Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef published a special announcement this afternoon (Tuesday) against the mass Jewish pilgrimage to the Temple Mount that took place today, Tisha B'Av.
"Today, on the ninth day of Av, the day the Temple was destroyed, it is imperative to recall that the pilgrimage to the Temple Mount is forbidden by Jewish law. Those Jews who ascend to the Temple Mount desecrate its sanctity," says Rabbi Yosef. Late major Religious Zionist rabbis, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook and Rabbi Avraham Shapira were also against ascending the mount.
On the other hand, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Dov Kalmanovich asked the police today to leave the Temple Mount open for Jews for another hour.
In his letter to the Jerusalem police, Kalmanovitch wrote, "Jews from all over the country whose rabbis permit them have come to visit the Temple Mount on the day that most symbolizes the loss of the holiest place for Jews.
"It is inconceivable that people who fast and in the heat of the morning wait to enter the Temple Mount and eventually return to their homes without being allowed to enter.I call upon the Israel Police to show compassion and tolerance today on Tisha B'Av and to extend the visit time to the Jews for an additional hour."