Two months ago, I went up to Har Habayit with Feiglin. The police, as usual, gave us a spiritual strip search and told us that any act of prayer would start a thermonuclear war within seconds led by Muhammad himself and his army of 72 virgins. These virgins, we were told in our debriefing, were all armed with sharp talons dipped in snake venom for which there is no antivenin. Shiites and Sunnis, they continued, would unite globally in stopping the horror of Jewish prayer. Syrians would cease killing each other just to stop us from singing. Oil fields throughout the gulf would be set ablaze and the Caliphate would suddenly materialize and we would all drown in a deafening cacophony of Allahu Akbars.
So after the police saved the world yet again by making sure the Jews didn’t pray up there, we went up. There is one point along the eastern side where Feiglin looks over an edge into a walkway for yet another mosque and we usually see a pile of old wood. This wood is petrified and has been radioactively dated to the time of the First Temple. On that day two months ago we all looked down and saw this:
In the front you can see the ancient wood. In the back you can see it burning in a trash can. That day two months ago, we all looked over that rail and Feiglin said to us, “This may be your last chance to see the surviving wood from the First Temple.” Apparently, they saw that we were interested in the wood, so they started burning it. Among the very last things we were thinking about doing was thanking the police for doing nothing about this and thereby preventing a world war.
Feiglin was then suddenly escorted by one of the policemen. Allegedly, he had prayed. I was with him the whole time and hadn’t noticed any prayers. Maybe the police have a psychic on the Temple Mount security staff. You need extra security when you’re saving the world. He was arrested, his fingerprints forcibly taken, but a judge ordered him released without preconditions.
That was two months ago. This time, when we went to the same spot, the same policeman who had escorted Feiglin out two months before insisted on showing us this:
This shows the surviving pile of the same wood covered with a plastic sheet to protect it from the rain. We didn’t know there was any left. We thought they had burned it all. But apparently they hadn’t. And the police wanted to show us that they were protecting artifacts. And in turn risking the rise of the Caliphate. Sarcasm aside, our hearts jumped, and we were happy. We don’t know how long it will last there before they burn the rest of it.
A few minutes later, the police were out of site, and one from our group informed Feiglin that while they weren’t looking, he had the opportunity for a quick prostration to his Creator if he wished. The Temple Mount is the only place on the planet where a Jew is allowed halachically to prostrate himself with no barrier between him and the floor. The particular area was secluded, walled on three sides, out of view of everyone. So he took the opportunity and did a quick bow, got up, and kept walking. That was it.
It was not a political statement or a planned exercise in disobedience. It was a spontaneous act of religious devotion meant to provoke no one. Feiglin is not very good at making calculated political statements about anything. He’s not much of a politician. He just does and says what he thinks is right.
A few minutes later Feiglin was escorted by the same policeman from the Temple Mount. Apparently, there was an undercover cop with us who saw his little stunt. The undercover cop, not wishing to pass up the chance to save the planet, reported it.
A few hours later, Feiglin was again released from police custody with no preconditions.
Now the police are recommending that he be put on trial for trying to bring about Armageddon by prostrating himself off the cuff in a secluded area on the Temple Mount.
Extremist indeed. Why do I even hang out with these people?