Eighteen women ascended to the Temple Mount last week, in yet another manifestation of the growing Jewish interest and longing for the Temple Mount. The women – from Ofra, Alon Moreh, Kochav HaShachar, Havat Gilad and Jerusalem also said a prayer.
The women were led around the Mount by Rav Itai Elitzur, who spoke to them about the sanctity of the Mount and of the Women’s Section that was part of the Temple.
The women also learned about women’s role in the Temple and heard the Jewish sages’ teaching that the nation of Israel was redeemed from Egypt because of righteous women, and that righteous women will bring about Israel’s future Redemption as well.
Part of this Redemption, Rav Elitzur said, was ascending the Mount in holiness and purity.
As the group stood at the eastern side of the Mount, facing the ancient location of the Holy of Holies, one of the women – who is pregnant – fainted, apparently because of her excitement. She was treated on the spot and the tour went on as planned.
Israel liberated the Temple Mount in the Six Day War but the focus of national and religious interest was the Kotel, where Jews have been used to praying for centuries. With time, however, the idea of returning to the Mount itself and rebuilding the Temple has gathered strength among a growing number of Jews.
Some Arab leaders, too, believe that the Jews intend to rebuild the Temple.