Religion Magazine

and Maybe It is Not Because of Har Habayit...

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
I'm not a big fan of the way some people state definitively what causes things to happen. Unless a person is a prophet or claims to have God talking to him (or her), people who say such things are only taking guesses, often influenced by their prejudices. I am more open to the idea of introspection (even on a communal level) rather than assigning blame.
and maybe it is not because of Har Habayit...
Many (some?) rabbonim have pronounced the reason for the uptick in terror and violence as being due to the Jews who go up to Har Habayit. Maybe, maybe not. I don't buy it, and I don't buy that the appropriate response is to stay away, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
I did enjoy hearing the reason as given by Rav Mazuz. He, too, cannot really know what is the cause, but I like the way he shows that what some take as a given isn't necessarily so, and other possibilities make sense as well.
Rav Mazuz said that there is no prohibition against going up to Har Habayit nowadays. Rather, Rav Mazuz said, the attacks are more directly connected to shmitta. Rav Mazuz points out that the intifadas all came at the conclusion of a shmitta year. While he says he does not know what the connection is between shmitta and intifadas, he does suggest that it might be because for a year we bought "yevul nochri" - we bought all our produce from the Palestinians, they got rich off us and they went a little crazy.
Rav Mazuz defended those who go up to Har Habayit sayign they are careful to go where it is ok, where there is no kareis, and they prepare properly with proper tvilla. The only problems are:
1. maybe allowing people to go will leave an opening for some people to go without preparing properly and to the wrong places
2. the Arabs might see a Jew with a siddur and claim he is inciting them. We live in a crazy generation.
source: Srugim
Blaming it on the purchase of yevul nochri is turning it all around. At least he says he does nto know and only that he sees a more regular connection between intifadas and shmitta, but not that this is definitely the cause.
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