The hareidi religious community has been visiting the Temple Mount in larger numbers than ever, according to Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick.
Rabbis are divided on whether Jews are allowed to ascend to the holy site in modern times, 2,000 years after the Second Temple was destroyed. Many Zionist rabbis support ascent to the Temple Mount but some very prominent ones do not, citing the Nation of Israel's current state of impurity. Those who support ascent insist that the visitors first undergo ritual immersion in a mikveh, remain along the outer perimeter of the grounds and stay outside of areas where Jewish law forbids them to go, although their is a controversy over their whereabouts..
Rabbi Glick said the increasing number of hareidi religious rabbis on the Temple Mount is a new phenomenon, coinciding with a similar interest from other streams of Judaism.
He noted that many people have requested to ascend to the Temple Mount site this week because of the anniversary of the death of Maimonides, known as the Rambam, Wednesday night and Thursday. The ascension to the Temple Mount has been dedicated to Yitzchak and Talia Imas, two of four Jews who were gunned down and murdered near Hevron by terrorists last month. Yitzchak Imas frequently visited the Temple Mount site.
Rabbi Glick said leading rabbis have arrived at the site and have called on the public not to miss the opportunity to visit the Temple Mount site.
On the recent Simchat Torah holiday, 30 hareidi religious Jews, wearing their traditional fur hats (“shtreimels”) marched around the holy site instead of the traditional dancing in synagogue on the holiday, Rabbi Glick added. “Every day, yeshiva students from the Mir and Hevron yeshiva come here.”