Praying on the Temple Mount is Now an Economic Commodity worth ₪2,000

A group called חוזרים להר or “Return to the Mount” led by Refael Morris is apparently offering 2,000 shekels for every Jew that is arrested praying on the Temple Mount.

This is an absolutely fantastic idea, and though I cannot participate, I contacted the guy and suggested he start a crowdfunding campaign to raise money and up the grant to a serious amount. I will let you know what he says. I would gladly contribute to the fund and encourage all to do so as well, when and if a crowdfunding campaign begins.

There’s nothing better than externalizing a very precious good by attaching a monetary value to it. Let’s do it!

If he doesn’t start the campaign I’ll do it myself.

Ahmed Tibi Says Netanyahu Can’t Stop Arabs from Going up to Har Habayit

Well, he didn’t say Har Habayit. He said Al Aqsa. But this is starting to get interesting. Of course, Tibi will go up with the rest of the Arabs today or tomorrow and nobody will stop him.

Yesterday Netanyahu forbade any politician from going up to Har Habayit, first only Jewish ones, but then I guess he decided that was racist or something, so he figured he would apply it to Arab politicians too and just not enforce it equally.

Meanwhile Iran is invading Syria and Russian and US fighter planes are getting close to dogfights. Things are getting quite interesting out here.

I’m not going up any time soon. I don’t feel like getting stabbed or getting stuck in the middle of a riot. I’ve had rocks thrown at me on Har Habayit before. It’s not pleasant.

Raspberry on Temple Mount Makes Shrieking Allahu Akbar Arab Girl Giggle

The girl who I raspberried is to the right of Natasha's head.
The girl who I raspberried is to the right of Natasha’s head.

What a day. We decided to do the impossible and take a whole family of 5 to Har Habayit – the Temple Mount – in the thick of Hol HaMoed Pesach, on the day of the massive Bircat Kohanim. I left for the mikveh at 5am, and we left the house by 6:21am, and found parking by Liberty Bell Park at 7:30. We got to Sha’ar HaMugrabim by 8:15 after making sure all the kids bladder tanks were empty.

By 8:15 the Kotel Plaza was crowded, but nowhere near as crowded as it would be an hour later. There was nobody at Sha’ar HaMugrabim. The Gentile tourists passed us as they always do, while we went through the wringer, as always.

My two girls were really excited because I explained that we were going to Hashem’s house, and almost everyone else was only going up to the door and stopping there. We were going inside. My wife and I explained that when they go to a friend’s house, they don’t just stay at the door. They want to go inside to say hi and play.

The older one asks why they all wait at the door. I say because they are scared of Hashem and think He’ll be mad at them if they go inside. I say there is nothing to be afraid of, as long as you are nice, like at a friend’s house.

We wait for an hour. The 9 month old baby is taking it pretty well, crawling all over the floor picking up pebbles and trying to eat them. The two girls are a bit restless but they’re doing ok. Tanks have been emptied, no peepee emergencies.

The police tell us we are not allowed to eat, so my kids cannot snack. But the guards are allowed to smoke cigarettes right in front of my kids. And eat. They are The State. We are Their Slaves. That’s how IT GOES.

Some secular guy joins us and explains to me that Jews aren’t really allowed to go to Har Habayit “Din Torah” because they’ll get Karet, religious excision, or however it’s translated. I tell him that the way he dresses is assur and he’s getting Karet because he’s dressed like a goy, and is עובר חוקת הגוים. I point to the Haredi kid in the black kaputteh and hat in front of me and say, “He’s OK. You’re not. Dress like him or you’re getting Karet. Din Torah.”

He tries to defend himself and I keep saying Karet Karet Karet, sorry. Nothing you can do. Those clothes, Karet. Eventually he leaves me alone.

The State tells us we are not allowed to go the full route around the Mount. We are only going one gate length to the left and leaving. One guy encourages us to argue with the police up there. I see this as totally futile and will just get them in trouble. If all the sea of Jews hanging around dallying at the Wall decided to join us, then we could do something. But we are only a group of 10, my kids included. Everyone else is staying at the door.

Predictably, the ones that argued got kicked off and banned.

One Jewish lady somehow manages so walk past our guard. She is caught at the top. Our guard is chewed out for letting the woman pass. “If she looks Jewish, you have to stop her! If you don’t know how to do that go home!”

We are finally allowed up after an hour of having goyim step over us. One of them had asked us, “What are you all waiting for?”

“We’re Jews,” I say. “We go to the left.”

The trick to going to Har Habayit is keeping focused on the positive. The positive is, we are The Few. The tiny sliver that will go inside, and thank God for at least that. I’m excited to go up now. We get moving, up the bridge.

By this time, about 9:30am, the Kotel Plaza is totally, absolutely packed. From the Wall all the way back to the stairs, all the way up them, there is no standing room. We lonely souls trot up the bridge, looking down at the sea of Jews all waiting at the wall of the House but dare not go inside. They are afraid. Afraid of God. I am, too. But I have to go in. I don’t get much religious inspiration these days from almost any religious activities. I’ve always been a rationalist, not a mystic. Not so spiritual. But when I go up there I am a religious being. I’m scared, but I know I have to go.

Why is it that everyone asks why we go to Har Habayit and what are you supposed to do up there, but nobody asks why we go to the Wall, and what we’re supposed to do down there?

There’s a picture at my neighbors house of the Kotel. On top, on Har Habayit in the picture, is the completed Beit HaMikdash, as it should be. But there’s something seriously wrong with the picture. The people in the painting are still praying at the Wall, and no one is on Har Habayit itself, in the picture of the future. The Wall obsession, this strange disease, is so prevalent it has infected even our messianic art visions of the future.

We continue up, and I show my kids the sea of Jews below. They oooh and ahhh. We continue up, and the Allahu Akbars begin. As we head left, they get louder. My older daughter on my left, my second daughter on my right, holding each by the hand as the screaming Arab women close in. The baby is on my wife’s back behind me. The girls are a bit taken aback, but they do not cry. I tell them people will scream at them but they will not hurt them. I promise them. They don’t want us to be in Hashem’s house but they will only scream, not hit. They hold my hands tight.

I try to point out the Dome of the Rock to them, the place where Hashem’s House used to be and will be again. The screams of the Arab women are deafening.

I’m not sure if my girls can even hear me. But they do not cry. Neither does Fry, the baby.

At the peak of the screaming, I spread out my arms, still holding my girls’ hands, trying to take up as much space as possible, as if to suck up all the screaming with my body and absorb it, take strength from it, soak it in and have it energize me. I’m starting to like it. In a sort of masochistic way I guess. I want the Allahu Akbars to get louder and they do.

And then I notice a little girl, right on front of me. Just a bit bigger than my 4 year old. She must be either 6 or 7, nothing more than that. The look in her eye is of pure hatred. She’s shrieking. I’m still walking, and the space between us narrows. She’s right in front of me now.

I look at her, I smile.

And I blow her a raspberry.

And she giggles.

And then she continues shrieking.

We take a picture and head off, stepping backwards off Har Habyit, and begin dancing.

Chag Sameach.

Tziv and Daf

Feiglin to Netanyahu: Please Let Me Go to Temple Mount On Day of My Son’s Wedding

This really seems like Bibi’s last chance to do Teshuva. It’s elections tomorrow. It’s also David Feiglin’s wedding tomorrow. Moshe wants to go up to Har Habayit with his son before he gets married. I dare say that if Netanyahu allows Moshe to go up, he will win the elections. If he refuses, he will lose badly. This is his very last chance to do something good. There won’t be another. I have a feeling that God will not allow another.

To: Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister of Israel

With the grace of God, my son will be married tomorrow. That is, my son David who as you know was involved in a terrible car accident.

I have no words to describe how full my heart is with excitement and gratitude for this miracle we have been privileged to see, my son David going from the very brink of death to building a Jewish family.

Our disagreement regarding your policies surrounding the Temple Mount and its consequences for Jewish sovereignty in Jerusalem is well known. The executive decree you declared forbidding entrance specifically to all Knesset Members – the representatives of Jewish sovereignty – is outrageous and unacceptable to me. Nevertheless, I believed my discreet request to the police in this matter would be granted.

From the answer I received and the little time that remains, I came to the conclusion that I have no choice and therefore I am turning to you directly and publicly as a simple citizen to his Prime Minister.

I request and demand that you allow me to exercise my right to go up to the Temple Mount with my son on his wedding day, just as every other Israeli citizen has the right to do.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime event that I will not be able to make up for at some other time.

With most respect,

Moshe Feiglin

This is an epic watershed moment among the many that are happening right now in the world. We’re about to turn a corner, one way or the other.

Feiglin Letter

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!