Rabbi Meir Soloveitchik Forced Down from Har Habayis After Violent Palestinian Riots


meir-soloveitchikBy Anav Silverman

For the first time since the beginning of Pesach, the Har Habayis was opened briefly to Jewish visitors and tourists on Sunday, April 20. The site had been closed last week on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday because of violent Palestinian rioting. On Motzoei Shabbos, April 19, five Arabs carrying tear gas were arrested as they tried to access the holy site.

However, on Sunday morning, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik and his family were able to experience two full minutes on the Har Habayis. The rabbi’s visit was cut short when violent rioting once again broke out on the holy site. The riots forced Rabbi Soloveichik and his family, who were accompanied by Temple Institute International Director Rabbi Chaim Richman, off the site within two minutes of ascending.

Two police officers were injured in the confrontation, and 24 arrests were made. Arab worshipers threw concrete blocks and rocks at Israeli police.

The Islamic Waqf, which was given administrative control of the mount following the Six Day War in 1967, bans Jewish prayer and worship.

Rabbi Meir Yaakov Soloveichik gave the invocation at the opening session of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. He is a son of Rabbi Eliyahu Soloveichik, grandson of the late Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik and the great-nephew of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.

He currently serves as rov of the Sephardic Congregation Shearith Israel in New York City, the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States.

Commenting on the incident, Rabbi Soloveichik expressed his dismay at the current situation.

“Under the current circumstances, even to go to the Temple Mount for two minutes was a tremendous privilege,” said Rabbi Soloveichik. “I am very much in favor of ascending the Temple Mount according to Halacha [Jewish law] and after taking the appropriate halachic precautions. It is critical for Jews to understand the importance of the Temple Mount. I applaud the increasing number of Orthodox rabbis and heads of yeshivot that are going to the holy site, and I predict we will see even more Jews ascending in the future.”

Most preeminent poskim of this and past generations have forbade ascending the Har Habayis.

Tazpit News Agency

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}


  1. Have faith folks. Torah and Hashem will bring the Jewish people to the Mount at the hour and the day of Torah’s choice. Torah is not a way for us to take any land by force. We did not take Israel by force and we did not take Mount Sinai by force either.

    Wait for the hour of Torah’s blessing. It may be in our lifetimes or it may be another year.

    Ultimately, we can continue our campaign to remove the terrorists from our communities. They have no conditioned solidarity for human law. And thus our purpose can indeed be fulfilled.

    Torah will guide Hashem’s plan. And if you worry about the Temple Mount, just be assured that Hashem probably has a plan for all of our futures. We will have our way of worship as G-d continues his ways with our people.

    Trust in Hashem.

  2. Well, if the Yidden won’t protect Kedushas Har haBayis, at least the Palestinians will.
    While it is not our place to judge, we all know what happened to Ariel Sharon.

  3. in the words of Rav Avigdor Nebenzahl shlit”a “those who go onto har habayis are endangering klal yisroel and have a din (commentator addition: im sure lav davka) of rodef”

  4. As a long-time Talmid (student) of both HaRav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik ZT”L and HaRav Aharon Soloveichik ZT”L, the Halachah rulings of them and many other leading Torah scholars is:
    Any and all entry to the Har HaBayis (Temple Mount) is prohibited.

  5. For some people doing outrageous things is a way to get attention. The ruling is clear from the traditional Jewish view on this issue

  6. What happened to the famous words uttered by Mota Gur after regaining control of the Temple Mount during the Six Day War: “HAR HABAYIT BIYADAYNU”?

    What have we done???

  7. I don’t undesand, people putting themselves in a SAKONOH, this is also after the Gedolim have said that one should not go, simply for that reason alone: