Andrew ShivaAn historic event took place last Thursday, December 11th, 2019 on Temple Mount. For the first time since 1967, Jewish worshipers were permitted to openly pray on Temple Mount. Here is a brief YouTube clip that commemorates the occasion.
The new policy has not been formally declared, but in the meantime Jews from all over the world have started to pray again at the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount is the holiest place in the Jewish religion and is the place where both the first and second temples once stood. According to the Jewish faith, the Temple Mount is the place where the Third Temple will be built.
For many Jewish worshipers the opportunity to pray on Temple Mount is the fulfillment of a biblical promise written in Isaiah 56:7 “I will bring them to My sacred mount And let them rejoice in My house of prayer.”
The policy of the Israeli government since the end of the 6-Day War in 1967 has been to ban Jewish prayer on Temple Mount. The reason is that the Israeli government handed over control of the Temple Mount to the Waqf following the war. The Waqf is an Islamic religious organization managed under the Jordanian government which is responsible for all activities on Temple Mount. For years and years, Jews who entered Temple Mount were forced to leave any prayer books or Jewish artifacts behind.
If they were caught closing their eyes in prayer they were in danger of being arrested. For political and security reasons, the Israeli police fully enforced this policy. In his article, The Temple Mount- In their hands”, Tom Nisani, Chairman of “Students for the Temple Mount” and the National Activist Coordinator for “Im Tirtzu”, describes the humiliating experience that Jewish worshipers had on Temple Mount.
The Temple Mount has been venerated as a holy site in Islam, Christianity and Judaism. May this new policy mark the beginning of a new period in history in which all worshipers can freely practice their faith in this holy site.