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Don't Be a "Wall Nut"

[Ya'akov Ish Tam - HaMeir L'David]

Summary ... Jews can finally ascend the holiest site in the world, and only a lack of interest on our part prevents permanent prayer from being established on the Temple Mount.

This week, the results of a poll relating to the possible handing over or joint control of Jewish holy sites were released in the Ha'aretz newspaper. The poll found that 91% of Israeli Jews want the Western Wall to remain under exclusive Israeli control. Only 51% of the people polled said the same about the Temple Mount.

While the first figure is very reassuring and frankly higher than I would have expected, the dichotomy between it and the results on the Temple Mount show a clear misunderstanding in the Israeli psyche and complete distortion of priorities and values.

I certainly have nothing at all against the Western Wall. Jews from all over the world have come here to pour their hearts out to G-d for many years and just by that merit alone it ranks very high in the list of Jewish Holy sites. What 40% of the people who answered this poll didn't realize though, is that the Western Wall receives its holiness by the fact that it is connected to the Temple Mount. The Wall itself is that, a simple stone wall which remains from the time that the Temple stood. Since Jews have historically been barred from entering the Temple Mount itself, we have moved our prayer to the closest place that we could approach, first the Southern Wall and more recently the Western Wall. To detach the wall from its source of holiness pulls the rug out from under our feet. To support Israeli control over the Western Wall which is outside and a sign of exile and oppression that we weren't allowed to set foot on our most holy ground is a sign that a majority of the people do not understand the significance of the Temple Mount, and why it is so vital that we Jews exercise our sovereignty there.

The example that comes to mind is not a pretty one but I think that it illustrates this point rather well.

There used to be a most peculiar form of idol worship called Baal Peor, where people would come and defecate to the idol. Absolutely disgusting you say? True, but it wasn't always like this. How did such a bizarre custom start? It used to be that the idol was worshiped "normally" but the priests were so dedicated that they wouldn't even leave the Baal's side to use the facilities. They just did their business right there in the temple and carried on with their service. Their children and grandchildren didn't remember all of the details of the service but they did remember their ancestors relieving themselves in the temple. After a few generations, all they remembered was the defecation and they completely forgot about the actual service. Eventually that was all that remained and it became the main form of worship.

L'havdil elef alfai havdalos — the same is true with us today. For so many years we have been banished to the Western Wall that we have forgotten why we ever went there in the first place. Our intention was to be as near as possible to the Temple Mount, the "gates of heaven", the site where all prayer ascends up to heaven. After generation upon generation of being banned, we have become content to keep the Western Wall and to give up the main service, the Temple Mount itself. Not only that, but we have completely mixed up our priorities until even religious Jews fall into the trap of thinking "The Western Wall is Jewish, the Temple Mount is Arab". G-d forbid to let such a thought enter our minds for even a moment! There is no Western Wall without the Temple Mount and we need to make sure that this seemingly basic fact is clear as day. We have replaced the actual service and stand on the wrong side of the wall! How can it be that on a daily basis thousands of Jews get in the car, bus, or plane, travel all the way to Jerusalem, enter the old city and then stop when they hit the Wall, then turn around and go home feeling satisfied? It is as ludicrous as traveling halfway around the world to see the Superbowl, buying tickets, going to the stadium and then sitting in the parking lot and listing to the game on the radio. Then this person, feeling pretty good about himself, goes home and brags to all of his friends that he "was at the game". What would you tell such a fool? "Imbecile! You were so close, you even had a ticket and because of your own shortsightedness you ended up missing everything!!"

We need to stop being "wall nuts" and stop "worshiping the Baal". There is no need to stand outside anymore. The gates are finally open, Jews can finally ascend the holiest site in the world, and only a lack of interest on our part prevents permanent prayer from being established on the Temple Mount. We can even restore the sacrificial service as early as tomorrow morning if we so desired but due to centuries of exile and brainwashing, we choose to stand outside and fail to even realize that we are lacking anything.

You can help change the status quo. You can make the worldwide Jewish community realize that the Temple Mount is no less important than the Western Wall. In fact without the Mount, the Western Wall would be no different from any other pile of ancient stones. You can help make it so that next time 91% of Jews realize the importance of keeping the Temple Mount in Jewish hands. Join us on Rosh Chodesh Nissan when 10,000 Jews will ascend the Temple Mount together (taking care to follow all of the requirements of ritual purity). We have stood outside for long enough, the time has come to move to the OTHER side of the Wall to leave the sidelines and enter the actual game....Don't be a Wall Nut join us for Revava to the Temple Mount!

For more information about the mass ascent on Rosh Chodesh Nisan please contact ishtam@revava.org or visit http://revava.org/index.php

[ Published: March 15, 2005 ]



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