On Aish.com, I saw the following:

הר הבית הוא שער השמים - The Temple Mount is the gateway to heaven. כל תפילה עולה דרך מקום זה - All prayers ascend from this spot.

Does anyone know where this line comes from?


1 Answer 1


This is a mystical explanation of Genesis (28:17)

מַה נּוֹרָא הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה אֵין זֶה כִּי אִם בֵּית אֱלֹהִים וְזֶה שַׁעַר הַשָּׁמָיִם

How awesome is this place; it is naught but God's abode, and this is the gateway of Heaven (trans. my own).

The Midrash teaches that that spot was the temple mount:

אמר רבי אלעזר בשם רבי יוסי בן זמרא, הסולם הזה עומד בבאר שבע, ואמצע שיפועו מגיע כנגד בית המקדש

See Rashi thereon s.v. Ki im beis elokim.

The gates of heaven of the Temple mount are connected to prayer by Ibn Ezra thereon:

שיתפלל אדם בו בשעת צרכו ותשמע תפלתו כי המקום נבחר

Rashi similarly connects the two and writes:

מקום תפלה לעלות תפלתם השמימה

The place of prayer, for their prayers to ascend heavenward.

This statement could be interpreted as not being limited to someone praying on the temple mount, but rather saying that wherever one prays, one's prayers ascend by way of the temple mount (whatever that means).

The Shelah seems to write this explicitly in his commentary to tractate Yoma:

בידיעת סודות התפילה עולה היא למעלה, דרך שער השמים

Paraphrasing: According to the knowledge of the secrets of prayer, prayer ascends by way of the heavenly gate.

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