Letter 1
Letters to Rabbi of the Old City of Jerusalem, Rabbi Avigdor Neventzal, [May
He be Granted Many Good and Additional Years],  On the Matter of The
Temple Mount and His Reaction

Topic 1: Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and Others Permitted the Ascent to the Temple Mount

A question regarding going up on the Temple Mount

Until now, you, Rabbi Neventzal have supported the viewpoint of those that forbid us to ascend the Temple Mount.
Now I ask as someone who does not ascend the Temple Mount, does the honorable Rabbi hold his position, out of a fear that we do not know the borders of Holiness on the Mount or does your opposition stem from the fear that if we allow individuals to go, this will lead to others going who are not careful about Halacha and they will ascend in a prohibited way?
If it is on account that we don’t know the borders, I found in the responsa, Igrote Moshe, part 1, O.C. II, Siman 113, words starting with “Umah Shetaratzta”, that Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, seemingly allowed ascent to the Temple Mount in our days. And so too, in the book, Ish Al Hachoma [ The man on the Defensive Wall ] , the history of Master Authority, the Genius, Rabbi, Y.C. Sonnenfeld by S.Z. Sonnenfeld, it was related that Rabbi Sonnenfeld was willing to permit a Jewish clock maker to set up a clock on the Temple Mount for the sake of the prayers of the Moslems there.
Now perhaps the honorable Rabbi, still fears about this issue because some type of mistake seems to have fallen upon the text of the responsa of the Radbaz on the matter of ascending the Temple Mount, where there  he ruled for leniency [in other words, maybe we can’t rely on his identification of the Dome of the Rock as the Holy of Holies?].
Now if so, one should point out that it seems that Rabbi Ovadia of Bartenura wrote in his letters that he heard from many, that the Even Hashtia, upon which the ark of the covenant stood, is enclosed within a big and beautiful mosque in the shape of a dome, which seems to be talking about the Dome of the Rock; and against Rabbi Ovadia of Bartenura there are no questions about the accuracy of the text in contrast to the text with the conclusions of the Radbaz. Now, I should admit that Rabbi Ovadia of Bartenura wrote that the custom in his time, was that the Jews would not ascend to the area of the Temple even to work there.
But perhaps they were strict beyond the requirements of the Halacha upon themselves, for even in the case of Rabbi Sonnenfeld, when the Rabbi permitted the clock maker to ascend, the clock maker decided to be strict upon himself and did not in fact, ascend.

Topic 2: The 500 cubit by 500 cubit Proof against Tuvia Sagiv

Now perhaps the honorable Rabbi, wants to be strict because of the viewpoint of Mr. Tuvia Sagiv.
Regarding the viewpoint of Mr. Tuvia Sagiv, that wants to wreck the tradition we have regarding the Mount, Rabbi Rogin told me that he checked the data of Sagiv and it is false or lacking.
Now an open proof that I found against the viewpoint, of Sagiv, is contained in the words of Rashi, and the Sifri on Bamidbar !0:32 and the Vilna Gaon in the name of the Yerushalmi, Middot, chapter 2, Mishna 1, Baal Haturim to Exodus 25:2, Ohr Hachaim Exodus 25:9 and Rashi to I Chronicles 28:19. That from these sources it is clear that the Temple Mount was always 500 cubits by 500 cubits and not as Sagiv deduced from the words of Josephus Flavius, that in the time of Herod it was expanded to 190 meters by 190 meters [including the additions of Herod to the Temple].
[According to Rabbi Menachem Kasher, the source of the Vilna Gaon is from the words of the Rosh on Middot and not the Yerushalmi, but Rabbi Zalman Koren defended the words of the Vilna Gaon and told me that the Krovitz that Rashi recounted in I Chronicles 28:19 is from the Yerushalmi] Now if the honorable, Rabbi forbids ascending the Temple Mount out of fear that perhaps they won’t be careful to go up in purity, one should ask, does the honorable, Rabbi also  forbid in the additions built by Herod where there it seems there is no obligation to be pure?
And if the honorable, Rabbi in all cases forbids, does this also apply when there is a fear that they will hand over parts of East Jerusalem to murderers from the group associated with Arafat, etc., and perhaps ascending the Mount will wreck the plans?
I would like to add that in the book of Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, Beit Hashem Neilaich Rabbi Ariel brought some examples of Rabbis who usually didn’t support regular ascent to the Mount, however, seemingly supported it for the sake of the conquest of the land of Israel and here is a translated quote from the book:

    On the day of the Liberation of the Temple Mount, the Chief Rabbis of Israel at that time – namely, Rabbi Issar Unterman of blessed memory and Rabbi Yitzchak
Nissim of blessed memory, entered the Temple Mount wearing their shoes and with their canes in their hands, and this, in order to prove the ownership and control of the Jewish people over the place. So too, did Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, of blessed memory, and Rabbi David HaCohain, the Nazir of blessed memory, enter. The Rabbis of Israel entered the Temple Mount despite the fact that The Temple Mount Plaza and Jerusalem were already conquered by the soldiers, for every entrance of a Jew to the Mount was an act of “Chazaka”, {control}, which has the same legal status as “conquest”.

And see the commentary of the Ohr Hachaim on Leviticus 25:25 that the goal of the birth pangs of the Messiah is to change how the nation of Israel relates to the Temple Mount.

with my blessings
Shlomo Scheinman

Rabbi Neventzal’s Response
With The Assistance of Heaven Shalom and blessing to R’ Shlomo Scheinman Shlit’a
Even if Rabbi Feinstein of blessed memory permitted on a theoretical level the ascent to the Temple Mount in our times, behold the great Rabbis that lived in the land of Israel in 5727, from all the parties, disallowed the
ascent to all the compound that is called today, the  Temple Mount, and preceding them was Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook.
500 cubits by 500 cubits is more than 190 meters.
The case of Rabbi Sonnenfeld was when there was a situation of danger in not agreeing to the request of the Gentiles.
In order to prevent the ascent of murderers one should use the police and the army and it is understood that a policeman or a soldier who fears heaven, will immerse in a Mikva before he enters there and will bring there, just
the necessary equipment, and he will just go to the places where security requires that he goes there.
If my memory is not mistaken, a group which included my father, my teacher of blessed memory ascended to the Temple Mount on the day it was liberated and they weren’t aware that they were crossing through the Temple Mount, rather they thought they were just going to the Kotel {Western Wall}.
With Blessings,
The Youth Among the sons of Levi
Avigdor Neventzal
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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