Crosses at King David's Tomb for Mass (file)
Crosses at King David's Tomb for Mass (file)Yonatan Yosef

Just as members of the Headquarters to Save David's Tomb warned Arutz Sheva last week, on Monday morning members of the Greek Orthodox Church held Mass prayers for Pentecost at King David's Tomb, as they did on Sunday morning.

Video documenting the Christian ceremony, in which priests entered the very room where David's tomb marker is located and which threatens to breach the status quo of the sensitive holy site, can be seen below.

Jerusalem activist Efraim Holtzberg, who was on scene during the ceremony and documented it, told Arutz Sheva about the incident.

"I'm shocked and am left shaking from the great desecration of G-d's name," said Holtzberg. "Here the previous government made a mistake, there are unwise people who made mistakes and allowed the Christians to hold a ritual once a year (i.e. Mass prayers - ed.). It's similar to a wedding ceremony in which the groom and bride sign a contract that the bride can cheat on her husband once a year."

The institution of regular Catholic and Greek Orthodox prayers at the site are particularly sensitive because they constitute a severe breach of Jewish prayer rights. Rabbis have argued Jews will be prevented from entering the holy site altogether because Jewish law forbids using a building that is used for idol-worship - a category which the Christian worship, with its use of effigies, falls under according to Jewish law.

"I turn to the justice minister to cancel this ceremony and this ridiculous agreement," said Holtzberg, before relaying the specifics of the incident on Monday morning which he documented with his camera.

"State giving approval to false Christian claims"

The activist described how he was passing by David's Tomb when he saw Breslav Rabbi Shalom Arush and several of his hassidim praying at the site in an attempt to prevent the Christian prayer service, when a police commander approached the rabbi.

The policeman "told him with great honor that there's an agreement of the government and they have to carry it out, asking that it be without violence. Rabbi Arush said he is ready to evacuate the site quietly on condition that the Christians come as tourists without incense and without huge crosses," said Holtzberg.

In response to the rabbi's request, the activist related that Police Brig. Gen. Avi Biton, who is responsible for the holy sites, prevented the Greek Orthodox clergy from bringing in the incense they had brought with them, and removed some of the crosses, "but they left some of the crosses and held a Christian ritual at the Tomb."

Holtzberg noted that in order to prevent the Torah scrolls at the site from being desecrated by their proximity to the ritual, Rabbi Arush's followers removed them from the grave marker chamber.

"The Chief Rabbis of Jerusalem need to wake up and together with the Chief Rabbis (of Israel) stop this disgrace," he urged. "The Christians say that Jesus was the inheritor of King David, and when the government of Israel gives them a permit to hold ritual ceremonies, it gives approval to their false claim."