Haaretz reports that any and all forms of Jewish prayer are forbidden on the Temple Mount. Not even moving your lips. It may provoke the gentiles!

A Jew is not allowed to pray in any overt manner whatsoever on the Temple Mount, even if he is just moving his lips in prayer, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter recently wrote MKs Uri Ariel and Aryeh Eldad (National Union-NRP)….

It is not possible to arrest a person for ‘conversing with his maker,'” Dichter replied, using the same terminology of the MKs’ letter.

“However it is possible to carry out an arrest for expressions of outward and demonstrative signs [of prayer].”

This interpretation, Dichter continued, “is in line with the rationale that bans Jews from praying at the site, in light of serious concerns that this will serve as a provocation, resulting in disorder, with a near certain likelihood of subsequent bloodshed.”

I am really speechless….

Hearken to the voice of my supplications when I cry out to You, when I lift my hands towards Your Holy Sanctuary. (Psalm 28) I guess King David will be the first arrested.

ck adds: Aw we discussed this already! Who can forget this post, the comments and the accompanying pic:

Al Mi Cassa

About the author

Rabbi Yonah


  • Yeah but there are easy ways to get around this long standing ban. For instance, if you need to bow, bring a camera and pretend to snap a pic, or put down your cell phone and then bend down to pick it up. I pray on the temple mount every time I go and some have supposedly even managed to get married there. When there’s a will there’s a way and I have no qualms about political correctness or any of that other stuff because really, we all know the Temple Mount is ours. The Muslims remain there at our pleasure and if I want to pray, I will. And I do. Why the heck else live in Jerusalem? Why else be so close to the Shechinah?

    Look, at least my teddy bear isn’t called Mohamed ok? Cut me some slack…

  • But this isn’t news — they’ve been doing it for years. I could be wrong, but I think the waqf has the power to eject anyone for any reason, at any time….There was this guy, just a simple anonymous guy from a religious community, who was super nice and was kind of regarded as very pious by his friends, who they didn’t even allow up in the first place. The Muslim clerics took one look at him and they were like, “You are not allowed here.” And that was it.

  • What if a Christian wanted to pray a Jewish prayer there (or any Christian prayer for that matter)?

  • You know what Rabbi Yonah, extremist religionists should not criticize other extremist religionists for their extremities. And you can quote me on that.

    The law on the Temple Mount makes sense to me. Jewish prayer up there can easily incite a riot. Similarly it is illegal to falsely yell “FIRE” in a crowded movie theatre in the U.S. …it’s called “restrictions on Freedom of Speech to keep the public peace and safety”

    Every day there is a minyan of Orthodox Jews in the lobby of a Mack-Cali Building in the Harborside Financial Center in Jersey City and I find it higly provoking (NOT to be confused with “provocative”). All of sudden, around 3 o’clock you see men with beards, black yalmulkas and cholent bellys converging from all 4 corners of Jersey City in a rush…it’s very alarming to me and to anyone who would not understand what the emergency is.

    I think we should all give me applause , praise, snaps and kudos for not yelling “Get a room” at them in a TREMENDOUS display of self-control on my part since I purposely took a job down there to GET OUT of the shtetl.

    Next week I am going to have to resist the urge to take my Artscroll and daven along side them without a mechitza in my business suit…wonder what they would do about that??? Have me arrested for violating Jewish Law? Have me arrested for joining in there public prayer session? I might even wear a low cut blouse….if you see a mid-40’s women yelling “don’t taser me bro…I was only davening…” next week, you’ll know that was me.

    There are thousands of Moslems who work in the Harborside Financial Center and you don’t see them on there knees in public lobbys EVER. They would never blatantly flaunt and disrespect the multi-cultural democracy they are blessed to live in here in the U.S.A.

    Only the Extreme Jews get off on their public display of affection for God here. It’s their way of showing that they are so busy praying on their coffee break that they are not looking up the skirts of their latina secretaries the other 7.5 hours of their workday.

  • Hey Chutzpah – I will take the bait on the name calling. I am hardly an Extreme Religionist.

    Harborside Financial Center – Is that like the Beis Hamikdash for finance?

  • Chutzpah:
    The law on the Temple Mount makes sense to me. Jewish prayer up there can easily incite a riot.
    – – – – – – – – – – – –
    … and exactly what Jewish presence in this region has NOT be construed as a “provocation” by those intent on attacking Jews – and would NOT result in rioting or worse were it not for the IDF?

    Button your….. blouse.

    And a simply Google search will reveal the extent to which Muslims are strong-arming their way into public areas – largely by appropriating communal student areas on college campuses.

    I’m sorry your ashamed of your fellow Jews actually doing Jewish things in public…. if it’s any consolation, many of us are just as ashamed of YOU….

  • BD, need you be so harsh?

    There’s been an on-going discussion over here on the construction of new mosques as many Muslim countries do not grant freedom of religious practice.

  • Jersey City Harborside Financial Center is where all the Corporations that were located in the World Trade Center had to move after extremist terrorists crashed airplanes into the Twin Towers.

    The view of the changed skyline is perfect from here and everyone who worked here had a direct clear view of the disaster. Six years later the mention of 9/11 brings anyone who worked down here to tears. Everyone lost co-workers, relatives, neighbors.

    The “Downtown Mincha Minyan” is held at 24 Exchange Place in the Financial Center next to the PATH train into NYC at 3:25 Monday – Thursday and is run by Yisrael Peretz who can be emailed at [email protected]

    I’d like to know how Mr. Perez would feel if he had to pass a group of Moslems on their knees in prayer on his way to the train, or Hindus, or Christrians or Buddists…he would probably find it rather unappealing. In fact, he might even complain about the goyim at his Shabbat table and make fun their prayer rituals (I am stereotyping here, I don’t know him personally.)

    In Orthodox Judaism, the men are so pious that they can not allow women to join in prayer along side them for fear of being distracted during prayer…but they are not distracted by passing commuters staring at them and hot young career women? I find that a little odd.

    “Jewish things” are meant to be done in the home ,in the shul, and within the Community…within the Eruv. This is not a Jewish country. This is pluralistic democracy.

    There are appropriate places to do things and inappropriate places to do things. For example, Opie and Anthony Radio jocks got fired for asking people to have sex on the steps of a Church. Praying in a public commuter lobby with 10 men is pretty much on the same level of inappropriateness and I don’t care what religion the prayers are in. Sex and Religion are two things practiced in private in this country.

    If Muslims are “appropriating” communal student areas on college campuses then it is up to the Campus Administration and other students to complain. Similiarly, if Orthodox Jews are causing traffic and safety issues by davening in a public lobby, it is up to the Public to complain to the building management and the Mayor’s office and that is what I intend to do.

    And yes, I am quite aware that the Orthodox Jewish Community is ashamed of my wearing pants and not keeping all the Orthodox Halakas of Shabbat & Kashrut…thanks for the reminder.

  • Right. Yes. We should be vigilant about the peril of creating precedents, which will be used by others, for mass public prayer, by other people, whose idea of a minyan is one thousand men, very close to each other. That would stop traffic for sure. And, unlike the Jews, they get quite prickly and uffish about outsiders who walk by, at the wrong moments, or in the wrong way, or brush them, or just don’t belong there.

    Chutzpah is right. Therefore she shouldn’t weaken her case with personal invective that leaves her open to “oh, you just don’t like THEM”, when her general point is right. They do need a conference room. Someone will donate one.

  • Chutzpah –
    I have no way of judging the appropriateness of the minyan as I do not know the physical/architectural setting. It does not sound like any non-Jews are inconvenienced.

    Regarding how others feel – I’m pretty sure most people’s unease about Muslim prayer is directly related to other actions taken by Muslims in the name of Islam – with the NY skyline as an obvious reminder.

    Here in Israel pick-up mincha minyanim are standard operating procedure in malls and other public spaces. And they generally are not able to accommodate women due to their impromptu nature (I know of one regular minyan in a Herzliya shopping mall that has a mechitza, but it’s the exception).

    I was reacting more to the embarrassed/petulant tone of your post – and your willingness to blame Jews for being Jewish, and urge them to make themselves invisible so as not to offend other’s sensibilities. This reeks of classic minority-group inferiority complex and self-hatred.

  • Here are some guidelines for judging the appropriateness a minyan in the U.S.A….
    1) is it in a private?
    For the rest of the guidelines…go back to #1.

    The U.S.A. is governed by the Principles found in the Preamble to it’s Constitution which include “promoting the general Welfare” and securing the “Blessings of Liberty” for “WE THE PEOPLE”. The State of Israel was created with intent of being a “national home for the JEWISH people” after the Holocaust. Two quite different places.

    In the U.S. people should go out of their way not to offend the sensibilities of others, it’s called being a good citizen, sometimes also called BEING POLITE.

    I would urge Orthodox Jews in the USA not to offend other’s sensibilities in all situations where ever they go, that is called “Hilllul Hashem”.
    For example, don’t park your car in my driveway when you are late to the minyan next to my house. It’s private property and you are blocking me in.
    Don’t drive a minivan with one hand while talking on the cell phone with a group of kinderlach in the back. We have cell phone laws in this sthetl.
    Don’t build illegal third apartments on top of two family homes to pay for your kollel learning. We have housing ordinances in this sthetl.
    Don’t drive at 60 miles an hour up residential streets to get home in time for candlelighting. We have speed limits in this shtetl.

    I could go on about not embezzling money from government head start programs and manipulating the local city councels, but that would reek of classic minority group hatred.

  • You should here the call to carpool that comes from the Yeshiva behind my apartment.

    So in Rochester England it probably feels a little like what it feels like to walk through Bnei Brak without a skirt on? Scary.

  • “The law on the Temple Mount makes sense to me. Jewish prayer up there can easily incite a riot.”

    Yes, and a Jewish state in the Middle East “incited” wars with our loving Muslim neighbors.

  • That’s right…it did incite a war. They think the land is theirs, we think the land ours….that’s why they call it “WAR”. Can we all agree that WAR is not a good thing?

  • Can we go back to Neville Chamberlain and agree that foolish appeasement is not the greatest invention since white bread?

  • Obama is largely powerless to stop it though; if he had said he opposed it, many in NYC, especially in Manhattan (the opposition is primarily in the outer boroughs) would have seen it as an unwanted intrusion into local issues.