By David Sidman August 12, 2019 , 9:24 am
He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish his royal throne forever (Samuel 2 7:13)
A record 1,729 Jews ascended the Temple Mount on Sunday. After waiting in the blistering heat for hours on end, the Israeli police finally decided to open the Mugrabi gate allowing Jewish pilgrims to enter the Temple Mount on Sunday.
Elishama Sanderman of Ye’raeh noted that 20 percent more Jews entered the site than last year when there were no Arab riots.
“In the face of 60,000 violent Arabs, it is truly remarkable that so many Jews went up. There have been many Jewish holidays that coincided with Muslim holidays and Jews were excluded from the Temple Mount” explained Elishama Sanderman of Ye’raeh, the organization who tracks Jewish pilgrimage to the Temple Mount. He praised the police who donned battle gear and faced off against angry mobs of Arabs in order to allow Jews to visit their holiest site explaining: “
“The simplest solution for the police would have been to close the gates to the Jews but there was an order that the police would ensure that every Jew who wanted to ascend would ascend. This meant that they even kept it open later than planned.”
Sanderman sees a spiritual awakening surrounding the Temple Mount that is implicit in the holy day of Tisha B’Av.
“It was only a six years ago that less than 30 people ascended to the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av. There is clearly a huge awakening in Israel which is the stage before bringing in the tractors and the engineers. In addition to mourning the Temples that were destroyed on Tisha B’av, people are looking towards the future of the Temple Mount” Sandeman added.
Sunday was the Jewish holiday of the 9th of Av, which commemorates the destruction of both the first and second Temples. Initially, the Israeli police forbade Jewish Pilgrims from entering the site despite the fact that hundreds of Israeli Jews arrived for the pilgrimage.
And since the 9th of Av was a fast day, the Jews were waiting in the sweltering heat to enter the holy site.
Simultaneously, Sunday was also a Muslim holiday. Once the Jordanian Waqf heard that the Jewish pilgrims planned on flocking to the mount, they ordered all mosques in the city to be closed so that Muslims could flood the Temple Mount and block Jewish entry.
The police told the Jewish pilgrims that the mount would be closed for the entire day.
When that happened, reports began circulating that Netanyahu ordered its closure. Right-wing politicians took the opportunity to blast the Prime Minister for showing weakness in the face of terror.
Referring to Netanyahu’s decision to close the site, United Right MK Betzalel Smotrich tweeted: “This is what it’s like when you surrender to terror. The deterrence is neutralized and the terrorists become more motivated and stronger. I call upon the Prime Minister to instruct our security forces to forcefully evacuate the rioters on the mount immediately and to close it for the Arabs for all 3 days of their holiday. They have to learn that terrorism and violence come with a price.”
Netanyahu denied reports that he ordered it’s closure.
However soon after, the Mugrabi Gate was opened for Jews to enter the holy site at around 11:00 AM.
Because so many Jews went up, the police were laxer with their rules. “The morning group said Kaddish up there and several people bowed down and the police didn’t do anything,” one pilgrim said.
It is now being reported that for the next three days, Jews will not be allowed onto the Temple Mount.