The Orthodox Union (OU) Department of Community Engagement sends out a weekly email to the leadership of its member synagogues containing various news and other items of interest.
This past Sunday, at the request of one of its member rabbis, the OU included in this email the following one-sentence blurb and a link to an article: “Machon HaMikdash is very concerned about the continued Arab incitement on Har Habayit and is encouraging you and your congregants to encourage the Knesset to ensure that Jewish rights are protected.”
Various news outlets picked up on this comment, as well as statements made by Machon HaMikdash, to report that the OU was encouraging people to visit or pray on the Har Habayit. That was never the intent of this informational posting. The OU was neither endorsing entry upon the Har Habayit nor addressing the dispute surrounding the halachic permissibility of ascending the Har Habayit. We note that Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, zt”l, as well as the current Chief Rabbinate of Israel, have ruled against Jews entering the Har Habayit. The OU encourages interested individuals to seek appropriate halachic guidance on this issue.
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