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

  • 4
    The temple mount was not only for kohanim (when the bes hamikdash was standing).
    – msh210
    Commented Oct 12, 2011 at 16:35
  • Hacham Yishak Shelit"A (YALKUT Yosef vol. 5 last page) holds it's an Isur Karet. Commented Jun 22, 2012 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
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 21:55
  • @HachamGabriel You must be missing a detail there.
    – Double AA
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 22:54
  • @msh210 or ever, actually.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 18:19

2 Answers 2


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


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


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


  • 1
    Can you summarise some of these views in the body of your answer?
    – bondonk
    Commented Nov 2, 2014 at 18:28
  • 2
    What is the reason of the poskim who hold you may not go? I always hear that "Gedolei HaPoskim ossur" but never heard their reasonings why. It seems to be political in nature though.
    – Yehoshua
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 11:58

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