Rabbi Chaim Richman
Rabbi Chaim RichmanNati Shohat/Flash90

Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute has responded to a recorded message from Salafi cleric Sheikh Yassin Al-Ajlouni published Monday, whereby the Muslim leader called for a Jewish place of worship to be established on the Temple Mount.

The Temple Mount is Judaism's holiest site, but heavy restrictions are placed on Jewish visitors and a ban on Jewish prayer has been instituted by the Jordanian Waqf. 

In his response, Rabbi Richman praised the Sheikh for "the fact that he recognizes Jews are human beings and that they have a basic human right to pray to G-d." 

"It is extremely positive that he recognizes and acknowledges that the Temple Mount is a holy place for Jews," Richman stated to Arutz Sheva.

"This is especially significant since he is Jordanian, in Jordan and writing from Jordan, and Jordan's official policy does not recognize that the Jews have a religious and historical connection to the Temple Mount," he continued.

"On the contrary, Jordan (through its emissaries, the Waqf, but with orders emanating from King Abdullah) consistently seeks to undermine and deny any Jewish rights to the Temple Mount, including the mere expression or utterance of a Jewish prayer. Seen in this light, his statements are bold." 

"While we do not seek the Muslim world's approval for our right to pray at the Temple Mount as well as for the Jewish aspiration of rebuilding the Holy Temple, of course we do seek peace - and thus this recognition can be seen as a positive step towards establishing a true place of peaceful worship and brotherhood for all peoples, the Holy Temple, described by the prophet Isaiah as 'the house of prayer for all nations," he concluded.