23 Oct, 2020
JERUSALEM WEATHER

In a recent video taken during Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), Israeli videographer Moshe Nisimboyim took a tour of Jerusalem’s Old City comparing the turnout at the iconic Western Wall to the Temple Mount.

To his surprise, Nisimboyim noticed that the Western Wall was completely empty on a holiday where just a year ago, it would have been packed with a festive overflow of crowds.

An unexpected moment in history

Upon his arrival at the wall, he suddenly heard a large group of people singing from a bridge above him. When he looked up, he noticed Jewish Pilgrims on their way to enter the Temple Mount.

This marked the first time since the founding of the modern state of Israel that there were more Jewish worshippers on the Temple Mount than at the Western Wall.

The event appears to represent a major turning point in the attitude of the Nation of Israel who have allowed a retaining wall around the Temple Mount to be viewed by most Jews as a mainstream pilgrimage site while almost ignoring the Temple Mount- where both temples actually stood. But this new unprecedented moment could also pave the path for a complete shift in contemporary Jewish thinking.

A Biblical analogy to a plague during King David’s era

“We will continue coming to the Temple Mount even when the Western Wall is abandoned and the Temple Mount is emptied of Muslims” said Arnon Segal, a prominent Temple Mount activist. “We will keep coming as long as they let us.”

Temple Mount activist Arnon Segal (screenshot)

Speaking candidly to Israel365 News, Segal recalled the plague that infected the nation of Israel during the time of King David:

15  Hashem sent a pestilence upon Yisrael from morning until the set time; and 70,000 of the people died, from Dan to Be’er Sheva.(Samuel 2 24:15)

Referring to the Ketoret (incense) sacrifice King David made to end the plague, Segal compared it to how the covid pandemic is related to the holy site saying: “Just like the solution to the plague was found in the Temple Mount, so too is it the cure for the coronavirus.”

And David built there a mizbayach to Hashem and sacrificed burnt offerings and offerings of well-being. Hashem responded to the plea for the land, and the plague against Yisrael was ended. (Samuel2 24:25)

“God emptied the Mount for the Jews only. The message is clear.”

Because Israel is still under lockdown, only those who live within a one kilometer radius are allowed to go to either Holy Site. But Segal sees himself as a delegation for those who are unable to go saying: “We represent the masses who would otherwise come here and have come here all those years during Sukkot and would really like to come this year as well but have been prevented from doing so.”

The video (in Hebrew) can be seen below: