… a couple asked Rabbi Chaim Richman to marry them on the Temple Mount, the Jerusalem holy site that has been a flashpoint for conflict between Israelis and the Palestinians… The institute, a nonprofit organization that describes itself as “dedicated to every aspect of the Biblical commandment to build the Holy Temple of God on Mount Moriah [the Temple Mount] in Jerusalem,” said that part of the wedding ceremony was conducted earlier at the organization’s headquarters, after which the wedding party, including two official witnesses as required by Jewish law, headed up to the Temple Mount … “While walking along the eastern perimeter of the Temple Mount, Rabbi Richman gave a tacit signal,” the institute wrote. “The two witnesses drew close to the groom, who, ring in hand, said quietly to the bride [in Hebrew], “Behold, you are sanctified to me with this ring, in accordance with the law of Moses and Israel,” and quickly slipped the ring on the bride’s finger… Uttering the phrase and the placing of the ring on the bride’s finger “is the binding act of marriage in any Jewish wedding ceremony. The couple was now married.” … The group then left the site to complete the wedding ceremony at another location.
YNet reports that “The [Temple] institute said the wedding ceremony on the Temple Mount is a great achievement “in light of the Waqf and the police’s anti-Jewish discrimination, which rejects any Jewish expression at the holy site.”
Now I’m all for messianic redemption, religious freedom and all that. But first, Temple Mount wedding ceremonies were never a thing in Judaism. To whatever extent the Temple Institute helped orchestrate this, they were simply being provocative and the couple in question were ignorant at best. This is the religious equivalent of a three year old boy whipping out his wiener while company visits just to elicit a reaction. Except it’s worse since in all their smug self-righteousness, no one stopped to think about the consequences of this foolish act and all the innocent lives that might be detrimentally affected. I mean it’s one thing to engage in surreptitious shenanigans on the Temple Mount. It’s quite another to rub the Waqf’s nose in it. It’s no wonder the Temple Institute yanked this story from their Facebook page. But the cat’s out of the bag and I hope our government will act to make sure that this level of brazenness doesn’t happen again.
In the meantime, Israel has assured both Jordan and the Palestine Authority that it is committed to maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount, especially given the upcoming Passover Holidays that will see hundreds of thousands of Jews visit the Western Wall which is attached to the western part of the Temple Mount