Topic 14:
    Entering New Tunnels On the Temple Mount

 Letters to The Rabbi of the Old City [Jerusalem], Rabbi Avigdor
Neventzal, [May He be Granted Many Good and Additional Years] on the Matter
of The Temple Mount And His Reaction
Letter 5

With the Assistance of Heaven
To the Honorable Rabbi Neventzal, Shlit”a,
From the answer of the honorable Rabbi in the last letter on the subject
of the Temple Mount, a few questions remained for me.
1] Does the honorable Rabbi support walking in new tunnels underneath the
Temple Mount that are not underneath the sanctified courtyard, because this, even
Radbaz permits?
Rabbi Neventzal’s response: There are those that forbid it.
2] The plaza of the Kotel is lower than the Temple Mount. If we dig there
to the opposite side we will not reach the condition mentioned by Tosafot
of tunnels that are exposed to the air of the sanctified courtyard. Does
the honorable Rabbi admit that in the opinion of Tosafot to Pesachim 67b
on the words The Tunnels were not sanctified, under such conditions as I
described above, there is no fear of having the sanctity of the sanctified
court.
Rabbi Neventzal’s response: This is just if the tunnel was built in the
days of David. The rest was sanctified to the deepest point in the earth.

Topic 15:
    Ascending the Temple Mount for the Sake of Conquest

3] Does the honorable Rabbi argue against the law, that when there is a threat
to Jewish lives, even if the government official demands the needless
desecration of the Sabbath for the sake of enabling the saving operation,
we must nevertheless desecrate the Sabbath? For the honorable Rabbi wrote
“The ascent of citizens who immersed in a mikva and removed their shoes,
causes the ascent of policemen [with arms] that did not immerse, nor remove
their shoes.”
This a little bit implies, from the Rabbis’ words, that
saving lives [that is to say, to save Jerusalem from division and the transformation
of east Jerusalem and the Temple Mount into a terror base] does not justify
the condition of causing the police to negligently commit prohibitions on
the Temple Mount?
Rabbi Neventzal’s response: Who says that the addition of Visitors causes
this?

Does the honorable Rabbi argue against the Chazon Ish
and Rabbi Moshe Feinstein that permitted women to violate a prohibition,
and to carry weaponry in places where Arab murderers are present? For if
it is prohibited to increase secular Policemen that carry weaponry on the
Temple Mount even at a time of a danger to Jewish lives, since they don’t
immerse etc. it would seem that the same applies to not allow women to carry
weaponry in places where Arab murderers are present.
Rabbi Neventzal’s response: I instruct women to carry weapons in a place
of danger, but one does not have to enter into the danger.

4] If the head of the Police was willing to take on the obligation that just
Policemen who immersed and removed their shoes would be allowed to ascend
on the condition that we provide a huge quantity of citizens who ascend in
purity, would under these conditions would the honorable Rabbi agree?
Rabbi Neventzal’s response: At the least part of the claim against [ascent] would disappear.
5] If for the sake of guard duty, we allow soldiers to wear shoes on Tisha
B’av and on Yom Kippur, why should we be more strict with the Police on the
Temple Mount? Especially since if the Arabs are throwing stones at those
who pray at the Kotel, it is easier to stop them if the policemen are wearing
shoes on their feet.
Rabbi Neventzal’s response: To protect against rocks it is definitely
permitted.

[ Especially the question arises according to those Achronim
who rule that on the Temple Mount, in contrast to the sanctified courtyard,
the prohibition against shoes is Rabbinic ]. And one should remember that
Rabbi Ariel said that the Rabbis who ascended the Temple Mount during the
Six Day War [ that definitely did not return by surprise ] did not remove
their shoes.
Afterwards I heard that from Rabbi Yisrael Ariel that
Rabbi Uriel [in the past named Orenstein] from the Hebron/Kiryat Arba area
heard explicitly from the mouth of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook “I ascended
the Temple Mount for the sake of conquest”.
Rabbi Neventzal’s response: The conquest from an old Rabbi such as Rabbi
Tzvi Yuda, does not require the non-removal of shoes.

6] Rabbi Moshe Feinstein permitted ambulances drivers to even return on the
Sabbath after an act of saving lives out of fear that if we don’t let them
return, in the future, they won’t go out  save. Does the honorable Rabbi
not fear that if we demand strict halachic observance by the secular police,
that perhaps, heaven forbid they will be negligent about their actions for
saving?
Rabbi Neventzal’s response: I don’t want to demand from the Secular Police.
Rather I want to prevent them from the need to be in a place that requires
the removal of shoes.

7] Since the opinion of Rabbi Riki was pushed aside, until what point from
the wall of the old city on the southern side is definitely not the Temple
Mount in the view of the honorable Rabbi and one can walk there without any
fear [of sin] ?
Rabbi Neventzal’s response: The rabbis signed – not to enter all the compound,
called today, the Temple Mount.

8] In tractate Shabbat page 130 we learn that in a city that performed circumcision
of the Sabbath in accordance with the viewpoint of Rabbi Eliezer; who as
a lone viewpoint held that if the tools for the circumcision weren’t brought
already on Friday afternoon that they could be brought on the Sabbath; specifically
they of this city, did not suffer from a decree against Judaism and against
circumcision while the rest of Israel suffered. Furthermore the Gemara says
that they died at a normal age and not before their time. This implies that
if one receives a ruling from his rabbi, similar to Rabbi Moshe Feinstein’s
view and Rabbi Sonnenfeld’s view in the book, Ish Al Hachoma {man
on the defensive wall} and in accordance to Rabbi Goren and the Radbaz, and
in accordance with Rabbi Y.M. Takutzinsky [Ir Hakodesh, Vihamikdash
part 5] that one should permit ascent to the Temple Mount under certain conditions,
in such a case, we would not expect that such a person would receive a punishment
if he followed his rabbi.
However, perhaps you can push aside this reasoning. That
when is it relevant? When the division over the law is completely for the
sake of heaven. However if it isn’t, there is no protection from heaven.
And although one can make that claim, I make a reasonable guess that also
the honorable rabbi holds that they ruled what they ruled for the sake of
heaven. Now perhaps the honorable rabbi has another explanation on how to
explain what happened to the city that followed Rabbi Eliezer’s viewpoint?
And one can raise a slight difficulty upon the attempt
to differentiate between, for the sake of heaven and not for the sake of
heaven based on the incident brought in Beit Yosef, Yoreh Deah 157.

  
An incident occurred of one rabbi that slaughtered many young children at
a time of a decree against Judaism, because he was afraid that they would
make them change their religious affiliation. Now there was present with this Rabbi another
Rabbi who was angry about this and called him a murderer,
while the first paid no attention to his words [to change]. Then the rabbi
that tried to prevent {the slaughter}  said that if the halacha is in
fact like my viewpoint, let this other Rabbi die by an unusual [or torturous] death. And so did it occur. Namely, the Gentiles captured him and stripped
off his skin and put sand between his skin and flesh and afterwards the decree
was nullified. And if he had not slaughtered them perhaps they would have
survived.

Now one should assume that the rabbi that slaughtered
the children, did it for the sake of heaven. Now perhaps one can answer back
that because he paid no attention to the rebuke of his colleague, this is
proof that the slaughtering was not for the sake of heaven??? Or perhaps
he was punished over laziness, that he didn’t check thoroughly if his understanding
of the reality was in fact correct? Or perhaps there is a different differentiation?
Rabbi Neventzal’s response: I wish for both sides in the argument that
they won’t be punished [for their opinions] by heaven.

9] On the issue of Religious Outlook. Just as there are rabbis that said,
the Holocaust was a punishment on account that they did no go to the land
of Israel, when there was an opportunity, while others say the reverse, namely,
that the Holocaust was a punishment specifically because the secularists
came to the land of Israel and one side can not convince the other, so too,
one who holds that the intifada etc. is a punishment for neglecting the Temple
Mount can not convince someone who holds that the intifada etc. is a punishment
that came because Jews ascended the Temple Mount.
However, without relating to how ascending the Temple
Mount affects the process of redemption for the good or bad, I understood
that the honorable rabbi agrees that the simple halachic ruling is in accordance
with the Ramban that there is a mitzva to conquer the land of Israel like
what was done in the time of Yehoshua {Joshua} even during times of exile
as the Ramban wrote, in addition #4 to Sefer Hamitzvot. And therefore
it was permissible for Shimshon {Samson} even though the Plishtim {Philistines}
ruled over Israel to fight the Plishtim because he had a reasonable chance
to succeed. Ramban himself does not mention at all the three oaths or other
outlooks that are nicknamed, Chareidi etc. as a reason to hold back
from conquering. And even without this, the honorable rabbi agrees to the
ruling of the Shulchan Aruch, siman 329, that there is a mitzva to desecrate
the Sabbath [and this is the same for most of the commandments of the Torah] in order to save Jewish lives, when the Gentiles come to take wheat stalks
and straw from a city located in a place that from it, it is easy to conquer
the land.
Therefore even Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, who had an outlook
that was against activity on behalf of the Temple Mount and the Temple [ until
the kingdom is built up spiritually and physically ] put his outlook {hashkafa}
aside at the time of the Six Day War, for the simple halacha of conquest
overrides the esoteric secrets of G-d concerning the ways of redemption and
explanations of reward and punishment.
Does the honorable rabbi agree to this foundation? That if, by natural standards
{derech hateva} it would be possible to conquer parts of east Jerusalem or
to prevent the transfer of parts of the land of Israel to the enemy by using
the tactic of ascending the Temple Mount, that in such a case the simple
halacha would override one’s ideological outlook?
Rabbi Neventzal’s response: Yes.
Now one should note that according to Arutz 7 the 29th
of Adar 5765 according to the poll of Mina Tzemach:
91% of the public is not willing to concede the Kotel in exchange for a peace
treaty. However 46% of the public is willing to concede the Temple Mount
for a Peace agreement.
10] Our sages of blessed memory, said regarding the beautiful captive woman
{Eishet Yifat Toar of Deuteronomy 21:11}”it is better that Israel eat meat
from an animal close to death that had been properly slaughtered, than to
eat the same type of meat when it was improperly slaughtered”. A few months
ago, Police Minister, Tzachi Hanegbi wrote that already 70000 Jews ascended
the Temple Mount this year [some of them in complete opposition to those
who forbid it]. Under what conditions is it relevant according to the honorable
rabbi to follow this principle and to permit due to a situation of duress
some side activity, in order that they do not overtly and completely transgress
?
Rabbi Neventzal’s response: In my humble opinion, one should not allow
it, if even one person can be prevented from ascending through a prohibition.

With the Honor of the Torah
The Youth Among the sons of Levi
Avigdor Neventzal

With Blessing,
Shlomo Scheinman

Issues Involving The Ascent To The Temple Mount – An Exchange Of Letters Between S. Scheinman and Rabbi Avigdor Neventzal

1 Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and Others Permitted the Ascent to the Temple Mount
2 The 500 cubit by 500 cubit Proof against Tuvia Sagiv
3 Ascending the Temple Mount for the Sake of Saving Lives
4 Rabbi Moshe Feinstein didn’t tell us to rely upon the government to save us from Murderers and did not say that we should avoid prohibitions by sitting at home.
5 Jews Enter the El-Aska Mosque to Save the Ramban Synagogue
6 The Thing which Saved the Jews of Jerusalem from the same type of Destruction that came to the Jews of Hebron in 5689 [secular year 1929]
7 Tzachi Hanegbi Testifies that Ascending the Temple Mount Strengthens Our Control
8 Tunnels underneath the Temple Mount and more on Saving Live – letter 4
9 Proof That The Strict Opinion of the Tzitz Eliezer Concerning The Area Between The Wall Of The Old City And The Temple Mount Was Not Accepted As Halacha
10 The Three Oaths
11 The Ascent of Unarmed Citizens Causes Armed Policemen To Ascend
12 Regarding the Ascent of the Rabbis To The Temple Mount During the Six Day War
13 The Identification of the Even Hashtia by Sefer Har Hamor of Rabbi Yosi Pelee
14 Entering New Tunnels On the Temple Mount
15 Ascending the Temple Mount for the Sake of Conquest
16 Do we have to Worry that our Ascent to the Temple Mount Causes the Ascent of Policemen that did not Immerse in a Mikva
17 Rabbi Kook’s Position
18 Perhaps the Police Will Hit Those That Ascend the Temple Mount
19 Rabbi Kook Explains Why Daniel Was Allowed To Risk His Life When He Openly Prayed Against The Wish Of The Government
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