Rabbi Meir Soloveichik’s tour of Har Habayis on Sunday, erev 7th day of Pesach was cut short when violent rioting broke out on the holy site. It was the first time that Har Habayis had been open to Jews since the beginning of Pesach. Riots forced Rabbi Meir Soloveichik and his family, who were accompanied by Temple Institute International Director Rabbi Chaim Richman, off the site within two minutes of ascending. Two police officers were injured in the confrontation, and 24 arrests have been made.
Rabbi Meir Yaakov Soloveichik is a son of Rabbi Eliyahu Soloveichik, grandson of the late Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik and the great nephew of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik – all of whom are credited for founding what has become the Modern Orthodoxy movement of Judaism. After graduating from Yeshiva College in New York City, Soloveichik received his rabbinic ordination at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, and went on to receive a PhD in religion from Princeton University.
Aside from his teaching and writing, Rabbi Soloveichik proudly became the first Orthodox rabbi to give the invocation at the opening session of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. He currently serves as rabbi of the Sephardic Congregation Shearith Israel in New York City, the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States.
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.
Five 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)