Jews believe the site – venerated as holy in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam alike – is where the Beit Hamikdash used to sit.
A group of Israeli activists are calling on the government to establish a synagogue on the Temple Mount and open it for Jewish prayer.
According to Asaf Fried, a spokesman for an association of organizations dedicated to Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, more than 50 leaders from across the religious spectrum gathered on Sunday to discuss the situation on the Temple Mount. Participants included Rabbi Yehudah Glick (Likud), Baruch Marzel (Otzma Yehudit) and members of the rabbinate.
Jews believe the site – venerated as holy in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam alike – is where the First and Second Temples used to sit.
Riots have continuously erupted on the Temple Mount since last month, when thousands of Palestinians stormed the Golden Gate, which had been closed by a court order since 2003. Jerusalem Police arrested two senior Wakf officials – east Jerusalem Wakf chairman Sheikh Abdel Azim Salhab and deputy director of the Wakf Sheikh Najeh Bkeirat – banning them from entering the Aqsa Mosque compound for 40 days.
In response, the Muslims took over and converted a 1,500-year-old structure located near the Golden Gate (known as Shaar Harachamim in Hebrew) into a mosque. Currently, the Muslims have four other mosques on the mount, said Fried. Jews, on the other hand, “if you try to pray, you will be arrested.”
The activists argue that by opening the Golden Gate and establishing a new mosque, the Muslims have broken the status quo agreement. Israel has made attempts to shutter the gate, but the Muslims have refused, threatening increased violence.
“If the status quo is broken anyway, then Israel needs to break it, too,” said Fried, arguing that Jews should be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. “We need a place to pray and we want that structure near the Golden Gate.”
Establishing a synagogue is not unprecedented, explained Yaacov Hayman, head of the Yishai Organization for the Establishment of Synagogues on the Temple Mount. He said in Temple times there was always a synagogue near the Temple.
“The Talmud tractate that talks about Yom Kippur clearly states there was a synagogue,” he said.
His organization has mapped the Temple Mount and created renderings for where up to four synagogues could be located on the holy site.
Marzel told The Jerusalem Post that the Temple Mount is “the holiest place for the Jewish people. Our enemies are taking it over, they are breaking the law, destroying archaeology sites and disgracing Judaism and God. We have to fight.”
Fried said the group is not asking to take over authority on the mount. Currently, the Jerusalem Wakf Islamic religious trust controls and manages the Islamic edifices on and around the Temple Mount. The east Jerusalem Wakf is controlled by Jordan.
This latest call for a synagogue on the Temple Mount is not the first.
In 2017, MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) called for the construction of a synagogue on the Temple Mount in the aftermath of the brutal Halamish (also known as Neveh Tzuf) attack, in which a Hamas terrorist infiltrated the West Bank settlement and murdered three people at their Shabbat table.
“I would set up a synagogue on the Temple Mount today, this morning,” Smotrich said then. “If someone thinks that through terrorism, violence, and the massacre of a family that he will push our sovereignty back, then – if I am the prime minister – this morning, I would close the Temple Mount to Arab prayer and establish a synagogue for Jews. And if the terrorism continues, I would close the mount to Arabs and there will be only Jews there.”
A similar demand was made in 2014, when a large group of religious-Zionist rabbis – including Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Eliyahu Zinni and Rabbi Haim Cohen – penned a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu advocating the construction of a synagogue on the Temple Mount. No action was taken.
Furthermore, there have been bills raised in the Knesset calling for equal prayer rights for Jews on the Temple Mount, but they have generally been shut down, as Muslims threaten violence if the status quo is altered.
Fried said he believes that this time the goal can be accomplished because Israel is in an election period and politicians who can effect change will want to appear responsive.
On March 14, the group is arranging a massive Jewish trip to the Temple Mount. He said he expects hundreds of Jews to attend and to pray in their hearts.
Then, in late March, they will run a protest rally from City Hall to outside the Golden Gate.
“We are all angry about what is going on the Temple Mount,” said Fried. “If we will it, we think this time it will be.”
“Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom over Yisrael for ever; according as I promised to David thy father, saying: There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Yisrael.” I Kings 9:5 (The Israel Bible™)
It might come as a shock to many to learn that hundreds of descendants of King David are alive today, with verifiable family trees dating back 90 generations, and that the royal Davidic dynasty could potentially be established today in Israel.
Though some may be skeptical of the genealogical proof, many secular researchers of genealogy have studied the line of David. The research is facilitated by the fact that a number of European monarchs throughout history have gone to great lengths to prove family ties to the Davidic Dynasty, and a solid ancestry has been established.
Within the Jewish community, genealogical studies have shown several families that can claim descent ben akhar ben (father to son) in a direct line, most notably the Dayan, Shealtiel and Charlap/Don Yechia families. Most of these families come from Aleppo, Syria.
Susan Roth founded the Davidic Dynasty organization in 2000 to gather and reunite Davidic descendants in the Holy City of Jerusalem. Roth has a personal interest as well, tracing her lineage back to King David through Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, the preeminent 11th century French Torah scholar known by the acronym Rashi.
Her registry currently lists approximately 150 descendants who have verifiable descent to King David. However, efforts to introduce this reality into mainstream Judaism have met with surprising resistance.
When she first compiled her list, Roth contacted Israel’s Chief Rabbinate to inform them of her registry but, surprisingly, they expressed no interest.
“They were shocked, but they never followed up. My interest was simply to do God’s will, but they understood it as a political agenda. They don’t want King David’s dynasty and they don’t want Moshiach (Messiah),” Roth told Breaking Israel News.
“Even though it is clear Moshiach is here. He is just hiding,” she added.
One of her discoveries was Mitchell Dayan. In 1983, Dayan was mourning for his brother. Amazed at the number of visitors who claimed to be from his family, he began to research his genealogy. Dayan’s research led him to a book called Yashir Moshe, a commentary on Song of Songs written in 1864 by Rabbi Moshe Dayan. In the prologue to the book, the rabbi lists his genealogy, leading back to King David. In this list, Mitchell found the name of his great grandfather from Aleppo.
Another genealogic list was found in the Cairo geniza, a storehouse of over 300,000 Jewish documents discovered in the late 1800’s. The two lists were almost identical, despite the Cairo list being compiled hundreds of years earlier. Through these sources, Mitchell Dayan was able to verify his lineage back 87 generations to King David.
“The actual descendants may not know it but there are descendants of King David alive today,” Dayan told Breaking Israel News. “This was prophesied in the Bible but it is also fact. Politics are irrelevant. It is going to happen, one day or another.”
In 2005, another Dayan, Rabbi Yosef Dayan, was recognized by the nascent Sanhedrin as a direct descendant of King David and, as such, a candidate to re-establish the Davidic Dynasty. Similar to Mitchell Dayan, his discovery came as a result of a death in the family.
Soon after he immigrated to Israel in 1968, Rabbi Dayan buried his grandfather in Jerusalem. He was surprised to see inscribed on the headstone the words “M’Bet David” (from the house of David). Rabbi Dayan discovered that this inscription was a family custom dating back to their origins in Aleppo.
Several years later, Rabbi Dayan received an antique document from a cousin which lists his genealogy, showing him to be the 89th generation from King David. This document was verified by Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, the former Chief Sephardi Rabbi of Israel.
“This concept of family tradition is not surprising,” Rabbi Dayan told Breaking Israel News. “The Kohanim (priests) have a family tradition that they are descended from Aaron the Priest, well before King David, and this tradition is totally accepted by the rabbis. This tradition has been proven accurate by DNA testing.”
Rabbi Dayan is disappointed by the lack of acceptance by rabbinic authorities and mainstream Judaism.
“Just as the Kohanic tradition is accepted, the same should be true for the descendants of King David, but even more so,” Rabbi Dayan said. “We have written family trees, and our tradition is engraved on gravestones for the offspring to take note of their ancestry.”
Breaking Israel News asked Rabbi Dayan why he thought there exists so much resistance to acknowledging the Davidic Dynasty.
On why there exists so much resistance to acknowledging the Davidic dynasty, Rabbi Dayan explained, “There is a basic error in understanding the Kingdom of David.
“The Moshiach is already here. Moshiach in Hebrew means ‘anointed’. It is not a miracle. The family of David exists and is waiting for Israel to choose one and anoint him.
“By claiming incorrectly that there are no living descendants of King David, the Moshiach becomes dependent upon a miracle from heaven, thereby absolving the rabbis from any responsibility for taking action to bringing the Messiah.”
Arutz Sheva Staff, 28/02/19 08:39
New Right party platform opposes giving away land, supports increased construction in Judea, Samaria, J-lem, applying sovereignty in Area C.
The New Right party is committed to applying Israeli sovereignty in Area C and opposing the release of terrorists. In the political part of its platform, which was obtained by Israel Hayom, it is written, “As long as we are in the government, we will not allow a return to this pattern of returning terrorists, which is morally flawed and destructive.”
In the document, drafted by ministers Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett, the party commits to refraining from handing over territories, and instead to significantly expand construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
“We oppose the handing over of our land and the establishment of a Palestinian state in the heart of the Land of Israel. We stand by the value settlement in all parts of Israel, including Judea and Samaria. Jerusalem, the united, is the capital of Israel – we will work to renew the building within united Jerusalem and to realize the potential of Givat Hamatos, Har Homa, Pisgat Ze’ev, the City of David and other neighborhoods … In Samaria and Judea there is enormous potential for building, and we will work for free construction, which will enable the doubling of the Jewish population in the area. ”
The New Right intends to apply Israeli sovereignty in Area C and grant Israeli citizenship to tens of thousands of Arab residents in the area. “The residents of Judea and Samaria are not treated equally in terms of construction and property rights … We support the application of Israeli law to the territories under Israeli control.”
Rabbinical Congress for Peace: ‘Past experience has proven without shadow of doubt any withdrawals only embolden terrorists.’
A delegation of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace, led by central Tel Aviv Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky, Shavei Shomron Rabbi Avraham Schreiber, and Chief Rabbinical Justice in Europe and Jerusalem Rabbi Yirmiya Cohen met yesterday with Germany’s ambassador to Israel, Susanne Vassum-Rainer.
The rabbis presented the Ambassador with the halachic ruling based on the universal value of the sanctity of life that it is absolutely forbidden to enter negotiations on an Israeli withdrawal from territories presently under its control. “Past experience has proven without a shadow of a doubt that any withdrawals only embolden the terrorists to increase terrorism and instability in the region,” the rabbis said. The rabbis requested that the Ambassador convey their message to the German government.
Ambassador Wasum-Rainer admitted that this was the first time that the Torah view had been called to her attention and recommended that it be brought to the attention of world public opinion too, however, she said, that her government does not take sides in the conflict. She said that she feels that the Palestinians are entitled to their own independent state as well. Rabbi Gerlitzky responded, “there are millions of Muslims in Germany, and no one thinks of granting them autonomy there.”
Rabbi Yirmiyahu HaCohen showed the ambassador original archaeological findings that prove beyond any doubt that the Jewish people have been in Israel from time immemorial and there is no room for debate on the subject.
Rabbi Schreiber talked about his close rapport that he had with Arabs of Gaza when he served as a rabbi in Gush Katif before the disengagement. “It is clear,” he said, “most of the Arab residents in Gaza were against the disengagement because they do not want to live under Palestinian rule. They enjoyed more freedom and prosperity under Israeli rule.”
The ambassador expressed great interest in what the rabbis had to say and promised to convey their message to senior officials in the German government.
Ambassador Wasum-Rainer and her staff were impressed that the rabbis are not affiliated with any party or any political body, but solely articulated the Torah view on the matter out of genuine concern for the peace and safety of the people in Israel.
Furthermore, we the undersigned hereby Petition the World Jewish Congress to hold a “material claims conference” in Jerusalem patterned after the 1952 Luxembourg Reparations Agreement, the UN Compensation Commission and Fund, together with the Canadian Treaty Land Entitlement Agreements to effect a just and lasting peace for the Indigenous Peoples of the Middle East that land reserves for “close Jewish and Arab settlement” in historical “Eretz Yisrael” (Palestine) be “set aside” under a trusteeship agreement to secure reparations and restitution against the Arab League for the 1947 Draft Law of the Political Committee of the Arab League and expulsion of the Jews from Arab Countries, North Africa and the Persian Gulf as documented by Justice for Jews from Arab Countries; and for the refusal of the Arab League states to patriate by collective naturalization “Arabs of Palestinian extraction” and the recent denaturalization of Arabs of Jordanian Nationality who were collectively naturalized by King Abdullah on December 13, 1949.