Feb 22, 2011

Zionism and Har Habayit

Some people accuse those who ascend Har HaBayit nowadays of doing so for Zionistic and political reasons, rather than for the mitzvah of morah mikdash, for the opportunity to pray in the holiest of places.

This video, of an excerpt from the wedding if the daughter of Rav Elboim, proves otherwise. Rav Elboim is a Belzer chassid, and he is one of the leading promoters today of aliyah l'har. He arranges groups, schedules groups from different cities, ensures that jews go up just about every day possible that it is open to Jews, and tracks it all along with trying to arrange better access.

The video clip is of his daughters recent wedding, and it is playing the famous anti-zionist song of בשלטון הכופרים אין אנו מאמינים - in the rule of the infidels we dont believe. Also interesting is that MK Dr. Michael Ben Ari is there and continues dancing through the song. But that Rav Elboim is the leading promoter of aliyah l'har and plays this music shows that the 2 don't necessarily have anything to do with each other.


  1. Nice to meet you on Shabbos. How did you find this?

  2. nice to meet you to, albeit briefly.. how did I find what? the article and video? I went to Ladaat.net and there it was

  3. The fact that one person who goes up isn't in favor of the State proves nothing about everyone else.

    In addition, you can go up for non-morah mikdash reasons and still be anti the state. For example, you can go up to spite the Arabs, to spite Jews who don't think we should be going up, or to show that Har Habayit should be controlled by Jews (even if you don't think that the State of Israel constitutes the correct group of Jews).

    I'm not making any implicit assumptions about Rav Elboim or anyone else who goes up, but being anti the state does not make one's motives pure.

  4. who said anythign about pure motives? what motives are considered pure anyway? All I was saying is that the two dont necessarily go together, and rav elboim is a perfect example of that.

  5. The motive is important since going up is controversial al pi halacha. The trick is not allow the tail to wag the dog - to allow the motive to determine the halacha.

    There are many mitzvos we'd like to fulfill, but unfortunately in our day, we are unable to. Umipnei chataeinu galinu m'aretzeinu v'nisrachaknu m'al admosaeinu, v'ein anachnu yecholim..." Really really really wanting to does not by itself make it muttar.

    In addition to being m'kayeim the mitzvah of morah mikdash, I agree that spiting the Moslems and maintaining a Jewish presence on Har HaBayis is very important. But
    if my rav tells me it's assur, then I simply can't do it, much as I'd like to.

    Critics could say, "Ah! If it were just for the mitzvah you'd be content to leave it as Umipnei chataeinu..." But now that there is another goal - magically it becomes muttar, and you're cloaking your real goal in the guise of a mitvah!" That's what I mean by the tail wagging the dog.

    That's why R' Elboim is a good example. His posek must really believe it's muttar. The critics cannot say about him that the heter was rigged because of the other reasons.

    Still, that doesn't make it muttar for me unless my poosek was as pure in his assessment of the halacha alone. Truth is, I think I'd find it difficult to be honest with myself as to which is really my motive.

  6. As far as the phrase "שלטון הכופרים אין אנו מאמינים", which would, in modern terms, be better translated "In the government of the infidels we don't believe":

    Perhaps MK Dr. Michael Ben Ari is dancing to it believing that it refers to the political party that the Belzer Chassidim are part of (Yahadut HaTorah) which is part of the government,
    while the Belzer Chassid Rav Yosef Yechiel Elboim is dancing to it believing that it refers to the political party that Dr. Ben Ari is part of (Ihud Leumi), which is also part of the government!

    Since they are both part of the Shilton, one can never tell!

  7. Ha! I guess this is a really controversial topic. Before making aliyah 5 months ago, I automatically assumed, based on what I heard, that all Rabbis agree that it's forbidden to go to the Temple Mount.

    However, I was really surprised when I say a picture of my friend with Yishai Fleisher on the Temple Mount. I subsequently found out that it's really not such a black and white issue, and many rabbis either say there isn't anything wrong with going to the Temple Mount (as long as you stay in the designated areas), and that many big, mainstream, zionist Rabbis believe it's proper to go to the Temple Mount.

    For example, here's a link to the Temple Institute with a teshuva from Rav Moshe speaking about the issue:


    I'm sure that all of you, who have lived here much longer than me are aware of all of these issues, but for me, it was quite the eye opener.

    Nonetheless, I'm not sure I personally would be comfortable going up there (yet?).

    I think we all agree is that this Belzer Chassid is an exception to the rule. I wonder what the Rebbe says about it.

  8. I like your pshat Catriel. cute.

    Yisroel - I go up fairly regularly, though not monthly like I used to. about 2 weeks ago I went up and I wrote a post with a bunch of pictures from har habayit.

    Regarding Rav Elboim, yes in his group he is the exception. I am told that the rebbe has been askedabout how he can allow Rav elboim to go up by other belzers who were complaining about him. I am told his response has always been that rav elboim is a talmid chacham and he cannot tell him not to go up. I dont know how reliable that report is, but I was told it by people "close" to rav elboim (close in the sense that they work together on har habayit issues).

  9. Rav Elboim in fact spoke at Herzog College of Yeshivas Gush Etzion where he gave a halachic shiur on the heter of going up to Har Habayis in the appropriate places.


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