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Israeli Chief Rabbi calls on Jews to stay away from the Temple Mount

Israeli Chief Rabbi calls on Jews to stay away from the Temple Mount

Back in September, the Rev Bruce Shipman, who had been the Priest-in-charge at the Episcopal Church at Yale resigned after allegations of anti-semitism were levelled against him in response to an op-ed he had written linking an increasing anti-semitic violence around the world to government policies in Israel. In a letter to the editor of the Yale Daily News in response to the controversy, Shipman wrote:

I believe that there is a correlation between the uptick in anti-Semitic violence in the world and the events taking place in Israel/Palestine and Gaza. That said, there is never any excuse for such violence and the crimes described by Professor Deborah Lipstadt are disgusting and repellant. There can be little doubt that many who engage in such behavior use the Israel/Palestine dispute as an excuse to mask a much deeper disorder known as anti-Semitism.

On Friday, Yitzhak Yosef, Israel’s chief Sephardic rabbi, called on Jews to stay away from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in order to avoid bloodshed.

“This is the place to call on the esteemed public to stop this incitement, from here a call is heard, forbidding any Jews from going up to the Temple Mount. From here a call is heard to stop this so that the blood of the People of Israel may stop being spilled,”

He made the call during the funeral Friday of Shalom Ba’adani, 17 who died that morning in hospital from wounds he sustained on Wednesday when a Palestinian terrorist hit him and 12 others with his car.

Yosef, like Shipman, was called out by others for engaging in blaming the victims. Naftali Bennet, leader of Jewish Home party criticized Yosef on Facebook, writing; “Honorable Chief Rabbi, Jewish blood was spilled because Arabs murdered them.”

That hate which leads to violence is not caused by the one who is hated is a given, but we are very interested in hearing your thoughts on these issues as they obviously aren’t going away. In what ways does the example of Jesus give us guidance?


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Two things come to mind. Jesus, on “going the extra mile”: if your neighbor would have you stay off “the Noble Sanctuary” (aka Temple Mount), stay out of East Jerusalem as well.

And Paul, on eating animals sacrificed to idols: “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

JC Fisher

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