May 20, 2022

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A new campaign has been launched in an effort to get the Temple Mount opened on Shabat (the Sabbath) for Jewish pilgrims. The campaign calls upon as many Jews as possible to gather at the Gate of the Chain of the Temple Mount to pray the Shabat morning prayer of Musaf.

Musaf is an additional service that is recited on Shabbat, Yom Tov, Chol Hamoed, and Rosh Chodesh (beginning of a new month). The service, which is traditionally combined with the Shacharit (morning service) in synagogues, is considered to be additional to the regular services of Shacharit, Mincha (afternoon service), and Maariv (evening service).

The campaign’s initiator, Temple Mount activist Akiva Lerner, believes that if they get enough Jewish worshippers to pray at the gate of the Temple Mount on Shabat, it will eventually lead to the free access for Jews to make the pilgrimage on the day of rest. Currently, the Temple Mount is closed for Jewish pilgrimage on the Sabbath.

According to the advertisement, the prayer service is scheduled for 10:00 AM on Saturdays. The campaign’s banner adds: “Your presence is important. Everyone has an effect”.  The banner also adds that 31 Jews, Jerusalemites, and guests, joined the prayer service during the Torah portion of Vayeira. That portion encompasses Genesis 18:1–22:24.

Temple Mount tour guide Michael Miller explains that the presence of Jewish bodies at the site will raise awareness – “not just on social media but physically.”

Last week, Breaking Israel News reported that Jordanian firefighters conducted a fire drill on the Temple Mount without the Israeli police realizing it.