In increasing numbers, Jews are visiting their faith’s holiest site, despite harassment from officials of the Islamic trust that oversees the Jewish Temple Mount.
By United with Israel Staff and TPS
A total of 776 Jews ascended the Temple Mount on Chanukah this year, a 66% increase since last year, despite limitations set by officials prohibiting non-Muslims from prayer and worship at the site.
A total of 1,990 Jews visited the holy site during the Jewish month of Kislev, constituting a 44% increase compared to the previous year.
Three Jewish visitors were detained for violating the prohibition on prayer throughout the month.
In October of this year, American conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro was kicked off the Temple Mount because a member of his group was caught praying.
Shapiro responded to the incident on his podcast, commenting, “I think there’s a strong case to be made that Jews should be building [on the Temple Mount] if they can’t build the temple, because there’s the Dome of the Rock right there. They should at least build a synagogue up there so you can have regularized prayers.”
“If Muslims are able to build a school on one end which they have done, it seems to me the Jews should be able to build a synagogue in a space that is roughly the size of three football fields,” he added.
The Waqf, a Jordanian-backed religious trust that controls and manages the current Islamic edifices on the Temple Mount, forbids any non-Muslim from praying at the site.
Shapiro commented on his Temple Mount experience, “The site’s incredible. If you’re ever in Jerusalem and you have a chance to visit it you certainly should. It’s the holiest site in Judaism.”
“That’s where the Holy of Holies used to stand in the Beit HaMikdash – the Temple. It is the rock where Abraham, according to the Bible, was about to sacrifice Isaac. It is also the site where Jacob, when he had the dream of the ladder going to heaven was promised the land,” he explained.
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