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May A Jew Enter the Temple Mount?

Recently, with all the flare-ups on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, there has been a fierce debate as to whether Jewish Law permits a Jew to enter the Temple Mount at this time, when we are all in a state of ritual impurity. When the Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef answered a categorical "no", many accused him of contradicting his father, the great Rav Ovadia Yosef of saintly and blessed memory, one of the greatest rabbinical authorities ever. To set things straight, here is an excerpt of a shiur by Rav Ovadia osb"m, where he clearly states what is permissible and what is not:


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Do you also follow what Rav Ovadia says about the annual pilgramages to Uman?

Reb Harry

If as the Chief Rabbi states that Jews are not holy enough to walk anywhere on Temple Mount, how about Muslims? How about them burying there dead there? Perhaps the solution is that NO ONE walk on Temple Mount until the Temple has been rebuilt, or descends from Heaven, depending what one believes. Perhaps the unholy mosque should be torn down? It seems that many in Israel are afraid of the what the alien nations think of them, so they keep giving back Land that Hashem has given to us. Let all of these leave Israel, and live with those whose opinions are so important to them.


is Karet for ascending anywhere on the mountain or just to specific places?


One can visit the permissible areas of the Temple Mount. Here is a link to the Ohr Sameach website that cites R Moshe Feinstein’s ruling that it is permissible to visit under certain conditions:

shmuel reuven

Isn't ascending to Har Habayit permitted, as the Rambam did go up there, and the Meiri too said the common practice was to go on to Har Habayit. What's more, every Gzera which cancels a Mitzva (such as Ketroet, or Korban Pesach etc.), even indirectly, needs to have a set time, and we have never heard of a specific time for this Issur.
Some wish to do a Syag, and keep people from doing an Issur, but on the other hand, it causes many who do go onto the mountain, to go not as Halacha specifies.
It is Halacha that Tamey Met is allowed on the Har in some places - "Machane Levia" (Rambam Biat Hamikdash 3:4), and since there are places where we know for sure that they are Machane Levia, one who may want to go on to Har Habait in purity, after Tevila to wash Tumat Keri, and under the requirements of Mora Mikdash (and, of course, knowing the path permitted for Tmeim, which one should not stray from), has a big Mitzva.

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