Meet the rabbi-activist working to open up the Temple Mount as a “house of prayer for all nations”

My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.




(the israel bible)

February 5, 2023

3 min read

Rabbi Yehuda Glick has at times been called an “extremist”.

An American-born Israeli Orthodox rabbi, Temple Mount activist, and former Likud Member of Knesset, Rabbi Glick’s efforts are focused on the Temple Mount. As the President of Shalom Jerusalem Foundation, he campaigns for expanding universal access to the Temple Mount.

Ironically, it is this universalist vision that has led to this characterization of the rabbi as a right-wing fundamentalist.

“I am an extremist: an extremist for human rights,” Rabbi Glick told Israel365 News. “We have to end this absurd situation where people are prevented from praying on the Temple Mount on the basis of their religion.”

Currently, non-Muslims, including Jews, can visit the compound where the Holy Temple of Jerusalem used to stand only under severe restrictions. Among others, they cannot pray.

Rabbi Glick firmly believes in the Temple Mount as a “house of prayer for all nations” and has even engaged with Arabs at the site in a manner that many would find incongruous for a right-wing “extremist”.

“The only people who should be allowed on the Temple Mount are those who want everyone else to be there too,” Rabbi Glick said

Through an unexpected turn of events, Rabbi Glick became a Likud MK in 2016. 

“When I first began advocating for the Temple Mount, it was not part of the Likud Platform,” Rabbi Glick said. “Prime Minister Netanyahu still rejects universal prayer. The issue is not entirely right-wing in Israel.”

“When I first started getting active politically, I was a fringe element. Likud didn’t necessarily support me at the time but they had an open mind,” Rabbi Glick explained. 

While Rabbi Glick has a strong following among evangelicals in the US, his approach is not to court specifically the Christian supporters of Israel. 

“The connection that I’ve been trying to develop for several years is a connection between Hashem, Yerushalayim, the Bible, and all peoples in the world,” Rabbi Glick said. “I don’t choose specifically evangelical Christian or political conservatives. It’s not a political issue. I try to connect with Muslims as well. I reach out to Republicans as well as Democrats.”

The rabbi also acknowledged that currently Christian evangelicals are among the most engaged supporters of Israel.

“Today, it is certainly easier to connect with evangelical Christians over Jerusalem but that is not by any choice that I am making to target them,” he said. “They happen to be the ones opening the doors today. But my goal is to develop Zionist movements. I definitely would like Indonesian Zionists, Malaysian Zionists, and Indian Zionists. I want all nations to be Zionists.”

“That is pretty ironic,” Rabbi Glick said. “100 years ago, the biggest enemies of the Jewish people were Christians, and the Muslims were actually most friendly with Israel. Granted, there always were Christians who were better friends than the Muslims. And I think vice versa. But this is where we are for the time being.” 

Rabbi Glick said that his experience has connected him to many people from the broad spectrum of politics.

“To call it right-wing may not be accurate,” Rabbi Glick said. “This is just a political expression of a universal Biblical ideal. When I was in the Knesset, I met with many American liberals and I shared my vision with them as well. I showed them how the Temple Mount is connected to human rights as the liberal western values. I believe that what I’m talking about, definitely connects to all kinds of values. ”

“This is a spiritual-religious movement that is beginning to take specific political manifestations,” he added.

The rabbi emphasized that these growing alliances that transcend political boundaries are essentially spiritual in nature and geared toward serving the God of Israel.

“I don’t talk about common Judeo-Christian values,” Rabbi Glick said. “I talk about Biblical values”

“Politics are not a goal,” he concluded. “They are a tool to get where you need to go. My goal is all humanity.  We’re living at a time when the people of Israel have come back and we have a message that we want to share with the world. And that isn’t right or left.”

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