Shemittah, the Jewish Sabbatical year, brings security and blessing. The Torah says keeping this Mitzvah will prevent disaster and exile. Shemittah is Shabbat LaHashem. A taste of the World to Come. Learn about one womens quest for knowledge and rediscovery of this long lost Mitzvah according to the simple Torah reading of the text found in the beginning posts of this blog.
The Temple Institute extends Chanuka greetings to all our friends and supporters, the entire house of Israel, and to all who seek to honor the G-d of Israel: Chanuka Sameach - A Joyful Festival of Chanuka!
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17: The ascent to the Temple Mount of a large assembly of Jews was prevented early this morning by the Israel police. The police provided no reason for their arbitrary decision. When pressed for an explanation the police response was contradictory and factually incorrect. At one point police responded that the Mount was closed due to the Moslem new year. Other police officials, when asked about this, stated that they were not aware of any Moslem holiday. (The Moslem new year, a one-day celebration, occurs, in fact, on Friday.)
IN THE SIX DAY WAR OF JUNE, 1967, Israel liberated the eastern half of Jerusalem, and with it, the Temple Mount. Soon after, the government of Israel annexed eastern Jerusalem and extended Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount. Israeli law guarantees freedom of worship for all religions, and freedom of access to holy places. The government of Israel has traditionally stated, time and again, in international forums, with a great deal of justifiable pride, that freedom of worship is a reality in Israel, including Jerusalem, despite the existential threat that Israel faces at the hands of rejectionist Islam.
YET, EVER SINCE MOSHE DAYAN, then Defense Minister, handed over to the Moslem Authority, (within days after the Mount's liberation), responsibility for the every day running of the Temple Mount, successive Israeli governments have systematically refused to apply Israeli law to the Mount. Jews are not granted freedom of access, nor are they granted freedom of worship on the Mount. Their freedom to enter the Temple Mount is routinely denied by the Israel police, and this in spite of High Court rulings on behalf of the would be worshippers. For reasons never discussed, let alone explained, the Israel police are given a free hand to hold the High Court of Justice in contempt.
THE POLICE HAVE ADOPTED a curiously proactive stand in denying the rights of Jewish worshippers, routinely exhibiting provocative behavior toward the Jews, in a barely disguised attempt to incite them to violence, at which point the police could then "respond" with greater violence, justifying the closure of the Temple Mount to Jews, and ride the expected wave of media reports of "fringe elements" and "radicals who are contemptuous of the state of Israel," further hurting the image and the cause of the Jews seeking only their basic rights.
UNFORTUNATELY, individuals and organizations which style themselves as defenders of the downtrodden and guardians of our liberty, fail to see the danger in the blind eye that they exhibit toward the trampling of basic rights which take place at the foot of the Temple Mount. For whatever reason these various champions of individual liberty decide not to apply their universal principles to the Jews who wish to pray on the Mount, their thundering indifference ultimately endangers the liberty of all.
SO WE WHO SIMPLY wish to pursue our privilege and responsibility as Jews by ascending the Mount and praying on that spot, are caught between a rock and a hard place. If we remain silent in the face of the continuing injustice, we become, in fact, accomplices to it. If we allow ourselves to be taunted and badgered into a violent response we will likewise become accomplices to a crime committed against ourselves. Nor can protest be expected to be heard by an establishment that long ago turned a deaf ear to our plight. Only the thunder of many feet arriving every day at the gates to the Temple Mount will be heard by those who wish not to hear. Only the hush of prayer on the lips of thousands of Jewish worshippers atop the Temple Mount will shatter the conspiracy of silence against G-d, against the people of Israel, and against the nations of the world.
ON AUGUST 28TH, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King stood before his nation, and quoting from the prophet Isaiah, declared that he had a dream. We too have a dream, and we too quote from the prophet Isaiah. We dream of the day that Jews living in the land of Israel will not be denied their right to pray as Jews upon the Temple Mount, just as all other worshippers are allowed to pray in their holy places in the land of Israel, and that some day, the destiny of the human spirit, as enunciated by Isaiah for all time, will be realized: "for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations." (Isaiah 56:7)