holy site. Haredi paper accuses rabbis of defiling Mount because they worship 'Zionist Calf'

by Neta Sela

The dispute between haredi and Zionist rabbis over the issue of Jews' visitations to the Temple Mount has escalated recently, following a visit by a group of about 40 Zionist rabbis to the holy site this week.

Prominent rabbi Avraham Shapira spoke out Tuesday against Jews visiting the Temple Mount.

Shapira, the head of the Merkaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem, stressed during a ceremony marking Jerusalem Day that the Halacha forbids Jews from entering the place.

'Temple Mount desecrated'

Meanwhile, the haredi newspaper affiliated with the Lithuanian stream, Yated Ne'eman harshly criticized the rabbis' visit, "which goes against the Halacha," saying that the rabbis had violated a prohibition punishable with karet, death by heavenly decree.

In two separate articles, the newspaper attacks the visit, accusing the Zionist rabbis of worshipping "the Zionist calf."

"They seek to defile and desecrate the Temple Mount, the site of our Temple, because they worship and believe the foolishness of the Zionist redemption, thinking that by Jews visiting the Temple Mount they can push forward redemption," one of the articles said.

"Instead of adapting their ideology to Judaism, they wish to adapt Judaism to their ideology, even when the latter is at its lowest point since it was first declared," it added.

Orthodox and religious Zionist Jews are divided over the issue, with haredim espousing a strict approach that prohibits any Jew from entering the compound, for fear he might defile the place.



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