Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Har Habayit Beyadenu?

Rav Berel Wein wrote a nice article on Jerusalem, it's importance and why we cannot even contemplate breaking it up. (it was published in the Jerusalem Post and by Aish, one can read it here).

Rav Berel Wein has got me reminiscing. And yet, however much I do agree with what Rabbi Wein is saying, I feel there is something missing. For some reason, in the religious community, people seem to ignore the fact that we actually aren't in control of all of Jerusalem. In fact, we aren't in control of the most important, treasured and Holy site in our entire religion. We tend to forget that when it comes to Har Habayit we almost have no say at all. 

On the day of my wedding, in stead of going to the kotel, I went with one of my rabbis up to Har Habayit. It was inspirational. Here I was, on the verge of getting married, standing on the most Holy spot we have. My rav was saying the very Tehilim that would be sung later that day when I would walk to the chupa. I don't know if I would advise just everyone to go visit Har Habayit whenever they have a chance, but visiting the home of our religion on the same day that I was starting my own, was the best thing for me. It made me see the importance of my union, not only for me, but for my nation. By getting married, i wasn't just building up my own family, but I was contributing to all of Am Yisrael. And hopefully, some day, that contribution will help make Har Habayit look like what it is ment to look like.

And not what it looks like now. When I was there 5 years ago, it made me want to cry. Even though my visit was one of the highlights of my life, there was a low. The arabs had treated our most holy place as a garbage dump, literally. There was a gigantic pile of waste right when you walk onto the site. But maybe even more painful was the police patrolling the area, making sure we Jews stick to the rules. And that's not only the Wahkf, but also our own. They're not standing there to make sure we don't provoke a coup (though maybe they are doing that as well), but they are checking whether or not we have the audacity to say anything religious on our own land. And I mean ANYTHING religious. My rav told me to make a bracha on my water bottle before going up, since even that isn't allowed! Yes, this seems contradictory to what I told you before about the beautiful Tehilim that were said during my visit. These Tehilim were said while my rav was waving his hands, pointing out certain landmarks. One has to pretend  to be giving a tour in order to do this (and be carefully aware that the police are always out of earshot).
Let's face it Har habayit lo beyadenu and it's time we do something about it.

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