JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s chief rabbis said in a signed declaration that Jews are prohibited from visiting the Temple Mount.
Chief Rabbis David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef reiterated a position held by the Chief Rabbinate since the 1920s, according to The Jerusalem Post. Modern Orthodox rabbis, as well as some former chief rabbis, also signed the declaration.
In recent years, more religious Jews have visited the Temple Mount with the sanction of some Modern Orthodox rabbis. These rabbis say it is possible to avoid the areas that are prohibited to enter without the proper purification ritual, which is not possible to perform today.
Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook, the first Ashkenazic chief rabbi of British Mandatory Palestine, banned Jews from ascending the Temple Mount, fearing they might step into an area that was forbidden under Jewish law.