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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pray At Temple Site and Risk Arrest

Nadene Goldfoot
My 3rd cousin, Stanley Goldfoot (1914-2006),  was a major leader and spokesman  for The Faithful of the Temple Mount or Ne'emanei Har Habayit  in Jerusalem.  They were planning the 3rd Temple.  Jews weren't allowed to get into Jerusalem until after they liberated it in  the war of June 1967 when they were attacked by all the neighboring states.  King David (1,000-960 BCE) made Jerusalem his capital and his son, King Solomon (961-920 BCE) built the 1st Temple which was on Mt. Moriah. It was a shrine for the ark, the sacred vessels and offerings with a court for worshippers.  Jerusalem was captured by the Babylonians in 597 BCE and the Temple was  then destroyed in 586 BCE in the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.  It was rebuilt by Zechariah in 520 BCE.  The 2nd destruction of Jerusalem occurred in 70 CE with the attack of the Romans.  The Romans then built on the site and during the Moslem period a mosque has stood there, the Mosque of Omar.

I have the two page spread  of Sunday, March 6, 1983 in the Jerusalem Post by Haim Shapiro on the group.  In it Haim relates that many Christian fundamentalists in America especially see Israel as the fulfillment of biblical prophecy and are the real Zionists in the US.  They feel we are coming closer to a critical period in history and they want to help the Jews to fulfill prophecies and hasten the 2nd coming of the Messiah.  They are ones that feel that Jews must hold all the Land of Israel besides the Orthodox Jews.

According to halachic restrictions, today many rabbis forbid Jews to set foot on the Temple Mount now though others permit it and regard it as an obligation.  We're not ready for the 3rd Temple yet but are planning for it.  Jerusalem is the very center of Jewish life and it does mean "The Temple."   You can believe that on the day Jerusalem was liberated that head rabbis went to the Temple Mount.  Visiting it has nothing to do with Islam.  It's that today in our state Jews are "unclean" but must first purify themselves in a mikve and remove their shoes in order to visit the site. For that reason they had  stationed a guard at the gate to warn Jews against going in.

Moshe Dayan set the policies, saying that Jews hold the keys to the Moghrabi Gate, and the Moslems hold the keys to the other gates.  Though the site is still held by the Moslems,  it is open to those who wish to visit it.  After a few terrible incidents committed by Michael Rohan and Alan Goodman, the wakf closed the Temple Mount to non-Moslem visitors after 11 am, before only closed during prayer hours.

Which brings us to the present and Jerusalem Day.  Michael Ben Ari, Knesset Member and friends celebrated by going to the Temple Mount and asked to pray on the site.  Ben Ari was really into his praying and threw himself down full length on the ground in prayer.  The nearby Arabs understood that they also had a right to pray on the Mount, but not the Arab security force on the site.  They tried to arrest Ben Ari and two others who were uncooperative.  Ben Ari said he had diplomatic immunity and claimed his right to pray.  They and others had previously explained that going to the Mount was to bring loyalty to "the holiest site in Jerusalem"  It was once the center of Jewish life in the city.

Jerusalem Day will include seeing thousands of people march around  Jerusalem past the Muslim Quarter  in the traditional flag march marking reunification of the ancient capital.

What Stanley Goldfoot went through to liberate Jerusalem was remarkable.  He was the Chief of Intelligence for the Stern Group and played his part.  I met him and visited his home in Jerusalem on Dor V'Dor Street (generation to generation).  He had arrived in "Palestine" at age 18 on a ship that had hoisted the swastika flag, coming from South Africa.  He was an investment adviser, publisher and former Lehi member (Stern Group).  He realized that rebuilding the Temple could be a long-term aim and they didn't know where or when it could happen.  In the meantime, he and his group often tried to pray at the Temple Mount as well.

Resource: Jerusalem Post 1983
Arutz Sheva:
Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Pentateuch and Haftorah Chronological Table
Jerusalem of Gold - Yerushalayim shel Zahav -Ofra Haza- with English Lyrics on Y tube and CD's 

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