Abstract

The article describes the internal debate within Religious Zionist circles over the question of Jews entering the Temple Mount and presents the internal religious dynamics that permitted Jews to enter. It presents the positions of the Mercaz Harav yeshiva, one of the most important halachic centers of modern-day religious Zionism, whose leaders reject the idea of Jews entering the Temple Mount in the current era. The article further describes the debate on the question of entering the Temple Mount within the Chief Rabbinate, whose plenum strongly negated such a possibility, although some leading members of the rabbinate permitted entry and prayer in an individual capacity. This is followed by a discussion of the decision by the Council of Yesha Rabbis (a group of Orthodox rabbis from the settlements in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip) permitting Jews to enter the Temple Mount, under certain Halachic restrictions, and of the debate their decision evoked among Religious Zionist rabbis. The article presents the clear phenomenon of the erosion and weakening of the prohibition against Jews entering the Temple Mount. It is difficult to ignore the growing support for this approach among ever wider circles.

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