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Orthodox Union: No Halachic Position Taken On Har HaBayis Visits – Notes That Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Ruled Against It

tmoThe 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.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

16 Responses

  1. A cowardly statement. They asked people to lobby for Jewish access to the Har Habayis. That gives the clear implication that it can or may be permissible for a Jew to walk on it. It should be absolutely forbidden by law for any Jew to walk on the Har Habayis.

  2. The Psak Halachah (Rabbical ruling) that Aliyah LeHar HaBayis Hu Assur (ascending the Temple Mount is prohibited) is a long-standing one,
    * reaffirmed by the Hodaah VeAzharah document of Elul 5727 (August ’67) signed by a “full spectrum” of over fifty Gedolim (Talmudic scholars): * reaffirmed more recently by a wide-range of Rabbinic scholars, Rav Elyashiv SHLIT”A to the Rabbanim HaRashiim (Chief Rabbis) SHLIT”A.

  3. Doc do you feel frumer now that you want them to outlaw Jews going up to Har Habayit. Do you feel frumer by negating 200 mitzvot that can only be done on harHabayit. One third of our Torah is thrown away . May hashem pity us.

  4. abbah im not sure what you’re talking about. it may be true that it was obnoxious of ‘doc’ to rip the OU but the psak that we cant go to har habayis wasnt made by ‘doc’ it was made by all the gedolei and poskei hador. so who are you to say one third of the torah is thrown away because we are listening to das torah?

  5. Apparently the OU is a political organization and not a religious one. The exact opposite of the Agudas Yisroel which is based on Daas Torah.

  6. 1.

    I don’t know how you see in the original letter that they would approve yiddin on har habayis. Nowhere does it show that which is why they had to clarify it, for people like you.

    Yes, it’s assur. Seemingly 3 feels being עובר כרת is more important than going up there.

  7. #3 – Yes Hashem should pity us that we are in golus and therefore are unable to to keep the mitzvos associated with Har Habayis.

    Do you feel frummer than all the prominent rabbonim?

  8. Reply to No. 3

    We don’t feel “frumer”, we feel that we are exercising common sense and avoiding the mindless sheeding of Jewish blood that is 100 percent certain to happen if we pursue this agenda for NOTHING. Of the “200 mitzvos” you cite (wherever that number came from) are you suggesting we follow the example of that idiot who regularly would attempt to sneak a goat up to har habayis to bring a korban pesach? Until moishiach comes we don’t do korbonos on har habayis or anywhere else. If you feel compelled, get a yellow flag and run up and down Eastern Parkway screaming “rebbe is moisiach” or engage in some other harmless endeavor that won’t trigger rioting and bloodshed.

  9. Yes, Doc and Avraham an all the Gedolim who forbade any Jew to go onto Har Habayis are frummer for adhering and make other adher to the straight forward psak by all leading Poskim. You don’t do not 200 and not thousands of Mitvos by trangressing one avairah. All the Gedolim also knew about the 200 mitvot – it’s just political and a dangerous provocation to go up to the Har Habayis!

  10. Too much controversy & danger is trying to ascend ‘The Mount.’ Spend more time learning ‘Torah’ (Escpecially ‘chassidus’ which is fascinating!) which will help put Har Habayis is our hands again’
    Remember the miracle that occurred when Mordechai HaTzadik assembled thousand of children to learn ‘Torah.’

  11. 5, the Agudah is a religious organization that follows daas Torah and is not a political organization? You should have been in the running for Letterman’s replacement.

  12. “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.”

    One of the most prominent talmidim of Rav Soloveitchik z’tz’l, not only holds that it is mutar to ascend Har HaBayit, but he does so himself (as reported right here on YWN! and urges his students to do so. I know one rabbi with semicha from him who regularly leads tours there.

    The Orthodox Union web site has this halachic essay on the topic by Ari Zivotovsky, who lost last week’s Supreme Court case regarding the passports:

  13. How is it that we read all,of Tanach, every great Yid from the Avos, to Dovid Hammelech to every leader, were warriors as well as Torah Scholars. Will we be faulted that we allowed that abominable mosque to stand on Har Habayis? Will we be faulted that we found no way to have some type of kedushah and davening on Har Habayis, especially knowing that the entire area is a layered platform that was put over the original area by Herod, so it is not possible for our feet to touch the spot of modest Kedoshim. Also, as others mention, there are many Rebbeim who do allow and even encourage some type of Yiddishkeit there, so we have to know what sources they use. As others mentioned- reading all of Tanach there is absolutely never any mention that we are absolved from all Kedusha of Har Habayis until Moshiach. It does not say that anywhere. We could say that since we don’t know for sure about Tefillin for sure, since we have lost some mesorah about who to follow, that we should wait for Moshiach. We could say since we don’t know what Techailes that we should wait for Moshiach to wear Tzitzis. We could say that since we don’t have knowledge about so many things that we should wait for everything till Moshiach, as someone said above, this is an easy out. Why do we keep Rosh Chodesh without the ceremony of Eidim from Har Habayis that we have in the Torah? It seems very arbitrary because we seem to be choosing to just shrug off the whole myriad of Mitzvot of Har Habayis we have “until Moshiach comes” when nowhere in the Torah does it say we are exempt from anything till Moshiach comes. Where does it say we have a Moshiach exemption for thousands of years in all of Tanach?

  14. And the Arabs playing football soccer and desecrated our most Holy place on Earth, the place where all our players go, that is fine for us?
    The acceptance of this humiliating situation is enough to keep Meshiah away from coming.

  15. Vashti
    AGUDAH is mainly a political organization fighting for grants, rights, advancement of frum Jews in the workplace, in Yeshivos & in synagogues.

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