Israeli police escort a group of Jews on the Temple Mount, June 2, 2019. (AP/Mahmoud Illean) AP/Mahmoud Illean
Israeli police escort a group of Jews on the Temple Mount, June 2, 2019. (AP/Mahmoud Illean)

The number of Jews who ascended the Temple Mount between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur topped last year’s numbers!

By United with Israel Staff

This Yom Kippur, which is the holiest day of the year in Judaism, 360 Jews went up to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which is the Jewish people’s holiest site.

Between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur 1,368 Jews went up to the Temple Mount, compared the 1,210 who did last year, according to the Yeraeh organization, which encourages Jews to visit the Temple mount, especially during the Jewish high holidays.

It was on Yom Kippur, over 4,000 years ago, that God forgave the Jewish people for the sin of the golden calf, and it was the only day of the year that the High Priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies in the Jewish Temple, which stood in Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago.

Despite capturing the Temple Mount from Jordan in 1967’s Six-Day War, Israel gave the Jordanian Waqf control of the site. Jordan was given official status as custodian of the Muslim holy sites, as part of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty signed in 1994.

The Jordanian Waqf strictly forbids non-Muslims from praying on the Temple Mount, or even taking any actions that might be misconstrued as praying.

“On entry to the Temple Mount, non-Muslims are subject to search by Israeli police and are warned not to use any religious objects or take any actions that might be seen as praying: you cannot take out a bible, close your eyes and pray in your heart, bow [toward] the Dome of the Rock or show any ritual signs of mourning”, according to the Israel Forever Foundation.

During recent years, the number of Jews ascending the Temple Mount has grown, with rabbis providing guidelines of how to visit site without violating its sanctity according to the mandates of Jewish ritual law.

There remain, however, a significant number of rabbinic authorities who prohibit the practice.