Criticism Everywhere When Israel Allows Jews to Pray at Al-Aqsa


Judge in Israel makes ruling allowing Jews to pray in compound Masjid Al Aqsa in Jerusalem. The judge’s decision drew widespread criticism.

Reported AFP, Friday (8/10), the decision was handed down by the judge of the Jerusalem Court, Bilhha Yahalom. The ruling was in response to a petition filed by an Israeli rabbi named Aryeh Lippo, who on September 29 was sentenced to be barred from entering the holy compound for two weeks after being caught praying there.

The petition demands the right to pray for Jews on the Temple Mount, Israel’s Supreme Court ruling that: “Every Jew has the right to pray on the Temple Mount, as part of freedom of religion and expression.”

“At the same time, these rights are not absolute, and can be limited by considering the public interest,” the Israeli Supreme Court ruling said.

Judge Yahalom’s decision indirectly focused on lifting Rabbi Lippo’s ban on praying in the Al-Aqsa compound. But commenting on his behavior, judge Yahalom stated: “The petitioner was standing in a corner with one or two of his friends, with no crowd around him, silent prayers, whispering,”

“I do not find that the religious acts committed by the petitioner are externalized and visible,” said the ruling judge Yahalom, who set such silent prayers ‘not in violation of police directives’ and overturned the prayer ban imposed on Rabbi Lippo.

Israeli police have also appealed the ruling. In its appeal against the ruling, the Israeli Police confirmed Rabbi Lippo was involved in “inappropriate behavior in a public place”.

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Mainstream rabbinical authorities in Israel oppose Jews praying on the Temple Mount, with Jewish worship centered on the Wailing Wall below the holy compound.

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