Jerusalem: Record Number of Jews Visit The Temple Mount

BY JEREMY SHARON
 AUGUST 1, 2017 12:20
The influx in Jewish visitors to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount could be because of anger over the Israeli government’s behavior in the recent crisis surrounding the site.
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Record numbers of Jews visit the Temple Mount Tisha B’Av morning

A Tisha B’Av morning prayer service is conducted at the entrance gate to the Temple Mount before worshipers go up to the site. (photo credit:ELISHAMA SANDMAN)With the Jewish people commemorating the destruction of the ancient Temples in Jerusalem on the fast of Tisha B’Av on Tuesday, more than 1,000 Jewish visitors went to the Temple Mount on Tuesday morning, activist groups said.

According to the Yeraeh organization, which promotes Jewish visitation and prayer rights at the Temple Mount and which desires to rebuild the Jewish Temple at the site, 1,043 Jews visited from 7:30 till 11 this morning, a record for a single day.

Furthermore, the Temple Mount will be reopened at 13:30 for Jewish visitors for another hour, meaning that even larger numbers of visitors are expected.

The previous record was 995 Jewish visitors this past Jerusalem Day. Last year, just 400 Jews visited the site on Tisha B’Av.

According to Yeraeh, the recent tensions over the Temple Mount and the about-face performed by the government over metal detectors at the site has generated massive interest in visiting the site.

A Jewish worshipper prays in front of an entrance to the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, on Tisha B'Av, a day of fasting and lament, in Jerusalem's Old City August 1, 2017. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)A Jewish worshipper prays in front of an entrance to the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, on Tisha B’Av, a day of fasting and lament, in Jerusalem’s Old City August 1, 2017. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post this week, Asaf Fried, a spokesman for an association of organizations dedicated to Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, said that the activist groups had been receiving numerous calls since the crisis was ended, asking how to practically prepare, religiously, for visiting the Temple Mount.

“People are very angry, the government’s behavior last week was humiliating and degrading,” said Fried.

“If Moshe Dayan gave the Wakf the keys to the Temple Mount in 1967, then last week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave over sovereignty over the Temple Mount to the Wakf.”

Along with the new record for Jewish visitation in a single day, records have also been broken for Jewish visitation during this Hebrew calendar year, with 18,000 Jews having visited the Temple Mount in the framework of organized tour groups this year, easily beating last year’s figure of 14,908, and with six weeks of the year still remaining.

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