Tipping Point Quick Hits (4.13.23)
Jews at the Temple Mount, drought in Somalia, and an eruption in Russia
Hundreds of Jews Worship on the Temple Mount
One major fulfillment of prophecy has been the ongoing presence of Jewish worshipers on the Temple Mount, which has increased dramatically over the past several years. On Sunday morning, the day of Birkat Kohanim, or “priestly blessings” at the Western Wall as part of Passover, nearly 850 Jewish worshipers visited the Temple Mount.
This is a 43 percent rise in the number of Passover worshippers on the Temple Mount this year compared to last year.
And it happened after Palestinian worshippers barricaded themselves in the nearby al-Aqsa mosque on Saturday night. (Whether these were actually “worshippers” or radicalized Arabs incited by Hamas is a matter of debate in Israel. The Israeli Foreign Ministry has referred to them as a “dangerous mob.”) Though the situation was tense, the morning was peaceful, even after the Jordanian Foreign Ministry warned of “catastrophic consequences” if Israeli police entered al-Aqsa again to remove Palestinians.
Al-Aqsa is becoming a flashpoint for conflict. Since Ramadan began, police have been removing Palestinians who attempt to stay in the mosque overnight, concerned that they are always preparing to attack Jewish worshippers the next morning.
I don’t think the tension will be resolved soon, but I don’t want to miss the fact that an increase in Jewish worshippers on this property is always a reason to celebrate. For many years it was illegal for Jews to go to the Temple Mount, which isn’t just the holiest site in the Jewish faith but one of the central places of worship for Muslims. This has become one of the most disputed properties in the world, and to reduce violence between Jews and Muslims, any non-Muslim rituals have long been prohibited on the Temple Mount.
Only a few years ago it was completely unacceptable for Jews to openly pray there. But now it is happening without incident, at greater frequency and with more worshippers than before.
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