This Week on the Temple Mount – Siyum Masechet Chagiga, and Shuckling Trouble

The police would not let Moshe Feiglin on Har Habayit this month, which technically is illegal because bureaucrats cannot by law tell Knesset members where and where they cannot go within Israeli borders. While I’m not fan of laws that aren’t the non aggression principle or applications of it, this one kind of is, because it has to do with freedom of movement, if only for one specific kind of person, being an MK.

I wasn’t going to go up this month since I usually go with Moshe, I got a text last night that someone in my neighborhood wanted to go and wanted to know if I wanted to join. Since he was offering a ride there and back and I didn’t have to drive, I went along.

It was good to see the Arabs all energetically praising Allah at us. That was normal. What was abnormal were two things. First, I actually got in trouble with one of the policeman for doing literally nothing. As a davener, I am habituated to shuckling, the Jewish rocking back and forth that Jews who are used to praying three times a day while standing generally do. I’m also a bit high strung, not terribly so, but mildly, so I don’t like staying perfectly still while standing. So I have a habit of shuckling mildly.

I remember as far back as 8th grade standing over my math teacher’s shoulder while she was helping me with a homework problem. I was shuckling back and forth as she was explaining it to me and she suddenly turned to me and said, “Stop DOING that! It’s driving me crazy!”

I guess the shadows from my rocking were moving on the paper, but at first I didn’t even know what she was talking about, because I do it automatically.

Same thing happened here. I was just standing there, and suddenly the cop descends upon me and screams that I’m praying. I really had no idea what he was talking about, but he said ״תפסיק את התנועות! אתה מתועד, יש לי מצלמה! אם אתה לא תפסיק אעקב אותך, וחבל.״ Stop those movements, you’re being recorded, if you don’t stop I’ll arrest you, and you don’t want that!”

This happened twice. The first time I really had no idea what the hell his problem was. The second time I figured it out that it was my shuckling that he thought was praying. I was just listening to the impromptu tour guide.

The second time though was even more ironic. A teenage kid with peyos was actually doing a siyum masechet on Chagiga, reciting the whole thing as if being a tour guide, without the Waqf understanding what he was saying so the cops didn’t stop him.

Davka then, while this kid was in the middle of all of Rav Papa’s 10 sons, the cop yells at me. Wrong target dude.

Anyway, he did the siyum, and I had a bite of mezonos for the Seudas Mitzvah, which I don’t normally eat but for a Seudas Mitzvah on Har Habayit, I’ll take a bite.

That was a first for me. Thanks kid!


10 thoughts on “This Week on the Temple Mount – Siyum Masechet Chagiga, and Shuckling Trouble

    • something close to that, yeah. Basically wherever the police allow me to go. Unless I’m going up with Moshe, in which case I go up all the way to the Dome of the Rock in the middle.

  1. You people are crazy for thinking you willl merit to see the rebuilding of a third beis hamikdash. May we be zoche to see Yerushalayim one day soon an international city for all faiths, with a monument on har habayis to all.

  2. I support people going to the Temple Mount. However, going up as a tourist and eating is not permitted. Please see this teshuva from a dayan.

    Har HaBayis Today


    May one ascend Har Habayis provided he immerses in a mikve, removes his shoes, and
    only walks in those areas that are accepted as non-azoroh?

    By Rav Baruch Rubanowitz

    It is forbidden to ascend Har Habayis as a tourist even if you immerse in a mikve,
    remove your shoes, and walk only in those areas that are accepted as non-azoroh.
    There are two reasons for this:

    1. The exact location of makom hamikdosh is not known today. Radvaz does describe
    the exact location of the even shesiyoh on which the Aron stood (under the Dome
    of the Rock),1
    and there is evidence of hewn stone to support his statement.
    Other talmidei chachomim and scholars have questioned the Radvaz’s assertion and
    indicated a spot further south. There is a lot of speculation on this issue and no
    clear proof. Therefore, one must be machmir and regard any area that could
    possibly be makom hamikdosh as kodesh. The Mishna Berura follows the Rambam
    in ruling that one who enters the mikdosh today is chayov kores;
    the Gro concurs.
    Even the Raavad, who disagrees with the Rambam, seems to acknowledge that
    entering is assur; he just disputes the chiyuv kores.
    2. Even if we knew the exact locations of the azoroh and Har Habayis, it would be
    assur to go there just to see the place.5 The Rambam indicates that the mitzvoh of
    morah mikdosh applies min ha-Torah not only in the azoroh but on all of Har
    Habayis.6 He adds that one can only enter for the purpose of a mitzvoh.
    7 Tourists
    would be classified as metaylin, who are forbidden to be there. Also, one must be
    careful to comply with all the dinim that apply to a beis haknesses: no eating,
    drinking, sleeping or sichoh beteiloh. According to the Aruch Hashulchan Ha’asid,
    one cannot say divrei reshus.
    Although one must regard all questionable areas as azoroh and cannot rely on
    conjecture or theory, should a person be certain that a specific area is definitely not
    azoroh, he may ascend Har Habayis ledvar mitzvoh provided the following conditions
    are met:1. Should he go lidvar mitzvoh into an area that is definitely not azoroh, he must
    not wear shoes. According to the Minchas Chinuch, shoes that are permitted
    on Yom Kippur are acceptable on Har Habayis.9 However, there is some lack
    of clarity on this point, since the Rambam omits this halochoh.
    2. Even though the Rambam says one cannot enter with money,11 this
    prohibition seems, based on Tosfos Pesachim 7a, to be referring only to
    money carried in full public view, since it would look as if the holder were
    going shopping. Thus, a purse might be prohibited, whereas a wallet in one’s
    pocket would be permitted.
    3. Eiruvin 104b discusses the prohibition of taking anything tomei to the
    12 This prohibition would cover any item that can potentially become
    tomei, such as a watch, pen or handkerchief. However, the Avnei Nezer
    proves that this prohibition applies only in the azoroh and not on Har Habayis
    as a whole.13
    4. Even if a person can meet the above requirements, he must go to the mikve
    before entering the area.14 A zov, a niddoh and certain others cannot enter.
    Pesachim 67b extends the category of zov to include a baal keri. From the
    15 and Mishna Berura16 it seems that we do not have to suspect that a
    person is a zov.
    17 According to Tosfos (Pesochim 92a), a tvul yom cannot enter
    the ezras noshim but may enter Har Habayis after tevilloh before sundown. The
    Rambam seems to say the same thing in Chapter 7 of Beis Habechiroh 17.18
    5. The tevilloh must be of the highest level; a simple trip to the mikve as on erev
    Shabbos is not sufficient. One would need to prepare as a niddoh does before
    going to the mikve.19
    Some people know the area on and around Har Habayis very well and might be certain
    that a particular area is not Har Habayis. Such a person may enter this area. I have not
    addressed this issue, as I do not know these details. I have only addressed the halachic
    status of the area that is defined as Har Habayis and the azoroh, not the exact boundaries
    of this area.
    May we all merit greeting Moshiach soon, building the Beis Hamikdosh, and entering
    bikdushoh uvetaharoh.

    1 Radvaz, vol. 2, siman 691.
    2 Mishna Berura 561:5.
    3 Y.D. 331:2
    בפ”ו מביה”ב הט”ו-ט”ז פליג הראב”ד אולם בפי”ט ממעשה הקרבנות הט”ו ופ”ז מביה”ב ה”ז נמנע
    מלהשיג וע”ע משפט כהן סימן צ”ו.
    5 Regarding the mitzva of mora mikdash bizman hazeh, see Yevamos 10a.
    6 Beis Habechira, Chapter 7, Halachos 1 and 2.
    7 See Kesef Mishne for the source in Megilla 28b.
    8 Kodshim 14:5
    9 Minchas Chinuch 254:2.
    10 See Mishne Lamelech, chapter 7 of Beis Habechira, Halacha 2.
    11 See Berachos 62b.
    עיין רמב”ם פ”ג מביאת מקדש הט”ז. 12
    13 Y.D. 452:3.
    14 See Mishna Kelim 1:8.
    15 O.C. 457:2
    16 Mishna Berura 20.
    17 The Mishna Berura says that a kohen who immersed in the mikve because of keri can eat challas
    chutz la’aretz. Apparently, the kohen does not have to worry that he might be a zov; otherwise, he
    would need zayin neki’im.
    תמיד מ”א ד”ה בא וישב דכ”כ. 18 וע”ע גר”א פ”א ממסכת
    ס”ק קי”ב דיוציא 19 יש ליזהר בכל דיני מקוה שיוכשר ע”י השקה או זריעה ועיין ש”ך מקואות סימן ר”א
    הפקק וישיק המים בשעת טבילה, ויזהר בכל דיני חפיפה וחציצה ויטול צפרני ידיו ורגליו ונראה דגם צריך
    לברך על טבילה זו, ויברך לאחר הטבילה ערמ”א סימן ר’ ס”א ויזהר להפסיק בין לבו לערוה כמבואר
    באו”ח סימן ע”ד ע”ש.

    • Im Kol HaKavod to Rabbi Baruch Rubanowitz, if you daven to have the Beit HaMikdash rebuilt but refuse to visit it, you are a hypocrite. I don’t understand what you’re saying when you say you support people going up to Har HaBayit but it is forbidden. Pick a side.

      • I am for people going up, but as written in the teshuva, eating on Har Habayit and birthright people going up in shorts would not be matim.

      • Ah, ok. Then I agree with you. I would say if you go up, you must go up as a Jew in an act of Kibush rather than as a tourist who wants to see something cool.

    • Tourists? Any Jew going up to Har HaBayit today is no tourist. He is making a statement in the name of HaShem that “This is ours.”

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