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7 Arrested in Jerusalem for Attempting Passover Sacrifices

April 27, 2016

“Have the Israelites celebrate the Passover at the appointed time.  Celebrate it at the appointed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of this month, in accordance with all its rules and regulations.”  (Numbers 9:2-3)

To keep the status quo on the Temple Mount and peace in Jerusalem during Passover, which commemorates the Jews’ deliverance from Egypt, security forces have been on high alert eyeing Jewish visitors in particular.

On Sunday, the second day of Passover, Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed that an array of special patrol units, undercover units, and border police had been deployed in Jerusalem to prevent any terrorist attacks.

The Temple Mount, a key focus during Passover, saw 1,043 visitors Sunday — 885 tourists and 158 local Jews.

“During the visit, 13 were removed from the area for not behaving according to the security measures that were implemented [for praying],” Rosenfeld said Sunday morning.  “Police also had to move out of the area Palestinians who were chanting ‘Allahu Akhbar,’ but no other incident took place, and no one was injured or arrested.”  (JPost)

Temple Mount, Passover Sacrifice, Korbanot

David saw the Angel of the Lord on Mount Moriah and was commanded to build God an altar there.  He purchased the threshing floor for 50 silver shekels, and this is where his son Solomon later built the First Temple.  Currently, the Muslim Dome of the Rock (gold dome) occupies the spot where the First and Second Temples once stood.

In the Old City of Jerusalem, Rafael Morris, the leader of the Return to the Temple Mount Movement, was arrested for trying to sacrifice a goat for the Feast of Passover.  He made this effort in obedience to Deuteronomy 16:2:  “You shall sacrifice the Passover to the LORD your God from the flock and the herd, in the place where the LORD chooses to establish His name.”

On Friday, the 14th of Nisan, Israeli Police confiscated three unharmed goat kids, and they arrested seven would-be ritual worshipers throughout the day.

The police officer who arrested the first pair saw the second goat by itself, and later discovered the identity of a third person who had intended to use the goat for the same ritual.  (TOI)

Later in the day, police also arrested four other minors with a goat.  They charged them with disturbing the peace.

Passover, Korbanot, Pesach, Passover Sacrifice

A goat in Jerusalem

Morris and another Temple Mount activist, Noam Federman, were also arrested Friday after violating a ban on entering Jerusalem.  The ban had been put in place after officials learned that the men planned to conduct goat sacrifices for Passover.

Before Morris was detained, he told reporters, “If they want to arrest me they’ll need more than a ban. … Regrettably, the Passover sacrifice is a rite that has been forgotten.”  (Haaretz)

“No ban will keep us from fulfilling this important religious injunction,” he added.

Passover, one of three Jewish holidays that require a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, saw several Jewish people, including children, arrested and removed from the Temple Mount for allegedly praying.

Only Muslim prayer is permitted on the Temple Mount to keep the peace with the Jordanian Islamic Waqf.

Yehuda Glick_Temple Mount activist

American-born Israeli Rabbi Yehuda Glick advocates for human
rights and religious freedom on the Temple Mount.  Glick survived
an October 2014 assassination attempt by a member of the
Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine.

According to Yehuda Glick, a Temple Mount activist who lived through an assassination attempt two years ago, Israeli police also arrested a number of Muslim Arabs after learning of their plans to create problems with Jewish pilgrims to the Temple Mount.

“Police have preemptively arrested Arab rioters who were planning to disrupt (Jewish visits) and create tensions,” Glick said.  “We mustn’t allow terrorism to dictate what we do.  I have confidence that the security forces will thwart any attack attempt or any attempt at violence.”

“The Temple Mount is a center for peace, not a center for war.  It is appropriate that anyone who speaks of unity and peace should visit the Temple Mount,” he said, marking his own visit to the Temple Mount on Sunday.  “Those who have a different agenda should not come here.”

On Monday, the Jordanian government warned that there would be serious consequences if the status quo on the Temple Mount were breached.

“Israel is very strict that all Jews ascend without conducting any religious activity,” Glick said.  “But they do have access, and Jordan is aware of that, and therefore I refer to all these official statements as an effort to impress the Palestinian world, and nothing beyond that.”

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