Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, who heads the Temple Institute in Jerusalem, said, Tuesday, that the 9th of the Jewish month of Av - which traditionally mourns the destruction of the two Temples in Jerusalem - should be referred to as a day of construction and not a day of destruction. In a special interview by Arutz Sheva's Hebrew service, he explained that Israel's return to the Old City in 1967 "wiped 2,000 years of destruction and exile off the calendar," adding, "It's not that sadness does not accompany us, but this sadness must direct us to proper behavior."
Rabbi Ariel stressed freeing oneself from the exile, adding, "G-d brought us to the Temple and we say, 'Thank you very much.' We cannot change the clear facts that we returned to the Land of Israel, to Jerusalem [and] the Temple in order to build the Temple...." The rabbi, among the liberators of the Old City, recalled the words of the sages of Israel, who said that for every generation that the Temple is not rebuilt, it is as if the destruction took place in contemporary times and that there is no greater destruction than not seeing the Temple rebuilt. He also wondered out loud about Israel giving the keys to the Temple Mount to those who hated it.