For the first time in over a year and only the third time in 2000 years, a Jewish couple made their wedding vows on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest site.
Tom Nisani, chair of Students for the Temple Mount, married fellow activist Sarah Lurcat Thursday evening at the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, which is under the administration of the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic Trust).
Under the current administration, non-Muslims are prohibited from praying or showing emotion on Har Habayit, the traditional Hebrew term for the ancient Jewish holy site.
Accompanied by friends as well as a mandatory police escort to ensure that no Islamic laws against Jewish prayer or ritual are violated, Nisani placed a wedding ring on his fiancee’s finger and recited the marriage blessing. Dressed casually and uttering the words nonchalantly, as if merely conversing, they aroused no suspicion.
Speaking to the camera in Hebrew, Nisani explained that he and Lurcat were married – according to Jewish law, with the necessary two witnesses – on the holiest place for the Jewish people.
Since the video went viral, police say the couple will be investigated and possibly banned from the site.
In April 2016, another clandestine Jewish wedding ceremony took place on the Temple Mount, organized by Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute, who instructed all participants that it had to be done without drawing the attention of the guards, who would be accompanying the group of Jewish worshipers on the Mount. Were they to notice, they would certainly arrest all the parties involved and remove them immediately from the Mount, the rabbi explained.
“The Temple Mount is the center of our lives. We are Jews, and that is where we belong. It should be the most natural thing in the world,” Richman told United with Israel at the time. “The reason for publicizing the story was to inspire and encourage the many Jews who ascend the Temple Mount to be strengthened and encouraged to fight for Jewish rights at our holiest place.”
The Temple Institute described the performance of the ceremony as “a great achievement in the face of the extreme anti-Jewish discrimination” by the Muslim Waqf.
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