Divine restoration of the Land of Israel to the Jewish people will not be complete until Jerusalem’s Temple Mount is truly in Jewish hands and biblical sacrifices are again offered there.
That’s the motivation of several Temple Mount activist groups that are preparing implements for the Third Temple and regularly trying to offer sacrifices at the holy site.
But Jews are forbidden to openly pray atop the Temple Mount, let alone offer animal sacrifices there, for fear of upsetting the Muslim world.
On Monday, police officers intercepted several Jewish activists just as they were about to enter the Temple Mount complex with a young lamb that they intended to sacrifice.
The activists belong to a group known as “Return to the Mount” which released the following statement:
“Bringing a sacrifice is the signal to start the struggle to renew the Temple service. The time has come after two thousand years to stop crying and start changing the situation.
“The sad thing is the easiest thing that can be done right now is to start building an altar in its place and offering a sacrifice on it. This is something that is allowed according to Jewish law, even though we are considered ritually impure [because of the lack of the ashes of a red heifer needed to remove that impurity]. With God’s help, starting this month throughout the year more and more Jews will come to bring their sacrifices to God.”
Hamas and other Islamist groups threatened war earlier this month when Israeli lawmaker Amit Halevi (Likud) proposed changes to the current policy on the Temple Mount. According to Halevi’s plan, the Temple Mount would be divided into Muslim and Jewish sections and control of the holy site by the Jordanian Waqf would end.
Halevi noted that the part of the Mount that’s sacred to Muslims is its southern end, where the Al Aqsa Mosque is located. Muslims, said Halevi, could continue to pray there, while Jews worship in the center of the plateau, where the biblical temples once stood.
Amit Halevi’s plan would give Muslims control of the southern end of the Temple Mount complex, which contains the Al Aqsa Mosque, while Jews would receive the central and northern areas.https://t.co/HzhHx85JAp
— World Israel News (@worldisraelnews) June 8, 2023
Jews are increasingly visiting the Temple Mount again, and opinion polls routinely show that a majority of Israelis believe it is time to again exercise full sovereignty atop God’s Holy Hill.
See also: Straddling ‘The Place of His Throne’
When Israel almost gave away the Temple Mount
State Archive documents declassified and published this week reveal that former Prime Minister Ehud Barak was ready to surrender parts of the Temple Mount to the Palestinian Authority in December 2000.
That year Israel was keen to conclude a final status peace agreement with the Palestinians based on a proposal by former US President Bill Clinton.
The declassified document shows handwritten notes in the margins of the proposal as Israeli officials discussed and debated the terms.
Among the notes was agreement to divide the Old City of Jerusalem between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, including granting the Palestinian sovereignty over the upper parts of the Temple Mount where the mosques are situated. Israel would retain sovereignty over the Western Wall and the tunnels that run near and alongside the Temple Mount.
There was also an expression of frustration that the “Palestinian recognition of the Jewish narrative regarding the Temple Mount was not accepted.” But as others have argued, if Israel does not have absolute conviction regarding its claim to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, how can it expect anyone else to accept that position?
With reporting by JNS.
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