MK (Bayit Yehudi) Betzalel Smotrich is authoring a bill many view as inflammatory at best. Smotrich’s bill calls for passing a law that permits Jews to daven on Har Habayis, currently banned as per the so-called religious status quo on Har Habayis. This because Israel has agreed in the past with dictates from Jordan, Islamic leaders and the Waqf Authority, that all tefilos other than Muslim prayers are prohibited on the holy site, which Islamic leaders view as belonging to them exclusively.
Supporting the bill are a number of MKs from both Smotrich’s party and Likud. The bill is not intended solely for Jews, but states anyone of any religious would be permitted to pray on Har Habayis, which is now prohibited for any non-Muslims. From Smotrich’s point of view, this is a basic right of freedom of prayer, which any and all visitors to the site should enjoy.
It must be noted: According to the Poskei Hador one is absolutely forbidden to visit the Temple Mount, and there is an Issur Kares for one that goes there.
Six years ago on Sukkos, Israeli President Shimon Peres paid a visit to the Sukkah of Maran Hagon 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.
This is and remains the view of poskei hador. This is also the view of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Among the rabbonim who share this view are HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita, HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Halevy Wosner ZATZAL, HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein Shlita, Maran HaGaon HaRav Aaron Yehuda Leib Shteinman Shlita, Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZT”L, Maran Hagon HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv ZT”l and many others.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)