While Muslims have free and exclusive access to the Temple Mount, a second attempt to hold a reenactment of the holiest Temple service of the year was canceled. As Health Ministry restrictions kept many from relating to their Biblical roots, police hampered a small gathering protesting a possible secret deal made by the Israeli government that will exclude Jews from their holiest site.
For the last ten years, the Sanhedrin has overseen reenactments of the Korban Pesach, the most important sacrifice that was brought in the Temple. This year, despite receiving all the permits required, the ceremony was not allowed to take place due to Health Ministry regulations restricting public gatherings. The Sanhedrin requested that a small ceremony of ten Kohanim (Jewish men of priestly descent) be permitted to take place at the Biblically appointed time on the Temple Mount but this request was also denied.
But the Sanhedrin did not despair and the Torah makes provisions for just such a difficulty with the institution of Pesach Sheni, the day on which Jews who were unable to bring the Passover offering on the 14th of Nisan would bring their Passover lamb one month later.
Speak to B’nei Yisrael, saying: When any of you or of your posterity who are defiled by a corpse or are on a long journey would offer a Pesach they shall offer it in the second month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight. They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Numbers 9:10-11
All of the necessary government permits were received and practical arrangements made to hold the Korban Pesach Sheni reenactment place on the Mount of Olives on the eve of the 13th of Iyar (May 7) but at the last minute, the police, citing Health Ministry restrictions, refused to allow the event to take place on the Mount of Olives and prevented the organizers from entering the Old City of Jerusalem.
Rather than ignore the significance of the day, a small protest was held in Gan Habonim, a grassy area outside Jaffa Gate. The gathering was to protest that no Jews are permitted to enter the Temple Mount even though the Waqf (Muslim authority) is holding public prayers in contravention of Health Ministry regulations.
Earlier this week, Israeli Supreme Court Justice Dafna Barak ordered the legislative branch of the government to respond to a petition filed by Temple Mount activists. According to the appellants, Arnon Segal and Yehuda Etzion a closed-door agreement was made between Israel and Jordan to close the Temple Mount to Jewish pilgrims.
Segal and Etzion claim that Prime Minister Netanyahu engaged in secret negotiations with Amman and agreed to close the holy site to both Jews and Arabs during the coronavirus crisis.
Rabbi Hillel Weiss, the spokesman for the Sanhedrin, told Breaking Israel News that they had been given less than 24 hours notice by the police to relocate the event, making it difficult to comply. The new permit allowed for only 20 people to attend.
“It is even more important now to hold these events, the actual Temple service, and not just reenactments,” Rabbi Weiss said. “In the days of the Bible, nations were not just random political entities. They represented elements in the war of Good against Evil. We are quickly returning to that condition with the conflict being expressed on every front; moral, economic, social, and it seems that this will come to be expressed in a military conflict. The Sanhedrin called on Trump and Netanyahu to take a stand on the Passover service for this reason. The Temple service was an important part of the stories of international conflicts described in the Bible and as these conflicts reappear, they will be again.”
“It is for this reason that the Sanhedrin is calling for an Organization of the 70 nations to resolve these conflicts, something the United Nations is only making worse by attaching itself to anti-God agendas. It is for this reason that the Sanhedrin is pushing for the re-establishment of the Biblically mandated Temple Service. It is for this reason that the Sanhedrin is calling on world leaders to represent their nations in the return to Zion.”
Breaking Israel News correspondent Joshua Wander made a video report of the event.
Wander noted that even though only about 30 people were present, a relatively large number of policemen arrived, many engaged in photographing the participants. The participants, many of them heads of Temple Mount advocacy groups, were careful to observe social distancing.
Wander lives on the Mount of Olives and can observe the Temple Mount from his home. He has noted a significant number of Muslims that enter the Temple Mount compound, ostensibly as employees of the Waqf, though it clearly represents more Waqf employees than he was used to seeing enter the compound before the pandemic.
Wander noted that next Friday is a significant day in Islam on which tens of thousands of Muslims normally pray on the Temple Mount. Wander will be on hand to give an exclusive video report.