A lamb and two humans were detained by police in Jerusalem on Monday as they
were making their way to the Temple Mount.
The humans, hard-right
political and religious activists Noam Federman and Arye Sunnenberg, intended to
go to the Temple Mount and carry out the Jewish ritual of the Passover
Sacrifice, involving the slaughter of a lamb.
The sacrifice is an
important commandment within Jewish law, which some religious authorities argues
does not require the existence of a Temple for its performance.
however, be conducted on the Temple Mount.
Federman and Sunnenberg are
both associated with several Temple Mount organizations that insist on the right
to Jewish prayer and worship at the holy site.
Both men were released a
short time later although as of Tuesday night, the lamb remained in police
Federman was stopped by the police close to the city center with
the lamb in his car.
He said that since he had not been conducting any
criminal activity, the police had detained him for infracting an Agriculture
Ministry ordinance prohibiting the transport of livestock without a permit from
Federman claimed that since he had made public his
intentions to perform a Passover Sacrifice on the Temple Mount, the police had
conducted a search in the city for his vehicle.
The Joint Association of
Temple Organizations said it was concerned that the police intended to keep the
lamb in administrative detention for another month, to prevent it from being
brought as a sacrifice at the latest possible date, a month after the first day
Although the Supreme Court has upheld Jewish prayer rights
on the Temple Mount, the court allows the police to prevent prayer and other
forms of worship if they believe that such activity will cause a disturbance of
the public order.
The Wakf Muslim religious trust which administers the
Temple Mount is fiercely opposed to any non-Muslim prayer there.
to The Jerusalem Post, Federman said that for the police to prevent Jews from
carrying out a central Jewish commandment like the Passover Sacrifice was
“It’s unbelievable that Arabs are allowed to do
whatever they feel like on the Temple Mount, yet Jews are forbidden from doing a
mitzva which, according to Jewish law, if someone doesn’t perform incurs the
punishment of spiritual excommunication,” he said.
Yehuda Glick, the
association spokesman, said the Temple Mount organizations felt that that there
needed to be some kind of protest at the infringement of the freedom of religion
that prohibiting the performance of the Passover Sacrifice
Asked whether the concern for public disturbance was
reasonable given Muslim sensitivities, Glick said that the police exaggerate the
threat and impose a de facto blanket ban on prayer and worship regardless of the
He added that the police considerations should not come at the
expense of freedom of religion.
Glick said the association would be very
active in the new Knesset to advance legislation guaranteeing Jewish prayer
rights on the Temple Mount.
Likud MK and Temple Mount activist Moshe
Feiglin was expected to make his monthly visit to the site on Wednesday morning,
with senior national-religious rabbi Dov Lior scheduled to visit on
Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel, from the
national-religious Bayit Yehudi party, visited the Mount on Monday without a