Over 200 Jews Visit Har Habayis on 1st Day of Chanukah – Some Arrested for Davening


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hhaOver 200 Jews were in a group that visited Har Habayis on Thursday, the first day of Chanukah. Several tens of Jews were unable to get in due to the large number of visitors. The organizers stress they all toiveled and prepared in line with Halacha prior to the visit. Three members of the group were arrested, reportedly for bending over as they recited tefilos, which for Jews is a prohibited act on Har Habayis as per the Islamic Waqf Authority.

Police officer Moti Yogev prevented participants in the group from distributing food and beverage as they wished because of Chanukah, telling mispallalim that Har Habayis is not the place for food and drink and they should have a more somber atmosphere. Honenu attorneys are planning to file a complaint against Yogev for his actions, which they explain were a violation of the law.

Har Habayis activists are urging mispallalim who will be visiting throughout Chanukah to bring cookies and beverage and if Officer Yogev interferes to document events to add them to the case against him.

It must be noted that according to the Poskei Hador one is absolutely forbidden to visit the Har Habayis, and there is an Issur Kares for one that goes there.

Four years ago on Sukkos, President Shimon Peres paid a visit to the Sukka of Maran HaGaon Rav Elyashiv ZATZAL, where Rav Elyashiv called on the President to prevent Jews from visiting Har Habayis, stating it is an act that that is viewed as extremely provocative by the goyim. Maran stated everything possible must be done to avoid a religious war, and the provocateurs are playing with fire.

Maran is quoted as explaining to the president that Halacha forbids going onto Har Habayis but today, it is more than this, it is an act that may lead to a religious war and bloodshed.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. While you might have an opinion about going up on Har Habayis, not everyone agrees with your views. There are others that hold that we have an Achrayus to go up to Har Habayis to not lose control over the holy site. When you state your opinion about Halacha, you have to take the other side’s opinion of Halacha into account – even if you disagree with them and think that they are wrong. It isn’t our place to go around to others and tell them that they aren’t following Halacha, when they heard a different Psak from someone else.

  2. #1: There is a law in the Torah which states “acharei rabim l’hatos”. Please study it and all of its ramifications.

    The Gedolei Haposkim say that the entire Har Habyis is assur on penalty of kareis.

    Even if I had a personal posek who “paskened” that you could go up, I wouldn’t gamble on the (likely) chance he’s wrong, given the consequences.

  3. @zach….he is not stating an opinion he is stating a fact that was paskened by our gedolei hador and if you don’t hold of the gedolei hador then your on the wrong site let alone the wrong religion.

  4. *the beginning of my previous comment got cut off, but if you understand the Hebrew words of the Rambam’s introduction to Mishne Torah, they speak for themselves.

  5. to Shazam, embaressed: I understand that you’ve heard opinions that state that going up onto the Har Habayis is Assur, however there is a huge other camp of completely competent Rabbonim who hold that it is Muttar (and some say encouraged) to go up onto Har Habayis. It IS his opinion about going up on to Har Habayis. While I won’t go up onto Har Habayis, I know of many Rabbonim who encourage it for specific reasons that I don’t need to mention here.

    There is no Rabim when it comes to the Halacha about going up on to Har Habayis.

    By the way- in all of these articles, when it says that they go on to Har Habayis, they don’t go onto the original part, rather they go onto what we believe is the part added by Herod.