Despite a direct plea to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, MK Moshe Feiglin was unable to visit the Temple Mount this morning on the day of his son's wedding.
However, his son David visited Judaism's holiest site anyway, with the MK escorting him to the Temple Mount gates and waiting patiently outside until he had finished his visit.
Feiglin has been banned from ascending the Mount after the prime minister himself intervened to end his regular monthly visits. The official reason given has been "security concerns" over his high profile activism for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, but Feiglin himself - and other Temple Mount advocates, including some MKs - have decried the move as an attempt to appease extremist Muslims.
Jewish access to the Temple Mount in general is severely limited due to Muslim pressure and threats of violence by Islamist groups. Despite it being Judaism's holiest site Jews are forbidden from praying or carrying out any other forms of worship, and may only visit in small groups during a small window of time during the day. Sometimes Jewish access is barred entirely.
This, despite numerous rulings by Israeli courts calling for free access to all, regardless of religion.
Feiglin had written a letter directly to PM Binyamin Netanyahu urging him to lift the ban andallow the MK - who will not be represented in the next Knesset after failing to win a realistic spot on the Likud party list - to escort his son on his special day.
The visit is all the more poignant given that it is David's first trip to the Temple Mount since surviving a serious traffic accident in 2010 which left him unconscious and hospitalized for several months.
"With G-d's mercy my son will come tomorrow into the union of marriage," Feiglin wrote yesterday. "This is my son David who underwent a serious traffic accident. I have no words to explain the excitement and gratefulness that fill my heart for the miracle we are meriting with David's return from death's doorstep to establishing a home in Israel."
"The prohibition that you decreed specifically on members of Knesset - representatives of the sovereignty - not to ascend the Mount, is infuriating, and unacceptable to me," wrote Feiglin. "However, I expected that my discreet request to the Israeli police in this unique case would be answered positively."
"From the response I received and the short time remaining, I understood I have no choice and therefore I turn to you directly and openly as a citizen to his prime minister," he added. "I request and demand that you allow me to exercise my rights to ascend together with my son to the Temple Mount on the day of his wedding as every citizen of Israel is entitled to."
In his plea to the prime minister, Feiglin stressed that "this is a one time event which has no possibility of being made up for at a different time."
Despite being rebuffed, Feiglin encouraged his son to visit the Temple Mount without him, which, as noted, he did Tuesday morning, along with several other Jewish visitors.
David said that while up there he offered a silent prayer for his father to be permitted to return.