Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I heard that even though the Temple Mount is under muslim authority, tourists are allowed in specific hours.

My question is from a Torah perspective - since this place was for the Kohanim, are we "regular" Jews allowed to visit the place? I would love to go there and feel the holiness of the place

share|improve this question
3  
The temple mount was not only for kohanim (when the bes hamikdash was standing). –  msh210 Oct 12 '11 at 16:35
    
Hacham Yishak Shelit"A (YALKUT Yosef vol. 5 last page) holds it's an Isur Karet. –  Hacham Gabriel Jun 22 '12 at 15:33
    
You should check out this article on the topic by R Aharon Lichtenstein (whose birthday is today Yom Yerushalayim) Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 –  Double AA May 8 '13 at 21:55
    
@HachamGabriel You must be missing a detail there. –  Double AA May 8 '13 at 22:54
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

There are those that hold you may, however the majority of contemporary Poskim hold you may not.

http://www.templeinstitute.org/archive/25-01-05.htm

This link goes to a website that supports going to the Temple Mount.

http://www.templeinstitute.org/main.htm

share|improve this answer
add comment

According to the Ra'avad, Har Habayis (Temple Mount) does not have Kedusha nowadays, so there would be no halachik issue with visiting any part of it. However, most poskim assume like the Rambam that Har Habayis retains its kedusha even though the Beis haMikdash has been destroyed.

This means people can only visit areas that are allowed based on their level of taharah/tu'mah. Nowadays, we assume everyone is tamei meis, so md'oraysa no one can go into the azara (Temple Courtyard), and md'rabanan one cannot go past the cheil (a gate the encircled both the Azara and Ezras Nashim).

A person with a tumah yotzei megufo cannot go into Har haBayis. He therefore needs to immerse in a kosher mikvah beforehand, and he can then go in any area outside the cheil.

No one claims there is a halachik problem with someone who toveled from going on har haBayis outside the cheil. The issue they raise is that perhaps we don't know where the Mikdash and Azara were and one may accidentally go into it. However, there is a large area from the outside of har habayis to the azara, so this doesn't explain why one couldn't go a few feet into har habayis. (There is also both a tradition and other evidence that the Dome of the Rock is where the Kodesh haK'doshim was.)

Many feel one shouldn't go on har habayis because Jews didn't go in the previous few centuries. However, this was because Jews were banned from going on it. Previously, when Jews were allowed to go on Har Habyis, many did so, such as the Rambam and the Radvaz.

While many rabbis say one should not go on har haBayis, the reasons are not so clear-cut, and the basic halacha does allow it. Some Rabbis feel its important to go on har haBayis, since it shows the Jews still care about it, and it is an opportunity to keep the mitzvah of mora'ah (reverence) for the mikdash, and the mitzvah of distinguishing between the permitted and forbidden areas.

It is important that one who goes on har haBayis knows the basic halachos of tumah/taharah, which areas one can go, and the halachos of mora'ah (e.g. no shoes allowed).

See also:
http://www.ou.org/torah/article/tzarich_iyun_har_habayit http://templemountcenter.com/Aliya_English.html

share|improve this answer
    
The RaMbaM didn't go on the Har HaBayith. sefertoldothadam.blogspot.com/2013/02/… –  MoriDoweedhYaa3qob May 9 '13 at 0:45
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.