Parashat Pekudei: Do Not Ascend Onto the Mountain – Part 5 of 5

Recorded from two conversations with our Teacher and Rabbi, Ha-Rav Tzvi Tau Shlit"a – Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Ha-Mor in Yerushalayim
[Sefer Le-Mikdashech Tuv, pp. 177-187]

Q: Rabbi Yehudah Halevi emphasized that it is not enough to have words but there is also a need for actions.
A: It is impossible to rule in matters relating to the entirety of Israel "off the cuff." This is only given to the great Torah scholars of the generation. All of the awakening [to ascend the Temple Mount] needs to be in a proper fashion according to Jewish law, and not by desecrating the holy by entering with boots into the holy. When Rav Hirschenson suggested building a shul on the Temple Mount, Ha-Rav Kook protested against this idea with full force (Shut Malki Be-Kodesh vol. 4, pg. 3). We also heard many times without end how Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah completely rejected even those closest to him when they came with ideas such as these, and he explained to them that this is a lack of understanding of the fundamentals of the entire issue. The view of our Rav [Tzvi Yehudah] was that any touching of the Temple Mount was an impingement on the most precious possession of the community of Israel and was placing a blemish on all that we have done in the building of the Land of Israel. We will not dig with our hands of impurity within the holy.

Q: And we should sit with arms folded when Arabs walk around in the Temple Mount?!
A: We constantly endeavor to exalt ourselves to the point of understanding our Rav [Tzvi Yehudah]. All of his explanations relating to entering the Temple Mount were stated during the desecration of Hashem’s Name by the Arabs walking around there - these are simple words that even a twelve year old child understands. But in order to be exalted to the reasoning of Rav Tzvi Yehudah, there is a need for spiritual exertion. It is incumbent upon us to make Israel into a single being like one man with one heart. As in all realms, the more one draws close to the holy, the more the Nation needs to be united. The Temple Mount is not an individual matter of some avant-garde or pioneers who travel before the camp. The Temple Mount is not a matter of pioneers with mud on their boots, even if they are good people. We should be extremely concerned about [Divine] accusation because of unwholesome prayers which are recited at the Kotel, or all the more so because of prayers recited without proper intent. The book "Yesod Ve-Shoresh Ha-Avodah" describes at length what one should focus on at the time of prayer in order that it will be called a proper prayer, and all the more so in a holy place. When we enter the Temple Mount improperly, we will cause [Divine] accusation and great damage. Rav Tzvi Yehudah never agreed with any rabbi, as important as he may be, who wanted permission to enter the Temple Mount. This was a question that the Nation needed to ask Ha-Rav [Tzvi Yehudah], and only he possessed the mighty aid of Heaven in order to answer. The Kingship of Torah is revealed through him and he rules in Jewish Law in a proper fashion. The entire matter of the Temple Mount only applies when there is unity among the Nation of Israel, prophecy in Israel and one Torah authority in the Nation of Israel. Then the power of nature is different, the aid from Heaven is different.

Q: But it is possible to proceed gradually, like in all matters of the Land of Israel?
A: The Land of Israel and the Temple Mount are "two separate laws." Each generation, its leaders and its Torah authorities, Ha-Rav [Kook] ztz"l and Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah were the two halachic authorities in matters relating to the entirety of Israel who show us the way.