Rabbi Yehuda Kroizer
Rabbi Yehuda KroizerFlash 90

Rabbi Yehuda Kroizer, the Chief Rabbi of Mitzpe Yericho and the dean of Hara'ayon Hayehudi Yeshiva in Jerusalem, is currently banned from ascending the Temple Mount - because he wrote a booklet on the Jewish legal facets of the Temple offerings ten years ago.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Rabbi Kroizer said, "last Wednesday I wanted to ascend the Temple Mount as is my practice each month. I've done it for 15 years already. At the check before the Temple Mount, it came up on the computer that I am blocked from ascending."

"They directed me to the police station in the Old City, where they told me that because I published a booklet on the Pesach and Tamid offerings (in the Holy Temple) I am blocked from ascending," he added.

The rabbi warned that the move sets a dangerous precedent, noting, "halakhic (Jewish legal - ed.) booklets that were published around ten years ago are a pretext to block me from ascending the Temple Mount. They told that there's concern that someone will read the booklets and come to sacrifice the Pesach offering, it's just laughable."

"Maybe they will block anyone who published a Passover Haggadah or (the writings of) Rambam from ascending the Temple Mount too," he said, illustrating the dangers of limiting freedom of movement based on religious practice and studies.

Rabbi Kroizer said he refuses to sign a document in which he obligates to observe the discriminatory regulations on the Mount, saying, "I committed no transgression, why should I sign a document like this. If I did something against the regulations then that's one thing, but I committed no transgression - why should I sign?"

"The Temple movements are exerting pressure on the police and we hope that politicians will also join," he said. "You have to understand how something like this happens in the State of Israel. To understand how it is possible to distance (someone) from the Temple Mount because of a pretext like this."

Despite being liberated in the 1967 Six Day War, the Temple Mount - the holiest site in Judaism - has been left under the de facto control of the Jordanian Waqf, which bans Jewish prayer at the site. The Israeli government has let the Waqf maintain its discriminatory practices, in breach of Israeli laws guaranteeing freedom of worship, as a way pf placating Muslim threats of violence.