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Chief Rabbi wants Synagogue on Temple Mount

Jewish World. Arutz Sheva – Jan. 27, 2004

Rabbi Acknowledges: The Longing Is Too Great

Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount: Haifa’s Chief Rabbi She’ar-Yashuv Cohen, a leading member of the Chief Rabbinate Council, says that the blanket ban on entering the Temple Mount is, for all intents and purposes, no longer in effect. “The longing to ascend to the holy site is so great,” ……. he acknowledged, “that every month, many religious Jews ascend to the site, and what we must do is to make clear exactly where the permitted areas are.” The reason for the original rabbinic ban was because of the fear that Jews would unknowingly walk in areas that are Halakhically forbidden. “For very long, it was impossible to ascertain where these areas were, but now the situation has changed.”

Rabbi Cohen said that a synagogue existed on an area adjacent to the historic Temple Mount – in today’s Temple Mount complex – for 400 years, and that the Rambam [Maimonides, 1135-1204] prayed in it.

Rabbi Cohen addressed an Ariel Institute gathering yesterday on contemporary and Halakhic [Jewish legal] issues connected with the Holy Temple. In the audience were dozens of rabbis and public figures, including police officers. It was decided to establish a non-governmental committee that will look into the possibility of building a synagogue on the Temple Mount.

Waqf and police officials have allowed Jews to ascend to the Temple Mount during the morning hours since August of last year – but they are not permitted to pray there. This morning, the police detained five Jews who allegedly took advantage of their presence at the holy site to utter a prayer.

Published: 16:13 January 27, 2004 Last Update: 20:56 January 27, 2004

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