A Border Police officer overlooks Temple Mount and the Western Wall.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
An ultra-Orthodox family active in promoting Jewish visitation to the Temple Mount has been the subject of fierce denunciations by Neturei Karta extremists in Jerusalem.
On Monday night, several dozen men from the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect demonstrated outside the house of Yosef Elboim, a Belz hassid who is a leading advocate of Temple Mount visitation and of preparation for the building of a third temple.
Almost all leading haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rabbis and arbiters of Jewish law rule that Jews may not visit the Temple Mount since the purification rituals required to enter the site cannot be conducted today.
Additionally, both current chief rabbis Yitzhak Yosef and David Lau have restated the longstanding position of the chief rabbinate banning Jewish visitation to the site.
However, several leading national-religious rabbis, such as Haim Druckman and Dov Lior, permit visitation, arguing that it is possible to avoid the problematic areas.
Leaflets denouncing Jewish visitation to the Temple Mount as forbidden according to Jewish law and as a provocation to Arabs were distributed in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Mea She’arim and Beit Yisrael, strongholds of some of the most extreme anti-Zionist haredi groups, including Neturei Karta and the Edah HaChareidis communal organization.
The haredi media reported that Yosef Elboim had agreed not to visit the Temple Mount until the recent wave of Palestinian violence, largely spawned by incitement regarding the site, has ceased.
However, on Tuesday, the Elboim family denied that they had undertaken any such commitment.
“Our family, the Elboim family, will continue to go to the Temple Mount with even greater determination. Public notices, screaming, stones and spitting will not prevent us to go up to the Temple Mount and to work [toward] the building of the Temple for even one moment.”