Yaakov, the Temple and the Temple Mount

November 20, 2015  

Rabbi Shlomo Goren of Blessed Memory proclaimed to the world on June 7th, 1967, “The Temple Mount is in our hands!”, I Repeat, “the Temple Mount is in our hands!” The Talmud Yerushalmi says that, “The generation in which a Beit Hamikdash is not rebuilt is to be regarded as though the Beit Hamikdash was destroyed in that generation”.

Yaakov Avinu named “HAMAKOM” (the Place) Bet El (House of G-d). Rashi says “The Place” means Mount Moriah or the Temple Mount just as it did in reference to the Akedah which took place there (Bereishit 22:4). G-d uses this moment to tell Yaakov, “I am Hashem, G-d of Abraham, your father and G-d of Yitzchok. The Land upon which you are lying, I will give to you and your descendants”.

This promise was made on the Holiest spot on Earth and it was made to Yaakov and his descendants. It was not made to his brother Eisav and his descendants. It was not made to Yishmael and his descendants. G-d was talking of course not just the Temple Mount but all of the Land of Israel was promised to Yaakov and his descendants. The fact that the Temple Mount appears from time to time on the front pages of major newspapers highlights the fact that the Temple Mount belongs to the Jewish People-descendants of Yaakov Avinu. Parshat Vayeizei makes it crystal clear that the Temple Mount belongs to the Jewish People. Had it not been for Moshe Dayan’s misguided and foolhardy efforts in 1967 there would not be any question whatsoever today.

There is even the distinct possibility that there would be a Beit Hamikdash by now. Rabbi Goren Z”L maintained a Synagogue on the Temple Mount for a time after his proclamation. Politics got in the way of his efforts. Unfortunately, we have not made it perfectly clear to the world that as Rabbi Goren proclaimed the Temple Mount was, is and will be forever Jewish. Yaakov Avinu spells it out as clear as day in Parshat Vayeitzei. On July 29th 1994 I organized a full page ad in the New York Times with the late Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Avraham Shapira, Z”L and Rabbi Aaron Soloveichik, Z’L declaring the Temple Mount eternally Jewish. The Ad read in part, “After two thousand years, the Temple Mount was reunited with the Jewish People in the Six Day War of 1967.

It is the holiest site on the Earth for all Jews. For the Arab world Mecca and Medina are most holy. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran. Even the Arabic name for Jerusalem “El-Quds” is an abbreviation for “Al-Bayit Al Muqqadash”- the name of the Jewish Temple of Solomon (Beit Hamikdash)-showing that the Temple Mount was always recognized as Jewish even by the Arab world”. Yaakov awoke in Parshat Vayeitzei 28:16-17 and said, “In truth, Hashem is in this place and I did not know it. He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the House of Elokim and this is the Gate of Heaven”.” The Ramban says, “from here you may learn that when anyone prays in Jerusalem it is considered as if he were praying before G-d’s Throne of Glory”.

King David in Tehillim 24 says similarly “Who may ascend the mountain of Hashem, and who may stand in the place of His Sanctity”. Hopefully, one day all Jews will be able to pray as Yaakov did on Har Habayit. May that day,with G-d’s help, come soon. Shabbat Shalom. Dedicated in memory of our Beloved Yosef Ben David Z’L- Joseph Just,Z”L

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