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Israelis seeking to sacrifice lamb on Temple Mount arrested

"The time has come to build a Jewish temple and renew the sacrificial rites," the NGO said.

Yair Hanoch at a light rail station near the Old City of Jerusalem, shortly before he was arrested, Oct. 1, 2023. Photo by Kobi Natan/TPS.
Yair Hanoch at a light rail station near the Old City of Jerusalem, shortly before he was arrested, Oct. 1, 2023. Photo by Kobi Natan/TPS.

Israeli police arrested a Jewish man on his way to sacrifice a lamb on the Temple Mount on Sunday morning.

Yair Hanoch was detained at a light rail station near Jerusalem’s Old City.

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the chief rabbi of the Western Wall and the holy places, in April banned the bringing of animals to the Temple Mount to prevent Jews from trying to bring Passover sacrifices on the holy site.

During the times of the First and Second Temple, the week-long festival of Sukkot was marked by sacrifices, water libations and the custom of circling the altar while holding palm fronds.

The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism.

For centuries, Jews did not visit the hilltop esplanade because of a rabbinic consensus that the laws of ritual purity still apply to the Temple Mount. But in recent years, a growing number of rabbis have argued that ritual purity laws do not apply to all sections of the Temple Mount and encourage visits to permitted areas to maintain Jewish connections to the site.

The status quo governing the Temple Mount goes back to 1967, when Israel liberated the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordan during the Six-Day War. Then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan agreed to let the Islamic Waqf, a Muslim trusteeship, continue managing the holy site’s day-to-day affairs, while Israel would maintain overall sovereignty and be responsible for security.

According to the status quo, non-Muslims are allowed to visit the Temple Mount but not to pray there.

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