As I was sitting in my Sukka with my family during the Holiday of Sukkot, I considered the words that we read in the special Mosaf prayer for the holiday. “Dear G-d, Because of our sins we were sent into exile from our country and distanced from our land. We are unable to go up, to see and to bow down at your holy temple because of the hand of destruction. We pray to you dear G-d and G-d of our fathers that once again you have compassion for your people and you allow us to return to the holy place and gather our people from the nations of the world, from the corners of the world”. It has been 40 years since the Great miracles of the Six Day War, and the Jewish people continue to recite these words.
But can we ignore the great outcome of those amazing events? Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, as well as Judea and Samaria came back to the hands of the Jewish people. Although we tend to complain and criticize the actions of Moshe Dayan who gave over the keys of the Temple Mount to the Muslim Walf, we should be putting more focus on celebrating the actions of Rabbi Shlomo Goren, who called for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. We should take inspiration from him and other great Jewish leaders and should demand, as well as act on our rights to pray on the Temple Mount. Although our religious freedom remains restricted on the Temple Mount, the site is open to Jewish visitors daily. Who should take advantage of even that small window of opportunity to ascend the holy place. Newcomers and first timers should consult with those experienced visitors in order to make their visit in a halachically acceptable way, especially in regards to immersing in the Mikva, and the areas and paths on the mount that are permitted to walk on. Stay focused on the vision that the Tempe Mount is the center gathering place for the Jewish people and may we once again see the entire nation of Israel gather there on the three holidays, Pesach, Shevout and Sukkot.