Dayan’s “Key” Error

Rabbi Chaim Ozer Chait


It has been over fifty years since Motti Gur and his brigade liberated the Temple Mount and broadcasted the famous words, “The Temple Mount is in our hands.” These words vibrated throughout the Jewish world, for it has been over two thousand years since the Temple Mount was under Jewish sovereignty. On that special and memorable day in June another important event took place, that for most of us, went unnoticed. Rabbi Berel Wein in his weekly blog titled “Mistakes” brings this significant event to our attention. “The Moslem Wakf, that had previously ruled the Temple Mount…recognized that it was defeated in the war that it helped initiate and handed over the keys to the Temple Mount to the Israeli army. However, Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan immediately returned the keys to the Wakf and restored their hegemony over the holiest site in the Jewish world. Since then, the Wakf has been busily destroying all possible remnants.” This is most shocking and appalling that after two thousand years of yearning and praying for the Beit Hamikdash, and only by the grace of G-D it was returned to the Jewish people, we a Jewish nation give it back! To our enemies, to those that detest us! (Note: the Waqf/Wakf is the Islamic trust who administer the Temple Mount (and other holy sites). They presently report to King Abdula of Jordan). This is an outright rejection of G-D’s gift to the Jewish people. My Brother, Rabbi Israel Chait Shlita, points out that this is analogous to the sin of the M’raglim (the spies that were sent out by Moshe Rabeinu). It is true the M’raglim spoke Lashan Ha’ra against Eretz Yisroel but it resulted in the rejection on behalf of the people to inhabit the land. This is made very clear from the psukim, “Only rebel not against Hashem” (Bamidbar 14, 9) “And your young children…they shall know the land that you have scorned” (Ibid. 31).  Torah refers to the actions of the people as rebelliousness because of their refusal to accept the gift of Eretz Yisroel. After years of slavery, Hakadosh Baruch Hu gives them their own country endowed with kedusha and mitzvot. We, for over two thousand years, being driven from country to country, persecuted, murdered, but always davening to Hashem facing the the Har Habayit that was out of our reach, but our hopes never faltered…and miraculously the keys to the Har Habayit were returned to the Jewish people, literally in our hands. We then rejected this precious gift and returned it to the Waqf! Such was the action of Moshe Dayan. But this action also resulted in the inability to perform countless numbers of Mitzvot, such as giving Reverence to the Har Habayit, Building the Beit Hamikdash, Korban Pesach etc. The Returning of the keys to the Waqf was equivalent to the sin of the M’raglim.

 Furthermore, by returning the Har Habayit to the Waqf led to another transgression.  We gave them permission to once again openly express their scornfulness and disdain to the Torah and the Jewish people. 

Mohammed originally told his followers the orientation in prayer should be Jerusalem, however after six months to a year later he changed the orientation to Mecca, apparently to separate Islam from Judiasm (similar to the moving of the holy day of the week from Saturday to Sunday). According to Islamic legend, Mohammed traveled to Jerusalem, ascended the Even Shesia (Earth’s Formation Stone) went up to heaven speaking to Moshe on his way up and then continued further to speak to G-D and came back with his new religion, (keep in mind not all Arab scholars accept this legend as nowhere in the entire Koran does it mention Jerusalem). As we can see, the purpose of this legend is to disseminate to Moslems that Islam replaces Judiasim. In 632 Mohamed dies. In 691 the Dome of the Rock was erected but it was prohibited for Moslems to pray there. In 705 the Caliph erected Al-Aqsa (meaning the furtherest holy site from Mecca to kneel and pray). If you notice, Al-Aqsa Mosque is south of the Dome of the Rock. Mecca is further south so when you pray in the Al-Aqsa Mosque you turn your back to the Kodesh Kadashim (the Even Shesia) as to deny its holiness. Furthermore, when kneeling, their buttocks are facing the Kodesh Kadashim and being in such close proximity especially when many are praying outside, it is evident their intention is to openly mock and deride the religion of the Jews in a most repulsive and vulgar way (see photo insert). Returning the keys to the Waqf not only rejects a gift from Hashem but allows the Waqf and Moslems to continue to express openly their aggressive hatred of Judaism.

 Dr. Kadar of Bar Ilan University points out that if the Jewish people pray on the Temple Mount, that is a major setback for Islam. It shows that the prophecy of Moshe is true and that Islam will not replace Judaism. That is why the Waqf must do everything in their power to stop the Jewish people from praying there. The creation of the state of Israel was a shock to Islamic world, the Jewish people are returning, however the last stance is the Har Habayit. If a Jew prays there it shows that Judaism will not be eradicated as they intended. Yeshivat Har Habayit together with the Kollel Drishat Tzion have worked hard to restore Tefila on the Har Habayit but with the  understanding that we cannot show any outward signs of davening, therefore we cannot wear Tefillin or a Talis or use a siddur. This allows the Waqf to be satisfied that we really aren’t davening, but for the Waqf the signs of our return are slowly appearing on the wall. Those who ascend the Har Habayit not only fulfill two mitzvot de’oraisa upon entering the 500 square amos, but by davening there you are showing that we will not stand idle while another nation attempts to mock and ridicule or deprive the Jewish people of their sacred right to pray to the G-d of Israel on its most holy site. Furthermore, you show that the prophecy of the Torah after an exile of two thousand years is being fulfilled in our days.

Moshe Dayan’s returning the keys to the Waqf was a terrible violation of some of the most basic Torah laws. We must however ask if Moshe Dayan alone is to blame and the rest of us are all exonerated, or do we all share in this heinous transgression. This I will discuss in my next article.   

All those who wish to donate to our Yeshiva and Kollel or want additional information on the Har Habayit, please visit

NOTE: One should not ascend the Temple Mount without proper Rabbinical instruction:

1) You should be informed of the various routes that are available according to the different Rabbinicial opinions.

2) You must immerse in a Kosher Mikvah that meets the standards to be kosher med’oriasa.

3) You must receive instructions for the proper preparations for the Mikvah (Chafifah)