Prominent rabbi Avraham Shapira spoke out Tuesday against Jews visiting the Temple Mount.
Shapira, the head of the Merkaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem, stressed during a ceremony marking Jerusalem Day that the Halacha forbids Jews from entering the place.
'Temple Mount desecrated'Meanwhile, the haredi newspaper affiliated with the Lithuanian stream, Yated Ne'eman harshly criticized the rabbis' visit, "which goes against the Halacha," saying that the rabbis had violated a prohibition punishable with karet, death by heavenly decree.
In two separate articles, the newspaper attacks the visit, accusing the Zionist rabbis of worshipping "the Zionist calf."
"They seek to defile and desecrate the Temple Mount, the site of our Temple, because they worship and believe the foolishness of the Zionist redemption, thinking that by Jews visiting the Temple Mount they can push forward redemption," one of the articles said.
Orthodox and religious Zionist Jews are divided over the issue, with haredim espousing a strict approach that prohibits any Jew from entering the compound, for fear he might defile the place.