Rav Aviner: Why Chareidi Gedolim Don’t Speak About the prohibition of Going to Har Habayis


avinerHaRav Shlomo HaKohen Aviner Shlita was asked about Jews visiting Har Habayis. The rav explained there are rabbonim who permit it under certain conditions while others do not, adding those who do not are gedolei hador and even among rabbonim one must realize there are differences. He added the Chief Rabbinate of Israel opposes it and that is what defines the issue.

Rav Aviner adds that when HaGaon HaRav Hershel Schachter of Yeshiva University was asked, he explained as a rav in the United States he will not responsd but pointed out the Chief Rabbinate of Israel prohibits it.

“Neturei Karta and Agudas Yisrael do not listen to the Chief Rabbinate, just the dati’im, just the nationalists and if we do not do as instructed, this will lead to the collapse of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel”. Rav Aviner explains that HaGaon HaRav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L teaches us that one rav cannot give a psak for another, “and the Rav from Minsk does not become involved in matters pertaining to the Rav of Pinsk”.

The chareidi rabbonim do not speak about the prohibition of visiting Har Habayis because it is understood. “Once when someone asked HaGaon HaRav Elyashiv ZT”L about going to Har Habayis he responded ‘chas v’sholom’ and the gabbai responded ‘you ask such questions to the rav, dealing with kores’. Rav Elyashiv responded ‘even if there isn’t kores, לא יטמאו את מחניהם אשר אני שוכן בתוכם”.

Rav Aviner continues, explaining shortly after Har Habayis was liberated the Steipler ZT”L published a notice citing the severity of violating the prohibition regarding Har Habayis. Rav Aviner adds that the Steipler’s talmidim gathered the signatures of leading chareidi poskim. as it was about to be printed it went to the Chief Rabbinate and then they said the printing was no longer necessary since the prohibition was already issued. (אורחות רבנו א שכד-שכח)

Hence concludes Rav Aviner, visiting Har Habayis is an affront to both the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and Gedolei Yisrael.

The rav concludes that visiting Har Habayis results in blurring the various levels, adding Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook taught about preserving and maintain the “binyan shalem” created by HKBH; Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael, all levels. “There is a life-threatening danger when the various areas are blurred, blurring the levels of kedusha. When Miriam compared the level of Moshe to the other prophets it was a burring of levels and an avreira of comparing smaller to the larger”.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Your headline, and the lead of the article, are misleading.

    You say “He added the Chief Rabbinate of Israel opposes it and that is what defines the issue.” WRONG. What defines the issue is that halacha opposes tiyuling or davening (etc.,) on the Har ha-Bayis. The Medinah Rabbinate is just reflecting a well established halacha.

    You say that “The chareidi rabbonim do not speak about the prohibition of visiting Har Habayis because it is understood.“ CORRECT but your headline suggests that the gedolei Torah (i.e. the chareidi rabbonim) are silent on the matter for some reason that reflects poorly on them. If the chareidi rabbonim complained about all the averias done by the non-frum or quasi-frum, they would be constantly short of breath.

  2. hmmm…

    BarryLS1 says:
    November 27, 2014 at 4:57 am

    Do you know that RAMBAM went up to the Har Habayis? In our days, since 1967, Jews have gone. Rav Moshe Tendler, the Son-in-law of Rav Moshe Feinstein, ZT’L has gone as well as others. The issues were only doing the proper preparations and knowing which sections we are not allowed to go Halachically. The issue of it being prohibitted completely is fairly recent.

    I’m sure the fear is that people will go where it is Halachically forbidden, but to say it is completely prohibited is wrong and is a subject of Machlokes. If someone goes with the Psak of their Rov is no different than anyone doing something with their Rov’s approval and another Rov disagrees.

  3. Rabbi Tzefanya Drori: Jews Must Visit Har Habayis; Says It’s a ‘Mitzvah Min Hatorah’; Those Who Don’t Go Are ‘Over Aveirah’
    (Monday, November 10th, 2014)

    droriChief Rabbi of Kiryat Shmona Rabbi Tzefanya Drori Shlita, an outspoken advocate of visiting Har Habayis, told the dati leumi Kippa website that he encourages Jews to visit the holy site. He rejects the notion that doing so is responsible for Islamic violence, explaining the Muslims simply looks for an excuse. Rabbi Drori is viewed as one of the leading poskim in the dati leumi community advocating visits to Har Habayis.

    Clearly the issue of Jews visiting Har Habayis has topped the nation’s agenda as the Jews and Arabs and Jews and Jews are at odds regarding the right of Jews to visit and daven on Har Habayis. YWN-ISRAEL reminds our readers once again, that the Gedolei Hador throughout the generations have been and remain opposed to ascending to Har Habayis, as is the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

    “Visiting Har Habayis is a mitzvah Min Hatorah and for many years after the churban leading rabbonim including the Rambam and Ramban did so. When we are there we are close to the place of the Mikdosh and even now that it is gone, the kedusha remains. This has not changed for thousands of years and it will not change today. It is a mitzvah to visit Har Habayis” states Rav Drori.
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    Rabbi Drori explains that those rabbonim who forbid visiting Har Habayis have two reasons. They fear visitors do not know how to prepare properly and secondly, there are boundaries, areas that are halachically off limits and one who transgresses is punishable by karess.

    The rav adds that in recent years there is an additional reason is that we are uncertain regarding the boundaries of the permitted areas and therefore, one may transgress unintentionally. Rav Drori explains this is not so and that we are aware of what areas are and are not permitted.

    “The measurements of Har Habayis have not changed throughout the ages. We are aware of the size of the Azarah and there are clear signs demarking where it is permissible to go. Hence there is no basis for this view. If there is a problem, then one simply refrains from entering those areas. Therefore, today, there is no problem to come close to al-Aqsa Mosque since this is the area that King Herod added. If one enters further, one must toivel in a mikve and of course one cannot be carrying bags or shoes of leather. It is a great merit to be able to ascend Har Habayis”.

    Rabbi Drori feels that if one does not visit Har Habayis today one is guilty of a serious transgression for we must yearn for the Mikdosh. “If we do not go others will usurp control as we are abandoning the site. Every person that ascends is considered a Shomer HaMikdash from occupation. This carries many heterim. Every person has this right and B”H there are many exercising this right” he adds.

    Rav Dror then addresses those rabbonim who fear that some who visit will not properly prepare themselves and they will be tamei and this would have an adverse effect. “At the time we did not visit Har Habayis tourists did so in large numbers. Today, because of the religious worshipers visiting, they are learning to prepare themselves properly to prevent the prohibitions associated with ascending with preparing oneself as one must. Once upon a time persons visited without concern for areas and boundaries. I recommend that anyone with Yiras Shomayim to protest the unrestricted visitation by tourists to prevent compromising our holy site. There are very prominent rabbonim like Rabbi Dov Lior who is a profound talmid chacham, and other leading rabbonim, who permit visiting. There are people were are expert in Torah Law who permit ascending.

    “Anyone who rejects ascending Har Habayis appropriates our rights to walk about freely at the Kosel and in the Old City” states the rav. “We are not going to fight the Arabs and they is no provocation. This has become normative Muslim behavior and require no stimulation to act as they do. The Arabs claimed in the past that visiting the Kosel was the cause of the violence and today, it is Har Habayis. When the Knesset was built they knew the world would resist but came to understand Yerushalayim is the basis of our neshama. If people do not understand this then they do not understand the history or the Torah and have no understanding of the People of Israel. They do not achieve more Yiras Shomayim by opposing ascending to Har Habayis but rather they strengthen our enemies.

    “The violence did not begin with Har Habayis. The violence began with Yerushalayim with other matters entirely. What connection does this have with the place of the Mikdosh? These are lies and everyone is aware of this. They are not concerned with Har Habayis rather they object to the establishment of the State of Israel. They are unwilling to recognize the fact that Am Yisrael has a foothold in Eretz Yisrael”.

    “Rav Kook explained to Rav Tzvi Yehuda when he met with the wise men of Islam the latter knew we would return to Har Habayis and that is our right. That is what Rav Tzvi Yehuda told me. All of the excuses and disturbances of Islam stem from the hated of Israel that we have returned home”.

    (YWN – Israel Desk,

    To 8, an Israeli Chareidi — no, the rishonim are cholek about makom hamikdash, the azarah, the cheil. According to the Raavad there is no kdusha even there after the churban, though the Rambam, the baalei haTosfos and others are cholek, and some think even according to the Raavad there’s still an issur there. But no one thinks there is an issur drabana for a t’mei mes to go on har habayis. If there are, please let me know

  4. Rav Aviner shli”ta, Thank you for an excellent & clear ruling on Har Habayis without entering the field of harsh rhetoric, name calling or absolving other viewpoints.

  5. The reason jews are not allowed to go to hAR habayis is because it incites violence and any person who is so blind to see that the last few intifadaa were a direct result of walking on Har habayis has no right to call themselves a rav or to give guidence in these matters….this is not about what part is or isn’t assur…..you think not every jew would love to go there?? We don’t because we’re not idiots. And any person who’s wiling to sacrifice his fellow jews just so he can say how big he is, is just selfish. Walk on Har habayis and you might as well strap on some explosives and detonate in Ben yehuda…..I dare you to argue

  6. Just to clarify..I am not sa Ying without this there would be peace…however just because a lion would eat you if it had a chance you don’t kick it in the mouth

  7. About Time: Interesting that you keep track of my posts.

    What about my other posts that say that while I wouldn’t go up to the Har Habayis myself, I don’t criticize those that do, especially when they have a psak from their Rov that approved it.