Rabbi Aharon Cohen
Rabbi Aharon Cohen Hezki Ezra

Director of Israel Police's "Believing in the Police" program Rabbi Aharon Cohen responded to the Security Cabinet's decision to remove metal detectors and security cameras from the Temple Mount.

"Believing in the Police" is a program intended to recruit religious officers into Israel Police and provide them with an appropriate framework which they will feel comfortable in. Recruits study in yeshiva, become officers, complete a B.A., and continue serving in the police force.

Rabbi Cohen's letter - a special letter sent to officers in the program - was published on Monday in Hebrew-language newspaper Israel Hayom.

"It was painful and trying to see how the entire nation folded this week, to feel how the enemy laughed at our national weakness," Rabbi Cohen wrote. "Our hearts scream at the injustice, at the moral corruption, at our crushed national honor."

"These are painful days for the nation of Israel, days in which we unite in feeling the huge lack caused by our Holy Temple's destruction. We lack our previous level of G-dly protection, we lack the Kingdom of Israel, and we lack the G-dly abundance which helps the entire world thrive.

"This year, the time before the Ninth of Av was also a time when we fought for the sovereignty of Israel and Jerusalem - on the Temple Mount, with the pictures and voices of our enemies rejoicing in our weakness. With all their hearts, our enemies wish to crush us, to erase our place on the Temple Mount.

"This battle strengthened within us the feeling of lack, the great pain of seeing our holiest place in the hands of others. It is doubly painful when we see so clearly how everything depends on us - and only on us, because it depends on a national decision, on a general aspiration to return to the Temple Mount, and to express true sovereignty.

"These thoughts made me think about the spiritual aspects of the situation. I asked myself, 'Is there something we're missing? Is there a G-dly hint about which is the right path, the path we need to take?' I thoughtת maybe G-d wants us to return to the Temple Mount, that maybe we will express our sovereignty through prayer. Not through magnetometers, not through cameras. Through another way of expression, a holier way, a truer way. Through our souls, our aspirations for true holiness, of our Holy Temple.

"Maybe this is what each of us should learn, that besides for the political-security discussions, we need to take upon ourselves to visit Jerusalem more frequently, to be more active at the site of the Holy Temple, to understand within ourselves what the Holy Temple's destruction has caused us to lack."

The Ninth of Av is a day of mourning, commemorating when both Holy Temples were destroyed thousands of years ago.