Clip of U.S. rabbi on Temple Mount reignites debate
By Raphael Ahren
A YouTube video released one week ago depicting a prominent American rabbi visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem has sparked a new round of controversy about whether it is permitted for Jews to enter Judaism's holiest site, which is believed to have been the location of the Holy Temple.
The film shows Rabbi Moshe Dovid Tendler, a senior figure at New York's Yeshiva University, leading a group of English speakers to the Temple Mount, explaining the religious and political context of his custom to visit the site every time he comes to Israel. Within a week of the video's appearance it has been watched more than 7,000 times, prompting both approving comments and harsh criticism.
The Temple Institute, which produced the 17-minute film, earlier this week disabled YouTube's comments section temporarily, deleting all previous comments, some of which sharply condemned Tendler. At the American-Haredi news Web site Voz Iz Neias, which reported the posting of the clip, more than 110 readers commented on the film - some calling Tendler a "complete heretic" who is liable, according to Halacha, to karet, or premature death.
Tendler, who is the son-in-law of the late Rabbi Moshe Feinstein - one of the most respected halachic authorities of the last century - has ascended the Temple Mount for years, in order to perform the commandment of "Mora Mikdash," showing reverence to God at the place of the Temple. ...more...
Curious that the rabbi has been visiting the holy site for years and nobody raised a ruckus but when a video of Rabbi Moshe Tendler on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem appeared on YouTube, that created a controversy. What do we learn from that? A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a video can earn you a thousand stones. Rabbi Tendler who is both a Talmud teacher and a biology professor at Yeshiva University, does make a few political remarks during his visit, making this more than an innocent spiritual pilgrimage. From Haaretz,