On Sunday, Jerusalem was filled with Jews celebrating our national reunification with our eternal capital. Nowhere was that joy more manifest than at the Temple Mount, the site bought by King David 3,000 years ago as the only site where the Jewish people could fully serve God.
Yaakov Hayman, the chairman of the Temple Movements, arrived early to ascend the Temple Mount.
“It was incredible,” Hayman said. “The number of people was staggering. But people were waiting for hours because of the anti-Jewish policies. Groups were limited to 20 people, and only two groups were allowed up at a time, and only 25 minutes are allowed, with no stops. .”
“It is absurd that Arabs were allowed free access to the Temple Mount, but Jews were so restricted. Jews are barred from the Temple Mount on the slightest excuse of any Muslim holiday, but on the day we celebrate Jerusalem, the gates are shut in our faces while they don’t even go through gates.”
“The Jews that were allowed to go up demonstrated more courage than any I have seen before. They sang Hallel out loud, singing ‘Shema,’ prostrating themselves on the stones and even waving Israeli flags. The police were telling us to stop, but it was unstoppable.”
These courageous acts were met with Arab shouts of “Allahu Akhbar” (Allah is greater). A senior Islamic Jihad official issued a statement: “Follow the events in Jerusalem – surprises are expected in the coming hours.”
“The situation on the ground in the coming hours” would determine the Gaza faction’s reaction, the source indicated.
Israel Police stated: “During the last hours, the police have worked to allow freedom of worship for worshipers on the Temple Mount and at the same time to protect visitors. In the final hour, towards the end of the visits, and after more than 1,800 Jews visited the site, clashes began between Arab worshipers and a group of Jewish visitors. A violation of the public order ensued, including the dumping of bottles and chairs in the mountaintop compound. Following these disturbances, several suspects were arrested by the police.”
It should be noted that approximately 500 Jews were left waiting in line, denied the right to visit the Temple mount. The Temple Mount will reopen to Jews from 1:30-2:45. The Muslims continue to have unrestricted access to the Temple Mount.
All of these acts by the Jews are unprecedented and significant. The Torah (Lev.26:1) forbids Jews from prostrating themselves or even kneeling in prayer on bare stone. The only exception to this was kneeling on the floor in the Holy Temple, where Jews were commanded to prostrate themselves in service to Go; for 2,000 years, Jews have been unable to perform this mitzvah.
After the IDF conquered the Temple Mount in the 1967 Six-Day War, the soldiers hoisted an Israeli flag at the site. Still, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan ordered them to remove it almost immediately. No Israeli flag has flown at the site since then. However, Hamas and Palestinian flags were prominently displayed on the Temple Mount in the recent Palestinian riots.
The singing of Hallel was, perhaps, the most significant aspect of the day. Hallel is a recitation of Psalms 113–118 recited on Jewish holidays as an act of praise and thanksgiving. The Talmud (Sanhedrin 94a) states that God was ready to appoint King Hezekiah as the Messiah, which would have established the Assyrian King Sennacherib, the general of the Babylonian forces that put a siege around Jerusalem, as Gog and Magog. To accomplish this, God miraculously killed all of Sennacherib’s troops overnight, thereby saving Jerusalem. But god rescinded Hezekiah’s role as Messiah because he didn’t sing Hallel after Hashem performed this miracle for him.
Unfortunately, the police shut the gates to Jews at 10:40 AM, 20 minutes ahead of schedule. The Arabs, who had unrestricted access to the Temple Mount, harassed the Jews, and as tensions mounted, the police closed the site to Jews.
Many media mistakenly identify the day as “Flag Day,” and the festivities as a nationalistic event carried out by a fringe political element; this is Jerusalem Day, an Israeli national holiday commemorating the 55th reunion of the Jewish people with their holiest site, the Temple Mount. The IDF conquered the Temple Mount in the 1967 Six-Day War. It is celebrated annually on 28 Iyar on the Hebrew calendar and is marked officially throughout Israel with state ceremonies and memorial services.
The historical backdrop for the holiday began with the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan, which established Jerusalem as an international city. In the ensuing War of Independence, where the newly established Israel was attacked on all fronts by seven Arab nations, Jordan illegally occupied the eastern section of the city, including the Temple Mount. Jews were evicted from the city and prohibited from visiting their holy sites. Under Jordanian rule, half of the Old City’s 58 synagogues were demolished, and the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives was plundered for its tombstones, which were used as paving stones and building materials.
In 1967, as the Arab nations, led by Egypt, began preparing to wage another all-fronts attempt to annihilate the Jewish state, Israel sent a message to King Hussein of Jordan, saying that Israel would not attack Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria as long as the Jordanian front remained quiet. Urged by Egyptian pressure and based on misleading intelligence reports, Jordan began shelling civilian locations in Israel, to which Israel responded on 6 June by opening the eastern front. The following day, 7 June 1967 (28 Iyar 5727), Israel captured the entirety of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount.
It should be noted that the Temple Mount is described in the Bible as being the site of both Jewish Temples and is universally acknowledged by Jews as their holiest site. The Palestinians have perpetuated a known historical fallacy, identifying Mohammad’s “miraculous night journey” described in the Koran, claiming that the “Aqsa Mosque” (furthest mosque) described in the journey is located in Jerusalem. Most Islamic scholars refute this, identifying the Aqsa Mosque as located in Al-Ju’ranah in Saudi Arabia’s Makkah Province. Referring to Al Aqsa as being located in Jerusalem is, in fact, deeply insulting to all Sunni.