'It is strictly forbidden to ascend the Temple Mount'

Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem issues letter strongly forbidding ascension to Temple Mount, after many Jews ascended on Tisha B'Av.

Haim Lev ,

Rabbi Shlomo Amar (file)
Rabbi Shlomo Amar (file)
Flash 90

The Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar, issued a harsh letter today, Wednesday, against Jews ascending the Temple Mount, in light of the fact that many Jews ascended on Tisha B'Av, the Jewish national commemoration of the destruction of the Temple, which took place this year on Monday night and Tuesday.

"There are people in our generation whose passionate love of the Land of Israel takes their good judgement from them, such that it is easy for them to commit a grave offense for which there is fear that a karet prohibition is entailed, as long as we don’t let go of our hold on the most sacred place for the People of Israel.” (“Karet” is one of the more severe punishments listed in the Torah; it entails the soul of a Jew being spiritually “cut off” from the rest of the Jewish People, ed.)

In his words, Rabbi Amar explained that the attempt to secure our hold on the Land of Israel by ascending the Temple Mount only distances us from it. "This grave offense not only will not help, but may even make things worse, G-d forbid."

The rabbi said he was sorry to hear about Jews ascending the Temple Mount on Tisha B'Av, and made it clear once again that a severe halakhic prohibition was entailed. "It is strictly forbidden to ascend the Temple Mount, and there is danger of transgressing the prohibition of karet, Heaven help us. And he who guards his soul will keep away.”

Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitschak Yosef reacted similarly yesterday.