ISRAEL - Jewish Prayer Has Returned to the Temple Mount

Arno Froese

Jewish worshipers are able to pray on the Temple Mount with what appears to be the tacit consent of police forces at the site, The Jerusalem Post observed during a visit there.

Led by Rabbi Eliyahu Weber and joyfully singing “Let us go up to the Temple,” a quorum of 10 Jewish men ascended the Temple Mount at the beginning of non-Muslim visiting hours at 7:00 a.m.

Upon reaching the eastern gate of the Dome of the Rock shrine, Weber and the group of Jewish men, and two women, stopped for between five and 10 minutes to recite the cantor’s repetition of the central Amidah prayer, including the components for congregational participation.

A kohen, a member of the priestly line, gave the blessing to the worshipers that is part of the daily morning service.

In the past, the police would routinely eject or detain any non-Muslim seen to be praying in any way at the holy site, and this stance was mostly backed by the courts, which ruled that although in theory Jewish prayer was legal on the Temple Mount, the police were entitled to prevent it due to security considerations.

Jewish Temple Mount activists have credited current Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan with making the conditions at the site far more amenable and welcoming for Jewish visitors. The number of visits by Jews has increased dramatically as a result, from around 10,000 in 2015 to 29,000 in 2019.

“The essence of our presence on the Temple Mount shows that this place belongs to the Jewish people,” said Weber. “If we don’t come, [it appears] that it doesn’t interest us. The Temple Mount is ours, and we need to know the importance of being there.”

“The ultimate goal is to be able to offer sacrifices in the Temple,” Weber says simply. “We are not really dealing with that right now because there are many stages to this.”

There is religious controversy regarding Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, let alone when it comes to work aimed at rebuilding the Temple. The influential Torah scholar Maimonides taught that the Temple would be built by Messiah. Other scholars believe that the Temple will descend from the heavens in the messianic era while the modern right-wing flank has called for Jews to build the Temple now and usher in the Messiah., 12 December 2019

Arno's commentary

The goal of rebuilding the Jewish temple on the Temple Mount is supported by a minority of Israelis. Yet there is an increase of Jews visiting the place in recent years. Thus, the question: will there be a third temple? We believe that unless a supernatural event takes place, the building of the temple on the Temple Mount is all but impossible for two reasons: 1) the Muslim Dome of the Rock was completed in 691 AD—that means over 1,329 years ago—and is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. 2) Israel’s Declaration of Independence clearly states: “We will guarantee full freedom of conscience, worship, education, and culture; will safeguard the sanctity and the inviolability of the shrines and holy places of all religions.”

Indeed, the Messiah will build the temple, and He has been doing so since the day He declared, “I will build my church.” When the Messiah comes, something totally different—literally out of this world—will take place in Jerusalem. Revelation 21 describes the new Jerusalem, yet verse 22 states: “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.”

It is, however, understandable that Jews in Israel sense that the center of worship—according to the Old Testament—is missing. Thus, they will continue to do everything in their power to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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