Thursday, November 27, 2014

Har HaBayis Redux



On the other hand...



אם מעיני העדה נעשתה בשגגה

I hope it is b'shegagah. I am afraid not. Several rabbis I respected signed this call. My respect for them is now diminished.

1. Am Yisroel has more pressing issues. Most Chilonim don't understand this (I don't either! - I don't see how this adds to Ahavas or Yiras Hashem). Go expend your efforts and resources on kiruv levavos l'avihem she'ba'shomayim in Tel Aviv, Haifa and secular communities. Certainly do not hazard turning them off by activities that they cannot understand!

2. For every oleh b'taharah there are numerous Israeli security personnel who have no such awareness who are compelled to go up to protect them - not to mention extreme nationalists who put nationalism before taharah. How many chiyuvei kareis are you willing to generate for your agenda?

3. Rav Kook zt"l down to Rav Shapira zt"l - and many along the way - Gedolei Yisroel well above the "pay grade" of any of the signators - have reaffirmed the ban enacted by Rabbonei Yerushalayim on the ascent to HhB. This entire effort is a diminishes the authority of Gedolei Torah and the Rabbinate.

4. Who in their right mind would take the most minute chance of being the proximate cause of the death of a three-month old girl born to childless parents after 13 years of marriage? Of the death of four righteous souls, one of them a Gadol b'Torah v'Avodah in his own right? Who themselves would never have a hava amina to ascend to HhB? You are not putting your own lives (only, if at all) on the line. How can you sleep at night?

Woe to us that THIS is the issue on which so many rabbis find it appropriate and imperative to sign at this point in our history. (And we wonder why we have so many noshrim?)  


 חדשות
ה' בכסלו תשע"ה, 27/11/14 08:16
קריאת רבנים בעד עלייה בטהרה להר הבית
על רקע ההתקפות נגד העולים להר הבית, למעלה מ-50 רבני הציונות הדתית פרסמו מכתב חיזוק לעולים להר.
רעות הדר
על רקע אירועי הטרור בירושלים והאצבעות שהונפו כנגד העולים להר הבית, תופץ השבת בבתי הכנסת קריאת חמישים רבנים מהציונות הדתית לחיזוק העולים להר.
"אחת הדרכים החשובות לדרישת המקדש בימינו היא העלייה להר בית ה'", כתבו הרבנים, ''ברוך ה', רבים העולים כיום להר בהקפדה על ההלכה, גם אנו, החתומים מטה, זכינו להימנות עם התומכים והעולים להר בטהרה", נכתב בכרוז, עליו חתומים בין השאר הרב דוב ליאור, הרב נחום רבינוביץ', הרב צפניה דרורי, הרב יעקב מדן והרב רא"ם הכהן.
בין הרבנים שחתמו על המכתב נמנים גם כאלו שלא הביעו בעבר תמיכה פומבית בעלייה להר הבית, כמו רב השומרון - הרב אליקים לבנון, הרב חיים רטיג מרעננה והרב אליהו בלום מנהריה.

דברי הרבנים מגיעים כאמור על רקע ההתקפות כנגד העולים להר, והאשמתם בהידרדרות הביטחונית. הרבנים קובעים כי עלייה להר הבית לפי ההלכה היא חלק מקיום מצוות "דרישת ציון".
"ניסיון הרצח של ר' יהודה גליק נ"י – ה' ישלח לו רפואה שלמה מהרה – מעורר להמשיך בפעילות לחיזוק העלייה להר הקודש, ולעומת קולות שנשמעו, נאמר: קומו ונעלה ציון אל הר בית ה'", נכתב.
הרבנים מסייגים את דבריהם ומדגישים כי העלייה להר חייבת להיעשות בטהרה ולמקומות המותרים בלבד. "דווקא משום שאנו תומכים ועולים להר בטהרה, מוטלת עלינו החובה להדגיש את הזהירות הנדרשת מכל העוסקים בדבר שלא להיכשל ולהכשיל מרוב חיבת הקודש", נכתב בכרוז. "העלייה להר הבית חייבת להיעשות רק לאחר טהרה כדין, ובשמירה על הלכות מורא מקדש".

לצד קריאת הרבנים שתתפרסם בעלון השבת ''הלבנון'' יהיה צילום אווירי של הר הבית ובו מצוינים הרמות השונות של הקדושה בהר, תוך ציון המסלול המותר על פי ההלכה לעולים בטהרה. "חשוב לדעת שיש מקומות בהר שלפי ההלכה אסור לטמא מת להיכנס אליהם אף בטהרה לאחר טבילה, ולחלקם אף באיסור כרת", הוסיפו הרבנים.
"לכן, חובה על העולה להר לדעת להיכן מותר ולהיכן אסור להיכנס. מובן, שבכל זה אין להסתמך כלל על שמועות והשערות אפילו אם הן נאמרות מפי אנשים דתיים בהר, אלא רק על תלמידי חכמים מובהקים הבקיאים בנושא, או על פרסומים הלכתיים מוסכמים".

רבנים נוספים, אשר אינם עולים בעצמם להר הבית, ובראשם ראש ישיבות בני עקיבא הרב חיים דרוקמן, הביעו תמיכה בעולים בקריאה נפרדת. "אנו מחזקים את ידי רבנן ותלמידיהון העולים להר הקודש בטהרה ובמורא מקדש", כתב הרב דרוקמן. לקריאתו הצטרפו בין השאר הרב יהודה עמיחי ממכון התורה והארץ, הרב אליעזר מלמד רב הישוב הר ברכה, והרב גדעון בנימין מנוף איילון.
דברים אלו מהווים תגובה לדברי רבנים שונים שיצאו כנגד הרבנים העולים להר, וטענו כי הם פועלים בניגוד להלכה. לקריאת הרבנים הצטרף גם שר הבינוי אורי אריאל שבירך שאמר "כ'כהן הדיוט' מצטרף גם אני לקריאתם של מורינו ורבותינו שליט"א לכל מי שרבותיו מתירים לעלות בטהרה למקומות מותרים בהר הקודש - קום ועלה! חובה עלינו דווקא בשעה זו לקום ולפעול,  ו"בלב אמיץ בעזרת ה' – עלה נעלה!".

www.inn.co.il
ערוץ 7
אתר החדשות שלך
 הדפסה

69 comments:

  1. RYBS (a/k/a "the Rav", in YU circles) was so maqpid, he was afraid the issur included the space until the Kotel -- ad ve'ad bichlal -- until and including! He therefore told students that if they felt a need to put notes in the Kotel (RYBS himself was too "Litvish" for such things), they should use a pen cap or something, and not put a finger into a crack in the kotel!

    (I wonder about the fact that standing next to the kotel at current ground level is standing above the bottom part of the kotel near the original ground level. [The kotel narrows as it gets higher.] So, if you're worried about qedushas har habayis possibly including the kotel itself, should you be worried about standing next to the kotel at the current level? But in any case, it shows you how seriously RYBS took this issur.)

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  2. I agree with some of your points. But do you think people who live in the "settlements" are also taking the chance, however minute of "being the proximate cause of the death...". And maybe everyone who lives in Israel at all? In defense of these rabbanim, I think it is that attitude, more than anything else, that they are responding to. Jews living in EY, or in the "settlements", or going up on har habayis, are not the ones responsible for terror. That blame lies squarely with our enemies, yimach shemam vizichram.

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  3. 1. The State of Israel became an historical imperative the moment the British introduced the infamous White Paper quotas on Jewish immigration in the 1930's. Since then, the existence of the State - aside from theological or religious considerations - is imperative for the existence and flourishing of the yishuv. It can be argued that if the White Paper were not imposed, we could have remained indefinitely under the British Mandate. But history precluded that. So, the existence of the State of Israel is essential even from a realpolitikal perspective and thus overrides any possible provocation it provides for terrorist activities.

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  4. 2. I am not a big fan of "settlements" with the exception of greater Yerushalayim and Gush Etzion. However, many of the settlements, particularly those in Bik'at HaYarden, are regarded as essential for Israeli security, and thus fall into the same category as the State itself. Furthermore:

    a. Settlements may be regarded as fulfilling the mitzvah of yishuv ha'aretz. There is no mitzvah to ascend HhB.

    b. Settlements are largely causes of terrorism against settlements themselves - particularly since the construction of the security fence. Israelis within the green line are not at significant risk on account of the settlers. Ascent to HhB puts everyone in Yerushalayim at risk, even if they would never dream of ascending HhB.

    c. Settlements provoke "organized" terror - which, although difficult to defeat, has been largely effectively neutralized over the years. Ascent to the HhB is provoking "lone wolf" terror, which is much, much harder to neutralize.

    d. Settlements are a political provocation of the Palestinians; ascent to HhB is a religious provocation of Moslems.

    e. The settlement movement began at a time when it provoked no or little terrorism. It is, therefore, "grandfathered" in. The ascent to HhB movement is taking shape at a time when it provokes terrorism, and has no such privilege of precedent.

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  5. 3. As you note, the other three points that I made apply to ascent to HhB, and not to settlements.

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  6. 1. I have never heard this before (that is not at all a criticism). Is there somewhere I can read up on this claim?

    2. I am curious as to why you're a fan of yerushalayim settlements and gush etzion, and not other settlements.

    a. The language of the ramban in formulating the mitzvah of yishuv haaretz is "שלא נעזבה את הארץ ביד זולתנו מן האומות." I think that the fact that har habayis, the most central and important part of the entirety of eretz yisrael, is not in our control but is in the hands of our enemies pains these rabbonim (it certainly pains me.) To have the ability for Jews to go up at least somewhat ameliorates that pain. Ideally, I think we should, as per this mitzvah of the Ramban, take control of the har habayis and disallow all entry (as per the strict halachos of har habayis and the gezeiros of rabbanei yerushalayim). Since that is not in our control, the least we can do to maintain some measure of control over har habayis is to have people go up there, and I sympathize very much with that cause.

    b. Lishitasi, I don't think we should view any Jewish activity in EY as the cause of terrorism. But lishitascha, I don't think that's correct. The Intifada, which ostensibly was caused by settlements, took many victims in Israel proper.

    c. Organized terror is neutralized? Tell that to Hamas and Hezbollah and their ever - growing arsenals of missiles. I wish they knew that.

    d. I'm not sure why that distinction matters. We owe nothing to the political entity of the Palestinians nor to the religious entity of Islam.

    e. Maybe.

    One final point: In your original article, you write that chilonim wouldn't understand why religious people would make such a big deal about control of har habayis. What is there to not understand? To see har habayis controlled by the Muslims and to be locked out, the same way Jews were "locked out" of Israel and its various other holy sites for centuries -- this is a large part of what motivated the Zionist vision from the beginning!

    So again: I wouldn't go up to har habayis, and I don't agree with it for some of the reasons you mentioned. But I hear very strongly the other side, and I don't think they deserve condemnation, let alone as safek rotzchim or anything of the sort.

    Respectfully,

    E.S.

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  7. Just one (tangential) point on point 2: To the best of my knowledge, the discussion here centers around those going to the part of Har Habayis outside the Azara. With one exception that I am familiar with, no extreme nationalists or security personnel ever stepped into the Azara (as generally accepted). Thus, we're really dealing with Lavin and Asin, which, as serious as they are, are not Kares. Unless we start arguing that the Mikdash wasn't where they claim it is, which doesn't seem to be your argument.
    One of your talmidim.

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  8. 2. Because our claim to them (and to Chevron) precedes 1967.

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  9. a. Amelioration of emotional pain is not an halachic consideration. Moreover, de jure and de facto control of HhB is vested in Israel. It need not be manifest in inflammatory gestures.

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  10. b. It has been neutralized since then - primarily by the fence.

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  11. c. Being deliberately obtuse diminishes you and brings into question your sincerity.

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  12. Your final point: Chilonim (and I) see this as a deliberate and unnecessary provocation that manifests extreme nationalism and (on this point I demur, because I don't see this as having anything to do with religion - but other do) religious fanaticism. If you want to devote yourself to a cause, go do kiruv in Tel Aviv. That will bring about the geulah much more quickly and much more safely.

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  13. To "one of my talmidim:"

    See the picture at http://www.timesofisrael.com/police-wont-limit-temple-mount-friday-prayers/

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  14. and http://www.timesofisrael.com/debate-on-temple-mount-worship-rocks-knesset/

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  15. and (not sure of location in this one) http://www.timesofisrael.com/police-disperse-rioters-at-temple-mount/

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  16. and http://www.mako.co.il/news-military/politics/Article-72820ea9f063d31004.htm

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  17. Point taken. I was under the impression that those security forces were to protect the people below, but a quick glance proves me wrong. Although I don't know of any super-nationalists who crossed into the Azara (with one exception...)
    - Same talmid

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  18. I don't think I was being deliberately obtuse. But for reference, see http://lifeinisrael.blogspot.com/2014/11/quote-of-day_27.html . I totally agree with his point, and I don't understand the other side.

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  19. This post is really contemptible. Are you some sort of Navi? Are you better than Moshe, who wrote Sefer Iyov? Maybe three-month old babies and talmidei chachamim die because there are those out there all too eager to exploit their deaths in furtherance of their agenda. Really, did you take a few breaths and think before posting this piece?

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  20. Nachum, let me paraphrase:

    This comment is really contemptible. Are you some sort of Navi? Are you better than Chazal, who wrote Ta'anis 20a? Maybe three-month old babies and talmidei chachamim die because others have made all of Yerushalayim a makom sakkanah? Really, did you take a few breaths and think before posting this piece?

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  21. Rabbi Bechhofer,
    Thanks so much for your kind advice from somewhere in the United States. We will certainly take it into consideration.
    With the greatest of apologies I haven't heard of you up till now but according to what you write, if I disagree with you then my respect for you is now diminished. Seeing as though I had't heard of you and my disrespect is now less then I'm guessing according to your logic that I disrespect you. Don't blame me, just following your rules.
    And finally, when was the last time that you devoted yourself to Am Yisrael's pressing issues of kiruv in Tel Aviva and Haifa? And if you have vacation in the next 6 months, I will be happy to meet up with you in Haifa or Tel Aviv at your kiruv stall.
    Lots of Love,
    David
    Who has had the merit of going up to Har Habayit for the last eleven years

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  22. Maybe Hashem is punishing people for *not* going up to the Har HaBayit (a mitzvah d'orayta, by the way) and not properly ensuring Jewish sovereignty (I know, you don't believe in that either) over the site.

    See what I did there?

    By the way, I honestly don't wish to be crude, but speaking of karet: Do you sleep with your wife? Would you be mesader kedushin for a non-religious couple? Should any rabbi? That's karet right there.

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    Replies
    1. I'm curious to know the source for saying that going up onto Har haBayis is an obligation, that we would be punished for not doing it. For that matter, I would like to see any responsum (teshuvah) pre-2000 ce that permits going up on Har haBayis altogether. R' SZ Aurbach? R Elyashiv? R JB Soloveitchik? R' Aharon Lichtenstein? Anyone of renown?

      PS to David: RYGB engages in kiruv; do you? ("Kiruv stall"? Do you think people change lives by standing at a roadside stand?) And I would think that kiruv in chu"l, where it is far more likely to lose Jewish identity altogether, is more pressing than in Chaifa or TA. No?

      Delete
    2. Well, I heard R' Schachter say it in 2004. Does he count? Does that date count? (Accordingly, I believe he only tears his clothes upon seeing not the Kotel but the floor of the Mount, going to the roof of HaKotel to do so.) He did say it was mutar, a mitzvah, and should be done for more "practical" reasons as well. I asked my rebbe, R' Rakeffet later that day, and he said that if R' Rabinovitz (of Maale Adummim) says it's OK, it must be. I went up for the first time a couple of days later, and have done many times since.

      To put up a post like this, calling me some sort of irreligious murderer for following the advice of my rebbeim- gedolim all- is very insulting at the least.

      He didn't say anything about punishment, which I suppose would be anything from a shev v'al taase (not wearing arba kanfot) to, say, not saying kiddush on Friday night.

      (There are, indeed, kiruv stands. Chabad has them, as does a prominent Religious Zionist kiruv organization in Israel.)

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    3. By the way, is it fair to point out that the question wasn't asked much before 2000, and we have certain facts we didn't have? I know this answer wouldn't be acceptable to at least half of the people you mentioned (another can of worms), but perhaps this was a bottom-up thing. As Orthodox Jews, we're supposed to recoil from the idea, but lots of things (Zionism, for starters) were.

      Delete
  23. By the way, you're contradicting yourself. Are you saying the attacks are a result of Jewish "provocation," a punishment from God, or both?

    If the former, I wish you'd explain every Arab attack of the last 150 years. (You are free to blame Zionism. But then that makes you a non-Zionist, and what then is there to discuss?) If the latter, Hashem himself appears at the end of Sefer Iyov, and you know what he says.

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  24. Most things are "both" -- explicable causality and in terms of G-d's purposes.

    That said, I share the reluctance to pin a sin to a tragedy, beyond taking a personal lesson about my own sin. And "taking a lesson" need not mean I'm finding it a cause.

    The passion I'm seeing in the comments, much of it so vehemently negative, makes me wonder about the cause. Mitzvos aren't supposed to bring out sin'at chinam (valueless hatred)... (And yes, since RYGB isn't actually preventing anyone from going, "yelling" at him for advocating a different opinion is pointless and thus sin'at chinam.)

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    Replies
    1. He isn't at all advocating a different opinion. That would be an entirely different post. He's calling those of us who do this sinners, callous, and murderers. That's unacceptable.

      Delete
  25. Dear David,

    It does not really matter to me whether you respect me or not. I am sure those rabbis also don't care if I respect them or not. But, be that as it may, I try to involve myself in kiruv levavos to HKBH as much as possible. Including through this post.

    KT,
    YGB

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  26. Dear Nachum,

    My good friend Reb Micha has responded to most of your points in the same vein that I would have responded - and probably more articulately!

    As to your last point, to the best of my recollection I did not call you - or anyone else - a sinner, callous, or a murderer. First, you are only a follower, so none of this would be you fault in any event. Second, even the rabbis themselves are not c"v in any of these categories. Even a grave mistake based on mistaken values makes you wrong on that count - it does not mean that in the grand scheme of things you are a sinner, callous or a murderer. You may be a good person and I will trust your shechitah. See my analogous posts on the Satmer Rebbe, at http://rygb.blogspot.com/2012/01/why-i-cannot-respect-satmer-rebbe-zl.html
    http://rygb.blogspot.com/2012/01/satmer-rebbe-ztl-revisited.html
    http://rygb.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-satmer-rebbe-retrux.html

    KT,
    YGB

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  27. That it comes to this is another reason: http://www.kooker.co.il/הסתה-בפייסבוק-לפיד-לבני-וריבלין-במדי/

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  28. Dear Rabbi Bechhofer and Reb Micha,
    There is no hatred God Forbid. My sincere apologies if you were referring to me.
    So where does my "negativity" come from? I'm actually merely disagreeing and I'll admit, not being very respectful about it.

    1. A feeling that those of us who live here and are living the dream, don't feel the need for advice from those who have chosen to stay in the Diaspora. When I talk to people who do not live here, it is so clear that they simply do not grasp the issues in reality. Heck, half the people who live here also don't grasp the reality. I mean, after all we've been through how can people still be voting for Meretz? So, just as I'm entitled to opinion on US politics, President Obamba and indeed Madagascar's conservation efforts, my opinions on those matters should not be taken too seriously.

    2. Seeing as though I fervently believe that the key to our redemption is at least partly to be found on Har Habayit, I'm not going to take too kindly to someone who belittles rabbonim who advocate ascending the Mount. I disagree with many people but I don't (usually) feel the need to belittle. The tone of this original post may have knocked me off course.

    3. Finally, the insinuation that those who go up to Har Habayit are responsible for the most horrific terror attacks perpetrated by the most vile of monsters is contemptible.

    I don't go around blaming those who voluntarily choose to prolong the Exile of being responsible for the travails and pains of our exile being prolonged.

    David

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  29. Dear David,

    I would adduce your points 1&2 as support for my position. Point 3 is simply inaccurate and incorrect.

    KT,
    YGB

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  30. An old Avodah post by RSM (part 1):

    Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 13:56:10
    From: ""
    Subject: Re: davening at Har HaBayis


    Shoshana Boublil wrote:
    > First the answer is yes. Unfortunately, they would take a few Avodah
    > posts to cover so I'm limiting them to one of the post Churban Bayit
    > sources (of which there are quite a few as well) -- the Rambam.

    My dear Mrs. Boublil, I want to state form the outset that my critiques
    that follow are not meant at you personally. I believe that you took
    the sources from the siddur haMiqdash that you quote and from the
    Temple Institute you quoted in earlier posts about the importance
    of the Beis HaMiqdash. But the web site (and possibly the siddur) are
    using half-statements and quotations taken out of context to argue their
    point. A careful reading of most of the sources does not prove the point
    under discussion.

    > Rambam, Sefer HaMitzvot, Aseh 6: "Mitzvat Tefilla BeHar HaBayit".

    That is not what the Rambam says. Aseh 6 is about bringing oneself close
    to talmidei hakhomim. You probably mean 5, and there is says (and I will
    quote from the Arabic): "[Hazal] say serve Him through His Torah, serve
    him through his Miqdash, i.e. the objective (purpose? Direction?) should
    be to pray in it or towards it as Shlomo explains." The Rambam doesn't
    just throw words in that mean nothing: "as Shlomo explains" means just
    that. The Rambam must be referring to Kings I 8:33, where Shlomo says
    (using the Stone TeNaKh's translation) "If Your people are defeated by
    an enemy, because they sinned against You,, and then they return to You
    and praise Your Name and pray and supplicate You in this Temple, may
    You hear..." First of all, this clearly does not refer to the mitzva
    of tefilla every day, but only to the specific mitzva of praying and
    fasting b'et tzara. Secondly, the whole pasuq is a conditional phrase:
    when or if this happens, may You forgive them. It is not a statement
    "thou shalt go to the Miqdash and pray there." The context proves that
    Shlomo is not referring to such a mitzva: just read the whole chapter
    or the surrounding verses.

    And, of course, the real bottom line: Sefer HaMitzvos, as all know,
    as the Rambam states himself, was composed by the Rambam as a sort of
    index/introduction to the Mishneh Torah, to enumerate all 613 mitzvos and
    show where he will deal with them in the text itself. He specifically says
    that Aseh 5 will be dealt with in Sefer Ahava, Hilkhos Tefilla. There
    the Rambam defines lahalokho what the mitzva is. Read it carefully,
    1:1 -- 1:3. What he mentions is that "v'hakkol hayu mitpall'lim nohakh
    HaMiqdash b'khol maqom sheyihye," implying that it is somehow part of
    the mitzva d'Orayso (another problem for the limmud z'khus of the Mogen
    Avrohom about women davening). How is that to be done? See 5:2: "if he
    were standing in hutz laaretz... if he were standing in Haaretz... if he
    were standing in the Miqdash, he faces Qodesh HaQodoshim." If, if, if:
    no mitzva in any of them. And ultimately, as I said in my first post,
    you face the Qodesh HaQodoshim, where NO ONE ever davens.

    ReplyDelete
  31. (part 2):

    > Rambam, Hilchot Beit HaBechirah, 7; 1, 2, 7 "Mitzvat Mora Mikdash".

    Yes indeed, the Rambam states quite strongly that Mora Miqdash applies
    nowadays.

    But nowhere in that chapter, including in the quoted halokhos, does
    he say that it includes the mitzva of tefilla. The avodah mentioned in
    that chapter is the avodah in the Miqdash, i.e. the qorbonos. He says
    "v'lo yikkanes lo ela lidvar mitzva," and I will not argue that that may
    include davening. But I NEVER claimed it was asur to daven in the Miqdash,
    adrabba I explicity referred to davening in the Miqdash for the people who
    were there already in my first post. What I asked and I will ask again:
    where is the source about the importance of davening our daily tefillos
    in the Miqdash, in the Har Habayis, or in front of the Kosel.

    > For another source see a letter written by the Rambam (confirmed as
    > such by the Tzitz Eliezer), it can be found in Igrot HaRambam part I by
    > Rav Yitzchak Shilat, page 225. In this letter he describes his Aliyah
    > to Har HaBayit in detail and the feelings and mizvot he performed in
    > this instance.

    1) The Tzitz Eliezer was entitled to believe this letter was from the
    Rambam, but it is only one of many letters and works that were attributed
    to the Rambam with no evidence that the letter or book was actually
    by him. (some of these are still being published: a friend bought me a
    few years ago a book published in Yerushalayim a few years ago proudly
    entitled "Perush HaRambam" on megillas Esther. This is definitely not
    from the Rambam; R. Y. Dubitsky can enlighten us on when the attribution
    was first made and by whom.)

    2) see below.

    > In a later letter written many years later from Egypt to Rabbi Yefet
    > the Dayan, page 224, he again describes both his feelings and the kiyum
    > of the mitzvot involved in going to Har HaBayit to pray.

    I said in my post that the emotive side I understand perfectly. When
    I see Har HaBayis I have strong feelings, too (and I tear q'ri'o to
    express them).

    ReplyDelete
  32. (part 3):

    Let me say it again: I absolutely believe that the place of the Miqdash
    (including Har HaBayis, including the Kosel) inspire in people strong
    feelings, and it is absolutely appropriate to express those feelings
    as a baqosho to HQB'H to rebuilt the Temple speedily. I was asking,
    however, about any source for a connection between the mitzva of tefilla
    and doing in the the place of the Miqdash. I was taught that the mitzva
    is to daven in the place most appropriate for kavvono, and kavvono for
    tefilla, not strong emotion about seeing the place of the Miqdash. I am
    willing to admit that for some people the Kosel might be a place that
    enhances their kavvono for tefilla, but I davened there many times,
    and I found it distracting.

    Personal reactions, which differ, do not make something a mitzva for all.

    > In other sources it appears that both for times of trouble and times
    > of joy there are specific times when it is Davka a mitzva to go to Har
    > HaBayit and pray there.

    I await to hear them. Please check them. This first bunch was not too
    promising.

    > Other sources are collected in the Siddur HaMikdash, vol. II, published
    > by Rav Yisrael Ariel and the Temple Institute.

    As I said, the Temple Institute has an agenda, which it pursues
    vigorously. It does not present an objective reading of the sources.

    WADR, the arguments I have seen about this remind me of what a friend of
    mine was taught in a yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael: that from Rashi we see that
    all the mitzvos are really only hal in Eretz Yisrael, and the purpose of
    doing them in Hutz Laaretz is just a sort of hinnukh, to get us used to
    doing them when we finally go there. My friend actually believed that
    for a few years. (Question: does this cause a problem counting such a
    person for a minyan according to the Rambam, since he believes that the
    Mitzvos are not applicable bizman hazeh?)

    And I say again: for SOME people, davening at the Kosel may be
    appropriate. But that is not because of any mitzva specific to there,
    but because it enhances their kavvono.

    And I also wish to state that my purpose here is not to convince people
    that my position is correct. I welcome being proven wrong, but up to now I
    have never seen any proof, and I have been looking for a long time. Many
    people will continue to believe in the importance of davening at the
    Kosel. Many people also believe fervently in the efficacy of certain
    red strings which have been brought to Kever Rohel (and our own R. Harry
    has a real deal for them, as he so generously offered earlier ).

    With sincerity and a desire to understand the truth,
    SM

    http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol06/v06n108.shtml#04

    ReplyDelete
  33. Another old Avodah post from the same author (part 1):

    Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2003 13:54:15 -0400
    From:
    Subject: Did the Rambam visit Har haBayit?


    In the course of reading the letters of R. Ovadyah of Bertinoro/Bartinura
    concerning what q'vorim he had found in EY when he moved there, I came
    across the following passage (my translation): "No Jew will enter the
    Beis haMiqdosh. Often the Muslims would want to hire Jews to do work
    there as woodcutters, blacksmiths, etc., but the Jews would not agree
    because of their tum'ah."

    That, written in 1498, reflects what was held to be standard halokho
    in the 15th century, and continued to be so up until very recently.
    However, since I have seen claims from those who are pushing for a Jewish
    religious presence on the Har haBayit that the Rambam himself davened
    there, I decided to go back and look at the source of that. And what I
    discovered was very interesting, to me at least.

    There is no source at all in the Rambam's t'shuvos, but that is not
    surprising, since there is very little autobiographical information in
    his t'shuvos in general. It is reasonable to suppose that he was in EY,
    because he refers several times to customs of EY that presumably he
    had seen and once to balconies "like the Franks built in EY" (Perush
    haMishnayos, Eruvin 7:4). The possibility remains open, however, that he
    knew most of the customs and the information from the sizable community
    of Israeli Jews in Egypt in his time; they had their own shul, where
    the original customs of the Jews of Eretz Yisrael, such as the triennial
    cycle of reading the Torah were practiced.

    There is, however, a ts'huva to R. Yefet the Dayyan that is direct
    evidence; he refers to "the day I said farewell to EY" and makes another
    important statement: "I and he [the Rambam's brother] and Abba Mari
    ZTz'L and you - we four 'in the House of God we would walk in company'
    ['halakhnu b'veit Hashem b'ragesh,' Psalms 55:15, Stone Translation].
    and I shall not forget our walks together in the deserts and forests
    after God." If the t'shuva is authentic (and there not much evidence that
    it is not), then this certainly implies that the Rambam, his father and
    brother and R. Yefet had spent some time together in EY. But the letter
    provides no other information about the Rambam's stay there.

    The source for the claims about where the Rambam went in EY and what he
    did there are from a document that appears in the Paris 336 manuscript
    of a perush on tractate Rosh haShana attributed to the Rambam (more
    about this later). The document reads:

    "This book was copied in 'Medinas haYam'. It was copied by the Rav
    ['haNa'aleh'] R. Shmuel ben R. Avraham Shuqayil in Acre from the writing
    of R. Moshe the Light of the Exile z'l. And he found at the end of book
    the following from the writing of the Rav:

    ReplyDelete
  34. (part 2):


    "On Sunday night, the 4th day of the month Iyyar, I embarked at sea. And
    on the Sabbath, the 10th of Iyyar of the year 4925 of Creation, a storm
    arose to drown us. and I vowed that I would fast on these two days. I
    and my family and all those who accompany me ['kol hanilvim 'alay'] and
    I shall command all my descendents to do so forever, and give as much
    charity as we can. On Sunday night, the 3rd day of the month of Sivan, I
    landed safely and we came to Acre, and I was saved from conversion, and we
    reached EY. I vowed that that day would be a day of joy and celebration,
    feasting, and gifts to the poor, I and my house forever. On Tuesday,
    the 4th day of Marheshvan of the year 4926 of Creation, we left Acre
    to go to Jerusalem on a dangerous [journey], and I entered the Great
    and Holy House ['haBayit haGadol v'haQadosh'] and I prayed in it, on
    Thursday, the 6th day of Marheshvan. On Sunday, the 9th of the month, I
    left Jerusalem to go to Hevron to kiss the burial place of my ancestors
    in the Cave, and that same day I reached the Cave and I prayed in it,
    may God be praised. These two days, the 6th and the 9th of Marheshvan,
    I have vowed that they will be holidays, for prayer and rejoicing
    before God and eating and drinking. May the Lord help me for all of
    it and enable me to keep my vows, amen. On Thursday night and Tuesday,
    the 12th of Sivan, God saw my affliction and my brother arrived safely,
    and I made this a day of charity and fasting.

    "Up until this point he copied from the handwriting of the man of God,
    Rabbenu Moshe z'l."

    This is the sole, the only source for what the Rambam did while he was
    in EY.

    As a suspicious linguist, I cannot help but be bothered by problems with
    this account (outside of the style, which is very unlike the Rambam, in
    my opinion). First of all, it claims to be copied directly as written,
    and so was written in Hebrew. Almost everything the Rambam wrote was
    in Arabic. Not only his major compositions, but even short letters
    and notes to his brother, to his father in law, to talmidim, etc. Some
    of the letters that we have in Hebrew were written to people who did
    not speak Arabic, and some of them are clearly translations from the
    original Arabic where the original did not survive or has not been found
    yet. But why would the Rambam write a letter to himself and his children
    in Hebrew? (This is also a problem with the letter to R. Yefet; there is
    no apparent reason for it to have been composed in Hebrew. Actually, it
    may be a translation. R. Shailat explains that it was written in Hebrew
    because R. Yefet wrote to the Rambam in Hebrew, and the Rambam answers
    in the language of the question. But that is completely speculation. We
    do not have the letter of R. Yefet, and R. Shailat's only evidence for
    his explanation are 3 letters that are in Hebrew for no apparent reason.
    In none do we have the original question, so there is no evidence that
    it was in Hebrew.)

    Even more difficult is the matter of the dates. The Rambam uses dates
    numerous times in his compositions, and he almost always uses the year
    "l'minyan hash'tarot" (the count of the Seleucid period, which was used
    by most Jewish communities in early times and survived in Teiman up
    until recently). The count of years from Creation is only used by him
    occasionally, as in Hilkhos Sh'mittin v'Yovlot in conjunction with the
    count l'minyan hash'tarot. Why would he use only the count from Creation,
    which was not the standard one used in those times, in a letter to
    himself and his family?

    ReplyDelete
  35. (part 3):

    But even if we set my doubts aside, we would still come to the conclusion
    that this account does not provide much information. R. Shailat,
    who accepts the account as authentic, realizes this. Note that in the
    letter to R. Yefet the Rambam wrote "halakhnu b'veit Hashem b'ragesh,"
    which is a quotation from T'NaKh. It is clear that he is not saying
    that he actually walked in the Beit haMiqdash: there was none in his
    time. Rather, he is using a quotation to indicate that he was in the
    Holy Land. Similarly, when it says in this autobiographical description
    that he went to "haBayit haGadol v'haQadosh," it does not mean that he
    entered the non-existent Beis haMiqdosh.

    R. Shailat realizes this, and says that the Rambam is using "Biblical
    or Halakhic language" and actually means anywhere in Har haBayit.

    I do not think that is correct. There is no necessity to say that the
    language refers davqa to Har haBayit, and R. Shailat has no source for
    claiming that it does, he just states as if it is self evident that "the
    entire har haBayit can be referred to by the term Bayit." I think that the
    language of both sources would equally well fit davening at the Kotel,
    or in Silwan, or in Har haZeitim, from where he could see the place of
    "haBayit haGadol v'haQadosh." (Remember the Rambam's position is that
    all of Yerushalayim is considered m'qom haMiqdash.)

    At any rate, there is certainly no basis at all for asserting that the
    Rambam went up to the Har haBayit and davened somewhere there in the
    places that somehow he knew were permitted. There is no clear support
    that he went to the Har haBayit at all, and the whole source document
    is suspect.

    There are a couple of other points to be made. First of all, even if
    the source is authentic, it does not say that he davened shacharit or
    mincha at the Har haBayit; it says he prayed, and since the minyanim in
    the time of the Rambam (and indeed during all the ages up until '67)
    were in shuls, he would have davened in a shul minyan and then gone
    to whatever holy place to pray his own prayers. There is no historical
    evidence at any period after the Hurban for the kinds of mass minyonim
    out in the open that are common now near the Kotel, and certainly not
    for the idea of mass dukhaning on the festivals; we know that there were
    shuls throughout history in Yerushalayim in the sections where Jews lived,
    and prayers were said in the shuls. The only evidence for prayer at the
    Kotel is for individual prayer to God, tahanunim, not Sh'moneh Esreh,
    not Qri'at haTorah, not N'si'at Kappayim, and no evidence at all for
    anything on the Har haBayit. Not before the Rambam, and not after him,
    from shortly after the time of the Hurban. After the Hurban there are
    reasons to think that Jews were banned from the Temple Mount, as far
    as we know, and certainly were during at least part of the period of
    Byzantine rule; the knowledge of which sections of the Har haBayit were
    permitted were probably lost then; certainly R. Ovadyah of Bertinoro
    does not indicate knowledge that Jews could go to specific locations.

    Nor is there any source whatsoever for the idea that the Rambam knew
    which areas of the Har haBayit Jews are allowed in. Despite the claims of
    some, the place of the Beit haMiqdash is anything but clear; contemporary
    experts who are investigate the matter have proposed at least three widely
    different spots [although it is pretty clear that the very eastern edge
    would be OK].

    ReplyDelete
  36. (part 4):

    Secondly, the Rambam expresses his opposition to an idea that Jews should
    create facts on the ground that will be solved by the coming of the
    Moshiach. This is not from a contested document, but from an authentic
    one: Iggeret haSh'mad, close to the end. He is speaking about people
    who remain in a place where there is a edict that Jews must convert,
    but who could leave. I translate now from the Hebrew (as is usual, this
    was written in Arabic, however, the original has been lost, and only
    an early Hebrew translation survives): "every person who remains there
    is violating [Jewish law], is m'hallel Shem Shamayim, and is almost a
    deliberate transgressor. Those that deceive themselves and say that they
    shall remain there until the Moshiach comes [shortly], and then they will
    go with him to Yerushalayim - I consider them transgressors; they deceive
    themselves and cause others to sin, and about such people the prophet
    says "They relieved the [impending] disaster of the daughter of My people
    by making light [of it], saying 'Peace! Peace!' But there is no peace"
    (Jeremiah 8:11, Stone translation). For there is no set time for the
    coming of the Messiah, so that people can rely on it and say that it
    is close or far away. The obligations of the Torah and the mitzvot are
    not dependent on the coming of the Messiah, but rather we are obligated
    to busy ourselves with the Torah and mitzvot and strive to perfect our
    observance of them, and after we do what we are obligated to do, if God
    gives the merit to us or our children or our grandchildren to see the
    King Messiah, it is very good, and is a double blessing. And if not,
    we do not lose anything, for we have attained by observing them what we
    are obligated to do." It is clear that the Rambam would be horrified by
    the idea of Jews going up to the Har haBayit and possibly violating an
    issur for the sake of provoking the coming of the Moshiach.

    At the end, I would just like to make a couple of points about the
    perush to Tractace Rosh HaShana to which this letter is appended.
    Shortly after it was first published, scholars concluded that its
    attribution to the Rambam was erroneous. However, R. Shailat is inclined
    to think it is authentic, and he quotes as his source none other than R.
    Saul Lieberman, who discussed the work briefly in the introduction to
    the book that he published "Hilkhot haY'rushalmi laRambam" in 1948. In
    his introduction, R. Lieberman discusses his reasons for attributing
    the manuscript he found, which contains a qitzur of the Y'rushalmi,
    somewhat resembling what the Ri'F did for the Bavli, to the Rambam
    (the manuscript itself is not signed nor attributed). One of the issues
    that he has to contend with is that this perush contains views that are
    contrary to what the Rambam held. He does not consider this a problem,
    citing 40 examples in Seder Z'ra'im and in the first masekhtot of Seder
    Mo'ed where the Rambam changed his mind from his first version of Perush
    haMishnayot to later versions or his view in the Mishneh Torah.

    ReplyDelete
  37. (part 5):

    Now that fact that the Rambam changed his mind regarding certain points is
    not contested; he himself refers to it in some t'shuvos. R. Yosef Qafih
    in his edition of Perush haMishnayot spends a lot of time deciding what
    was the first version and how the later versions changed (much of his work
    is based on the manuscripts we have of the Perush haMishnayot in Arabic,
    and the evidence in them of erasures or crossed out phrases). However,
    the matters where the Rambam did not change his mind are far greater than
    the cases where he did, even in matters that seemed quite unusual, even
    inexplicable, to Rishonim from other areas of the world. And the bulk
    of the changes are in relatively minor matters, including wording. The
    list by R. Lieberman gives the wrong impression. And the proof that it
    leads to a misleading conclusion is that R. Lieberman concludes from
    it that there is no reason to disqualify a manuscript as being from the
    Rambam just because it disagrees with things he says elsewhere.

    I think this is methodologically unsound. Just because an author changes
    his mind about some matters does not imply that he changes his mind about
    everything. To use a different example, just because a scribe made a
    mistake in one place does not justify claiming that everything he copied
    was in error. This sort of argument, unfortunately, has been used in
    JTS and by other Conservative organizations to justify almost anything:
    in their Talmud classes they note how many times Tanna'im and Amora'im
    disagree with each other, and the conclusion that some Conservative
    rabbis draw is that it is perfectly within the Jewish tradition to
    disagree about anything, including Torah MiSinai. Methodologically, that
    is the same mistake. Despite the many disagreements, on basic matters
    there was unanimity; to use a modern quote, what divides Hazal is much
    less than what they have in common. And so it is with the Rambam: what
    remained unchanged is much greater than the views that he changed. Very
    instructive in this regard is R. Yosef Qafih's edition of the Mishneh
    Torah, where he quotes in each issue what the Rambam wrote about it in
    Perush haMishnayot, whether he changed his mind or did not; readers can
    judge for themselves how much he changes his mind.

    At any rate, R. Lieberman takes the reasons given for concluding that
    this perush on Rosh haShana is not from the Rambam and dismisses them.
    The fact that it disagrees with something the Rambam says both in Perush
    haMishnayot and in the Mishneh Torah (implying that he did not change his
    mind) is dismissed as "irrelevant ['ein bo shum mammash'] in light of
    [what I wrote] above." About the problem that the perush misinterprets
    the g'moro, he says "is not even worth discussing." The scholars also had
    claimed that "the Rambam wrote his perushim to the g'moro only in Arabic";
    R. Lieberman says that that claim is "now disproven." Apparently, his
    view is that the fact that the "Hilkhot haY'rushalmi" is not in Arabic
    disproves the contention.

    ReplyDelete
  38. (part 6):

    Now I admit that the claim that "the Rambam wrote his perushim to the
    g'moro in Arabic" is not one that I think holds much weight; I do not
    believe that there is enough evidence of perushim that clearly belong
    to the Rambam. But to use the "Hilkhot haY'rushalmi" as a proof to
    the contrary is erroneous. The latter work is clearly an abridgement
    of the Y'rushalmi, _using the original language_, partially Hebrew and
    partially Palestinian Aramaic. I cannot see why R. Lieberman would think
    that that would lead to any conclusion at all about what language the
    Rambam would use in writing his own perush. In that regard, I would
    think that the evidence of the Perush haMishnayot would be decisive:
    the subject text is entirely in Hebrew, and the fact that the Rambam used
    Arabic for his perush is a clear indication that he prefers to use Arabic,
    absent any other concern. The introduction to Sefer haMitzvot is even more
    indicative: the Rambam writes that it is meant as a preface to his Mishneh
    Torah. He discusses his plan for the Mishneh Torah, and how he decided
    to write it in Mishnaic Hebrew. And then he proceeds to write the Sefer
    haMitzvot, the preface, entirely in Arabic (despite the fact that due to
    its contents a large percentage of it consists of quotes from the Sifrei
    and other sources in Hebrew). To my eyes, that is clear, indisputable
    evidence that the Rambam defaults to write in Arabic unless there is a
    clear reason for him not to do so. (The reason for the Mishneh Torah,
    as he writes, was that it was intended for use by all Jews, "laqatan
    v'lagadol," even those who did not know Arabic. The Sefer haMitzvot,
    on the other hand, was meant for those who wanted to understand how the
    Rambam arrived at the 613 mitzvot that he uses as a framework to help
    organize the Mishneh Torah; it was not necessary for everyone.)

    At any rate, I find the arguments that the perush on Rosh haShana is not
    the Rambam's work to be convincing, and that, of course, casts even more
    doubt on the authenticity of the letter describing what the Rambam did
    in Israel, purporting to have been copied by the same scribe.

    For readers nowadays it may seems strange that scribes or authors would
    attribute compositions to people who did not write them. However, this
    is an established practice in the Medieval period, not only by Jewish
    authors, but by non Jewish ones as well: if a scribe or author thinks
    that no one will read his book or treat it seriously, he attributes it
    to a famous source. In some cases this is deliberate, in some cases it
    was by accident by a scribe, but in either case it was not considered
    to be a heinous crime. The fact that a composition claims that it was
    written by someone is not good evidence; you need outside evidence that
    the author indeed wrote it. That was part of the argument among rabbonim
    of the time about the Zohar. It says that it was written by RaShB'Y,
    but many rabbonim were convinced that R. Moshe de Leon really wrote it,
    and did not consider the fact that it attributed itself to RaShB'Y to be
    an issue. R. Moshe de Leon's wife specifically told one of the rabbonim
    that her husband had attributed it to RaShB'Y to increase sales of his
    major work on qabbolo.

    SM

    http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol11/v11n026.shtml#22

    ReplyDelete
  39. A "very" old post of mine:

    Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 11:27:20 -0500 (CDT)
    From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer"
    Subject: Har ha'Bayis


    I would like to receive your comments on the exchange I have had with the
    Arutz 7 e-mail news people over entering Har ha'Bayis. Let me note that I
    have researched the issue in the past, and have given shiur on it, based
    on the Techumin essays on the topic and other sources. I am well aware,
    therefore, of the areas that are beyond question not part of the original
    Har ha'Bayis, and, on the other hand, of the Cherem not to enter Har
    ha'Bayis at all. The A7 news regularly reports on the struggles to daven
    on Har ha'Bayis with a positive slant, as if this is a laudable struggle
    to be condoned unstintingly and supported.

    I have attempted to remonstrate with the editors, and they put a caveat in
    before 9 Av, something like "many prominent Rabbis allow one to enter Har
    Ha'Bayis with proper halachic precautions. I wrote them that this is still
    Lifnei Iver, and they responded querying whether it is lifnei iver to tell
    people that it is permitted to cook on Yom Tov after proper halachic
    precautions. They also quoted some Rabbi I have never heard of who says no
    one can say it is definitely forbidden to enter Har ha'Bayis. To which I
    responded that no one can say it is definitely forbidden to eat
    sturgeon...

    To the best of my knowledge, acharei k'klos ha'kol, to the best of my
    knowledge there are no signs on the Har ha'Bayis "ad kan".

    I am very disturbed by this type of reporting, that seems to me in the
    spirit of "ha'matara mekkadeshet et ha'emtza'im", and I would ask that
    anyone with persuasive power with A7 protest this terrible michshol.

    (Another example of this Halachically dangerous form of nationalsim, not
    potential kares, as with Kenisa la'Mikdash, but Chiyuv Korban and perhaps
    Missa b'yedei Shomayim", is a new drive I just saw written up in our local
    A7 affiliate: "Israel News" to raise funds for the Third Temple. Hasn't
    anyone told these folks that me'ilah is a grave sin?

    YGB

    Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
    Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
    y...@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila

    http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol03/v03n134.shtml#12

    ReplyDelete
  40. A somewhat "younger" post:

    Go to top.
    Date: Wed, 05 Mar 2003 14:03:19 -0500
    From: "Yosef Gavriel and Shoshanah M. Bechhofer"
    Subject: Har ha'Bayis


    OK, since I was asked to bring this to Avodah, I suggest that interested
    parties peruse Hil. Bias Mikdash, chap. 3.

    The reason all individuals are admonished not to stick hands into the
    Kosel, unless they have gone to a mikva is because niddos, zavos, zavim
    and ba'laie keri are all meshulach from Har ha'Bayis, and transgress a
    lav if they do enter HhB. HhB begins beyond the outer face of the wall.

    A tmei mes may enter HhB, but may not enter the azara.

    The tumah that prohibits entry into the HhB is "merely" a lav (chiyuv
    malkos).

    Tumas mes ba'azara is a chiyuv kares.

    Whether inserting a limb, such as a hand, in the HhB is a lav or makkas
    mardus (d'rabbanan) is unclear.

    Leaders such as RAYHK and Rav Unterman and others with a sense of
    responsibility for Acheinu KOL Beis Yisroel understood that there cannot
    be a "nasata devarecha l'shiurin" approach, as the laws are very complex,
    the locations are not clearcut, not every person who would like to ascend
    to HhB is a great YS, and issurim abound.

    That is why the Chief Rabbinate, wisely, issued a blanket prohibition.
    Precisely because there are reckless or unmindful individuals in the
    potential millions.

    If there was some shul - and we have no idea where it was or how it was
    entered - on HhB, in a dor when perhaps dozens of Jews, observant and
    under the auspices of rabbis that could tell them what to do and where
    to go - it is not precedent for our dor parutz.

    To throw in another issue: The Brisker Rav's objection to techeles is
    very relevant here. On matters of fact, we did mesorah, not archaelogical
    hash'aros. In the case of techeles, the argument is made, what is there
    to lose? Here there is very much to lose...

    Kol Tuv,
    YGB
    y...@aishdas.org or y...@yerusalmionline.org
    essays, tapes and seforim at: www.aishdas.org;
    on-line Yerushalmi shiurim at www.yerushalmionline.org

    http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol10/v10n120.shtml#13

    ReplyDelete
  41. A follow-up on the older post:

    Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 11:42:30 -0500 (CDT)
    From: "Shoshanah M. & Yosef G. Bechhofer"
    Subject: Re: Har haBayis, etc.


    On Mon, 26 Jul 1999, Noah Witty wrote:

    > As I recall, there is a machlokes Rambam and Ra-avad on whether there
    > remains kedushas mikdash to this day. R' Schachter at YU frequently
    > (means often enough for me to remember) mentioned that in the middle
    > ages and earlier Jews went onto the Har Habayis to daven. I conclude

    The Binyan Tziyon and Mishpat Kohen are the ones who argue that even
    according to the Ra'avad it is forbidden to go on Har ha'Bayis, it is just
    not a chiyuv kareis. I nteh Techumin essay R' Shilat discusses the
    tradition of Jews going on the HhB in the Middle Agers and laregley
    discounts it or finds it mostly non-duplicatable today.

    > accordingly. Second, could RYGB elaborate on issur me'eelah issue.
    > Would a tnai help? Any other ideas to make the enterprise (whatever it
    > is) muttar?
    >

    Since it is all talui b'da'as ha'makdish, it would not help for the
    "gizbar" to make a tenai.

    YGB

    Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
    Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
    y...@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila

    http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol03/v03n137.shtml#19

    ReplyDelete
  42. And, one final reference to Avodah (for now!) - for an "early" critique of my position and a response by Reb Micha, see http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol06/v06n115.shtml

    ReplyDelete
  43. That's really comprehensive, but ultimately irrelevant. In light of your actual post, you have to answer only one question: Is it assur l'halacha to go up to the Temple Mount today? The answer is clearly "no." The most you can quibble about is archaeology (and that will remain an argument over what value to put facts that don't come from "sources"), Zionism (those with, say, a different view will of course have a different view), Arabs (a very debatable issue), and slippery slopes (ditto, and not even really). But if halakha is clear, your language is uncalled for.

    I'll be glad to take you up and around the next time you're in these parts.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Aderaba! If it was only a halachic question of whether it is permitted or forbidden to go to Har Habayis, I would have no reason to have less respect (I assume that is the language to which you object?) for rabbonim just because they are mattirim. It is because it is a question of Avodas Hashem, of Ratzon Hashem, of Kiddush vs. Chillul Hashem, of Lifnei Iver and of Hatzolas Nefashos that their position disturbs me so much.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Well, maybe they think:

    -That this constitutes Avodat Hashem. Hey, some people think that, say, working the land (not during Shemitah) is Avodat Hashem. Chassidim think *everything* is Avodat Hashem. Why not this, leaving aside technical questions? (And, like I said, many feel this itself is a mitzvah. You have better access to R' Schachter than I- ask him.)

    -Maybe they think this is Ratzon Hashem. Determining that can be pretty tricky. The people who've made aliyah over the last, say, 1,000 years or so think it's Ratzon Hashem, while some...don't.

    -Maybe think this is davka a Kiddush Hashem. Many think that being active and standing up for various things is more of a Kiddush Hashem, and the opposite is a Chillul Hashem. ("Am Hashem eleh umeartzo yatza'u.") Others...don't.

    -If you saw the long line of tourists who go up to the Har HaBayit every day, you wouldn't talk about Lifnei Iver. Non-religious people have been going up as they please since 1967, and the current efforts have not increased those numbers. If anything, they've brought awareness of how to properly do it, and there are large numbers of non-religious Israelis to whom, in fact, that matters.

    By the way, there have always been police on the Mount. A heter was given (to soldiers as well, of course) in 1967, for obvious reasons- placement of security forces where needed is an obvious example of pikuach nefesh. The numbers do not increase because of Jews going up. (There's one or two policemen per group, and they're already stationed there.) Indeed, classes have begun to be given to police (no soldiers) as to how they should act, what footwear they can wear, etc. If anything, there's less chillul going on now because of these efforts than before.

    The one person I can think of who may not otherwise have gone is the Mayor on his recent visit, although considering that he comes across as half-religious, I wouldn't be surprised if he followed halakha. (He did wear a kippa, for what it's worth.) Of course, as a person at least partially responsible for security, there's that heter again.

    Of course, there are those who might feel that there's no need for police there at all. But they are usually either far-left or Neturei Karta...same thing, I guess.

    -Finally, there's certainly a strong strain of thought that no Arab attack can be attributed to anything Jews do, considering that Arabs have been attacking Jews since Mohammed's time with no excuse. Oh, sure, excuses are made. The attack in Har Nof was attributed to the "murder" (actually suicide) of an Arab bus driver. (The Har HaBayit *never came up.*) But are you going to believe them? Most don't. Most feel that to believe them itself causes lives to be at risk. Many feel that backing down, especially in our holiest spot, in itself causes lives to be at risk. And they are making solid, logical arguments than one can argue against (many do!) but shouldn't be ignored or shouted down.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Of course, similar arguments of Avodas Hashem, Ratzon Hashem and Kiddush vs. Chillul Hashem can be made on behalf of Neteurei Karta (to which you allude), for Lubavitcher Meshichistin, and for the Women of the Wall. I don't know what position you take on those groups, but I believe their positions to be wrong, and that they can only result from a lack of objectivity, and therefore are not deserving of the same respect I would give to other groups. V'hu ha'din b'nidon didan.

    ReplyDelete
  47. http://www.harav.org/img/Contents/28112014102037_0119111912.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  48. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjKBRlo368

    ReplyDelete
  49. מעניין מאד לא נגעת אאפי' באפס קצהו, על מצוות בנין ביהמ"ק בזמן הזה
    הדרך אליה היא דרך הר הבית
    חבל על הזמן לתווכח, צריכים ללמוד את ההלכות מפי הרבנים כמו הרב יצחק ברנד שליטא, או מאמרי הרב אלבוים וכו'
    its a long list
    הנקודה העיקרית
    אלה שהולכים בדרך שבנין ביהמ"ק צריך להיות ע"י צדיקים כלל ישראל, ומן השמים הכוונה לשמה ועוד ענינים, הם אלה שעולים להר הבית

    אם תמצא גוש של ת"ח שסוברים שאנו צריכם לבנות הבהמ"ק ובכל זאת אינם בעד העלייה אז יש מה לדבר

    ReplyDelete
  50. יש הרבה מאד לתקן לפני שאפשר לגשת לבנין בהמ"ק. בשלב זהת בעוה"ר - ובפרט בעון שנ"ח - יש לצפות שאפי' לו היה נבנה היה תיכף נחרב שוב!

    ReplyDelete
  51. אבל יש חיוב לבנות כשיש אפשרות
    וא"א להתחמק מזה
    גם בבית שני אפשר היה לטעון ככה, אבל כבר אמרו חז"ל שבשביל אלו שלא עלו לא התקיים
    הגרח"ק מביא שיש ד' סיבות שבגללם א"א לבנות או עכ"פ להביא קרבן פסח
    מצאנו את המקור, וכל הד' דברים כבר אפשר
    מיקום מזבח
    וכ"ש שאם יחפרו יסודותיו כמש המהרץ חיות ועוד ופשוט

    פשוט תכלת
    חזקת כהנים
    המחנ"ח והחזוא והחת"ס שאפשר לסמוך אחזקה

    עכ"פ כל עוד שיש יהודים שרואים במציאות שיש עליהם חיוב עפ"י המציאות להחזיר העבודה, וגם אנשי בטחון אישרו שהחזרת העבודה יחזיר השקט לישראל אין בידי המסופקים למנעם
    ועבירה גדולה וחטא בלתי מוגדרת תלויה בידי המונעים החזרת העבודה לבהימ"ק
    וכ"ש על טענת שאינני ראויים וכו', שהיא כפירה ממש, ועל כל מצוות התורה אפשר לטעון ככה

    ReplyDelete
  52. זה היה הטענה נגד העלייה ולבנות מדינה של המרגלים
    כמבואר בספרי התנגדות עליית היהודים לאה"ק במאות האחרונות

    ולכן קשה שבעתיים, שמכיון שהנני מעריך את דעותיך כלפי ציונות הטהורה והרצויה, ואיך אפשר להתכחש לרצון הבוי"ת לבנות המקדש ולהחזיר הבית דין הגדול וגם לספח עוד שטחים תחת ריבונות הקב"ה עד דמשק ועד לנהר פרת
    ובודאי הנני ער לבעיות של כל מגזר של כלל ישראל, אבל לפעמים מתקדמים בעשייה ולפעמים במחשבה ורעיון, ועכשיו כיון שיש אפשרות אז רצון ה' היא להתקדם עכשיו בזה הכיוון

    ReplyDelete
  53. אין להשתוות את העליה לאה"ק אשר רושר ע"י אוה"ע והוכרח ע"פ נסיבות היסטוריות למצוה הקיומית של בנין ביהמ"ק.

    ReplyDelete
  54. לי נראה ברור מעל גכל ספק שאין רצון ה' שנבנה את המקדש במצב הנוכחי.

    ReplyDelete
  55. האם ראית כל זה?
    http://www.rabbibrand.022.co.il/BRPortal/br/P103.jsp?cat=23254
    http://www.forum.ladaat.info/viewtopic.php?p=151959#p151959
    http://the--temple.blogspot.com/2014/03/blog-post_11.html

    "...והיינו צריכים להביא נשים מעוברות שילדו במקום שמור, ויגדלו בניהם במקום שמור, לעשות פרה אדומה על ידיהן לכשיגדלו"
    הלכות ארץ ישראל המיוחס לרבינו יעקב בעל הטורים

    "מה"ר ברוך ז"ל אמר אלי שרבנו יחיאל מפאריס ז"ל (מבעלי התוס') אמר לבוא לירושלים, והוא בשנת שבע עשרה לאלף השישי, ושיקריב קרבנות בזמן הזה"
    כפתור ופרח פרק ו'

    "מסכת מידות היא אחרי מסכת תמיד, ענינו הוא ספור שהוא זוכר מדת המקדש וצורתו ובנינו וכל ענינו, והתועלת שיש בענין הוא כשיבנה במהרה בימינו יש לשמור ולעשות התבנית ההוא והתבנית והצורות..."
    רמב"ם בהקדמה לסדר זרעים

    "אם אין ישראל מקריבין עולה לפני הקב"ה אין ציון וירושלים נבנית, לפי שאינן נבנות אלא בזכות קרבן עולה שיהיו ישראל מקריבין לפני הקב"ה" ע"כ
    מדרש תנחומא (צו פרשה י"ד)

    משא"כ עתה אחר חורבן טיטוס דנשארו הר הבית וכל היסודות במקומם, ומקום המזבח נודע לנו גם באורך וברוחב ע"פ המשנה והברייתא והתלמוד מדוע לא יהיה לאל ידינו לבנות היום המזבח על מקומו הראשון... משא"כ היום אם רוצים להקריב בלי בית, רק לבנות מזבח לבד ובלי הוספה על מזבח של בית שני, בודאי יכולים לכוין מקום המזבח ע"י סיוע והיכר של היסודות אשר נשארו עדיין בקרקע ואחר העיון בספרים הרבים המדברים מציור המקדש יכולים בנקל לבא למטרה המבוקשת וזה אמת.
    מהר"ץ חיות

    "ולכן היה נראה לענ"ד דוודאי בית המקדש לעתיד לבוא יבנה ממש בידי אדם, ומה שנאמר "מקדש ה' כוננו ידיך" שנדרש בתנחומא שירד למטה, הוא בית המקדש רוחני שיבוא לתוך בית המקדש גשמי כנשמה בתוך הגוף, וכמו שירד במשכן ובבית המקדש אש של מעלה תוך האש של הדיוט שנבער בעצים, וכן נראה במכילתא" עכ"ל
    ערוך לנר פרק ג' דסוכה דף מ"א עמוד א' רש"י ד"ה אי נמי

    "אלא שבזמן שתהא ברשותנו לבנות בית תפילה במקום המקדש, בטרם ביאת המשיח, אפשר לדבר רק על בנין בית תפילה בהר הבית קודם לעזרה ולמקום החיל. ומקום כזה נקל להגביל את גבולו. וכשתיהיה לנו הרשות והרשיון ותהא הנפש כסופה לבית תפילה שכזה, בהסכמת ראשי התורה, יהא דרוש להעמיד משמרות שלא יכנסו לשם אלא (הטבולים במקווה) טהורים מטומאה היוצאה מגוף (כנאמר במשנה דכלים פ"א ח'), ובית תפילה שכזה, לו יהא אפילו בהר הבית, ומכל שכן לכשנזכה להקים מזבח ולהקריב עליו קרבן ציבור, תהא זאת מן הסגולה לתקומת יעודנו ולבנין בית קדשנו ותפארתנו, ולהופעת הגואל אשר יגאל את עם ישראל, הגאולה השלימה בחומר וברוח. והלכו גוים ועמים לאורו, ומלאה הארץ דעה את ה'"
    'עיר הקודש והמקדש' לרבי יחיאל מיכל טיקוצ'נסקי זצוק"ל חלק ה' פרק א' אות ד' עמוד ט"ו

    "וחיוב המצוות אינו תלוי בביאת המשיח, אלא מחויבים אנו להתעסק בתורה ובמצוות ולהשתדל להשלים עשייתן, אבל אם יעמוד אדם במקומו ויאמר אשאר אני עד שיבוא משיח ואצא מזה שאני בו, אין זה כי אם רוע לב ואבוד גדול וביטול הדת והדעת"
    הרמב"ם באיגרת השמד

    "מותר להתקרב אל פתחי בית המקדש ולהיכנס לעליות אשר סביב בית המקדש"
    "שערי תשובה" על השולחן ערוך הלכות תשעה באב סימן תקס"א

    תשובות מהגה"ק רבי שרגא פייבל פראנק זצוק"ל אחי רבי צבי פסח זצ"ל בענין
    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.asp ... 43&pgnum=2
    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.asp ... 43&pgnum=2

    המחלוקת שהיתה לפני המלחמה בין הרבנים אם לעלות לציון ברנה או לא תלוי בזה המחלוקת
    אז למה לשנותה וגם בתוספת מרובה

    ובכל זאת
    מהיכן דנתנו?

    ReplyDelete
  56. בודאי ברבות הימים נזכה לקיים מצוות בנין ביהמ"ק.

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  57. אחרי שנתקן את העוונות שגרמו לחורבנה.

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  58. יישכ להיות הונעסט

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  59. at least u r honest...

    מי מחוייב לקבל עמדה כזו בלי ראיות להלכה וכמובן שאינך עומד ביושר צדקתך

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  60. did u change ur mind yet? well in chu"l it is vary hard. come home. u r in a mukom sakune. airetz yisrewel is d plytu gedolu!

    ReplyDelete