Record 1,263 Jews visit Temple Mount on Tisha B'Av

Deputy mayor of Jerusalem calls on police to leave Temple Mount open to Jews for an additional hour to accommodate high number of visitors.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

The Temple Mount
The Temple Mount

The deputy mayor of Jerusalem, Dov Kalmanovich, appealed to the police to leave the Temple Mount open to Jews for an additional hour Tuesday.

In his letter to the Jerusalem police, Kalmanovitch wrote: "Jews from all over the country, whose rabbis permit them, have come to visit the Temple Mount on the day that most symbolizes the loss of the holiest place for Jews."

"It is inconceivable that people who fast and wait in the heat of the morning to enter the Temple Mount eventually return to their homes without being allowed to enter. I call upon the Israel Police to show compassion and tolerance today on Tisha B'Av and to extend the visiting hours for Jews for an additional hour."

1,263 Jews ascended the Temple Mount today (Tuesday), on the fast of Tisha B'Av, setting a new record for visitors on a single day.

The fast, which takes place annually on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, commemorates the destruction of the two Holy Temples by the Babylonian and Roman empires in 586 BCE and 70 CE, respectively. Religious Jews refrain from eating and drinking for a 25 hour period of mourning. They also refrain from wearing leather shoes and bathing and do not sit on anything higher than a 1-foot high stool until midday. They do not greet one another on the eve of the fast and there is no Torah study because it gladdens the heart.