Feiglin: Why is Rav of the Kosel Opposed to Visiting Har Habayis?


feiMK Moshe Feiglin turned to Minister of Religious Services Naftali Bennett asking why the Rabbi of the Kosel and Holy Sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, is among the more vocal voices of opposition to visiting Har Habayis. Feiglin points out Rabbi Rabinowitz is active in efforts to prevent Jews from visiting the site.

Feiglin asks the minister to investigate reports that Rabbi Rabinowitz is pressuring rabbonim and admorim who to date have refused to sign a letter of support for him, using his authority to grant or revoke entry permits for a vehicle to the Kosel Plaza as leverage against these rabbonim and admorim.

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. Not clear why Feiglin is confused. Normally, when a large plurality of poskei and gadolei hador, shlita agree on somthing as not going up on har habayis, that would be the end of the matter. Here, when it doesn’t suit their political agenda, suddenly Rav Rabinowitz’s position is challenged even though he is in the mainstream.

  2. Rambam Hilchos Beis HaBechira, perek 7:

    Halacha 15
    The Temple Mount is holier than [the city of Jerusalem]. Zavim, Zavot, Niddot, and women who have given birth may not enter there. [However,] a corpse may be brought into the Temple Mount and one has contracted ritual impurity from a corpse may definitely enter there.

    Halacha 16
    The chayl is holier than the Temple Mount. Gentiles and those who contracted impurity through contact with a corpse or engaging in sexual relations with a Niddah may not enter there.

    Halacha 17
    The Women’s Courtyard is holier than the chayl. A person who has immersed himself in a mikveh, but must wait until the sun sets to become ritually pure, may not enter there.

    This prohibition was instituted by the Sages. According to Torah law, such a person may enter the camp of the Levites. [Similarly,] a person who contracted ritual impurity through contact with a corpse and who entered the Women’s Courtyard, is not liable for a sin offering.

    Halacha 18
    The Courtyard of the Israelites is holier than the Women’s Courtyard.64 A person who has purified himself, but has not brought the required sacrifices,65 may not enter there.66 Similarly, an impure person who enters there is liable for karet.67

  3. The article says it all: in 1968, the gedolei hador UNANIMOUSLY rules that it was forbidden. That SHOULD be the end of debate. I never cease to be amazed by the number of people — most especially it seems from the so-called religious zionists — who consider their knowledge or wisdom or intelligence to be superior to that of the gedolim