A new Member of Knesset, a resident of the Golan, firmly established his political path with a powerful act of faith by praying on the Temple Mount.
Nissim Vaturi: Connecting the Golan to the Temple Mount and the Knesset
Likud won 36 seats In the last elections but recent infighting led to longtime Likudnik Gideon Sa’ar breaking away to form his own party. Rather than weaken the party, the move allowed new and enthusiastic members to step into the breach. Nissim Vaturi, as the 40th candidate on the Likud list, stepped up, representing a unique and necessary voice in the government. Sworn in two weeks ago, Vaturi made a bold declaration of his intentions by ascending to the Temple Mount on Sunday and praying.
“This was my first time on the Temple Mount,” Vaturi told Israel365News. “I wanted to go sooner, but since I was sworn in two weeks ago, I haven’t had a free moment. I felt it was important for my new function to connect to the source, the basis of our sanctity as a nation. The Knesset is based in the Biblical mandate to establish an assembly of leaders. It is, of course, different than what we had in the Bible but someone who represents Israel cannot be disconnected from the Creator. We are all anticipating the Redemption. This is far more important than anything material.”
Vaturi, religiously observant, admitted that the experience was powerfully personal but he took the opportunity to make a nationalist expression.
“I was fortunate to pray and to also say the shema (the one-line declaration of God’s kingship). I don’t know if they allowed it just because I am an MK but to cover my eyes and to recite that basic and all-encompassing prayer. Nonetheless, it is disturbing that we are not really expressing our rights as was hoped when we first returned to the site in 1967.”
Before ascending, Vaturi recited a simple prayer of intent:
“In the Holy Name and for the Holy Presence, in His mercy, and for the sake of all Israel, behold, we are about to perform the Mitzvah (Torah commandment) of turning to the Temple, as it is written, ‘There you are to go’.”
This is taken from a verse in Deuteronomy:
But look only to the site that Hashem your God will choose amidst all your tribes as His habitation, to establish His name there. There you are to go. Deuteronomy 12:5
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“On the merit of this act, may we merit full Redemption and may we merit redeeming this place for the Shechina (holy presence) to dwell, and to build the Holy Temple quickly and in our days.”
Not the only one
Vaturi is the second Likud Knesset member to not only enter the Temple Mount, but to call for the construction of the third Temple this month. Earlier in December, Israel365News reported that fellow Likud parliamentarian Amit Halevi lit Chanukah candles on Tuesday outside of the Temple Mount and said that step-by-step, Israel is getting closer to the Temple.
Vaturi then recited the ‘Shehecheyanu” blessing which is recited upon auspicious and joyous occasions.
“It is the right of every Jew to be able to go anywhere in the Holy Land, especially in the Holy city of Jerusalem, this place where we were before anyone else.”
Vaturi’s visit to the site ruffled the feathers of some of his new co-MKs.
“I was told that I should have coordinated it with various offices but I am a simple Jew and did what I believe a Jew should be allowed, even required, to do,” Vaturi said.
Vaturi lives in the Golan and has personally experienced how difficult it is to operate a business in the region referred to by Israelis as “the periphery.”
“I am hoping to bring attention to this as a member of the Knesset,” Vaturi said. “I have done business all over Israel but the obstacles that stand in the way of the Golan flourishing are substantial. The region is essential to the security and the society of Israel.”
In his inaugural speech to the Knesset, Vaturi suggested a novel solution to an old problem.
“Has any one of us thought about what is happening with the Arabs? Why should the Arabs not be obligated to perform National Service?” Vaturi asked the plenum. “The Arabs can volunteer in order to prevent violence in Arab society. Have them serve in their society; have them serve their society. Let them [improve] their society, so they won’t come here and whine about having a violence problem. They need to learn how to manage through National Service. No National Service, no social security.”
Vaturi is a strong supporter of Netanyahu who he compared to former Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
“I want to ask the left-wing here: Is there a Likud leader whom you respected?,” Vaturi asked the gathered Knesset Members. “Is there such a leader? There is one leader whose name was used by parties in this house, that say ‘Netanyahu should act like Menachem Begin,’ my mentor. I grew up on his doctrine. But what did you say to Begin? You called him a murderer, you called him a Nazi, you counted the number of fallen outside his home. You managed to break him.”
“You defeated us in ’92 with ‘we are fed up with you corrupt people,’ but this time it will not happen. Netanyahu is strong, Netanyahu does not break, and this kills you. You cannot accept that he is strong; the strongest leader Israel has ever had.”