Featured Post

Free The Hostages! Bring Them Home!

(this is a featured post and will stay at the top for the foreseeable future.. scroll down for new posts) -------------------------------...

May 21, 2012

Siddurim Not Needed on Har HaBayit

I went this morning with a group going to Har HaBayi. the group was officially put together as the culmination of daf yomi having recently learned the tractates involved with the measurements and layout of the mikdash. The group was from Bet Shemesh, but not on the normal Bet Shemesh day (7th of every Hebrew month).

When we got to the entrance, it was already packed with tourists. Of course, we religious Jews get to go in a separate line with unique rules and directions. After checking our identity cards, something that is technically no longer done but was done today as a result of some "trouble" they had yesterday with a group (MK Ben-Ari's group), and only disqualifying one person from ascending, we were on our way.

The police combined us with another group - a group from Tekoa. There were some first-timers in the group, and that group was mostly older women, and the "guides" needed to say everything in both Hebrew and English, so we were moving pretty slowly, and the info was mostly basic. On the one hand that gave us plenty of time for prayer. On the other hand, it was a bit too slow.

The trip was mostly uneventful. One of the Tekoa ladies got told off for trying to take a rock as a souvenir.Eventually, as we moved the eastern side to the northern side, by Shaar Rachamim, we split off from the other group, an act which needed special permission from the police officers following us, including head counts, so we could finish quicker. The guides, both Baruch Ben-Yosef and Yoel Keren from Maaleh Adumim, were very knowledgeable and interesting.

While I did not get to do "hishtachavaya" this time, as the police and the Waqf officials kept very close eyes on us, there was at least plenty of time for [silent] prayer. Despite their ridiculous rule of not allowing prayer books up, rendered completely pointless in the age of smartphones with both siddurim on them along with internet access that can load any prayer from any source in a matter of seconds, I was able to download the tefillah of the Shlah and say it while they probably thought I was taking pictures or sending a text message or whatever.

Because I have been up on Har HaBayit so many times, and the place does not really change, I only took a few pictures...

The local daf yomi group

And, seemingly by chance, when leaving the Old City, we bumped into the Kalover Rebbe of Williamsburg  (a cousin of the Kaliver Rebbe of Jerusalem as explained in this Wikipedia entry). He and his entourage chatted with us for a few moments and then he gave us a bracha as we parted ways..

Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel



  1. Hi Rafi,
    It was a great aliyah, but agreed, way too slow. I wish there was someway we could organize a monthly meeting to attempt to work out a general consensus on certain Har Habayit issues and start publishing articles and pamphlets. A comprehensive women's guide. A consensus on where the borders of different areas are, etc. Maybe we could custom design tours for different types of groups. If you think it's a good idea, let me know.

    Yoel Keren
    Ma'aleh Adumim

  2. Yoel - thanks for coming in, and you are a great Har Habayit guide. I was amazed by how much you know and how proficient you are in the relevant information.
    I think it is a great idea. Unfortunately, I no longer go up frequently enough as I used to, but I think something like that would be very beneficial to many people.

  3. Hi
    My name is yehonatan. I'm a French Ger (convert not hassid one). I remember going to the Har haBays before my conversion. I even enter the Dome of the Rock. I didn't know all the halachot pertaining to the place. But it was intense. I learnt from ultra-orthodox, so I never went back. But I lread that the Rambam said that if we dip in a mikveh, there are places on the Har haBays which are permitted. Which one? Can you tell me. Please.
    Thank you for your post.

    Chodesh tov.
    P.S : sorry for my English, it's not my mama lashon.

  4. yes, there are places on har habayit that are permitted. all of har habayit is permitted except the place of the azara, and really from the "cheil" or "soreig" and in. The question is what those borders are exactly. There are different opinions, and we try to stay in the consensus and be as inclusive of all [reasonable] opinions as possible.

  5. Pamphlets and guides for people to do their own tours and go as individuals would be AMAZING


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...