About two thirds of the public want the Temple rebuilt, including about half of secular Israelis, a new survey conducted for Ynet and the Gesher organization revealed.
The survey was held by the Panels Institute among 516 respondents that are a representative sample of the adult Jewish population. The margin of error was 4.3%.
Initially, the respondents were asked what happened on Tisha B'Av (Ninth of Av), and showed impressive knowledge. Ninety-seven percent responded that the Temple was destroyed, while only 2% said they did not know.
The second question was whether respondents wanted to see the Temple rebuilt. Sixty-four percent responded favorably, while 36% said no. An analysis of the answers showed that not only the ultra-Orthodox and the religious look forward to the rebuilding of the Temple (100% and 97% respectively), but also the traditional public (91%) and many seculars – 47%.
When asked whether it was at all justified to mark something that had happened 2,000 years ago, 80% said that it was, while 13% said only events related to the State of Israel should be commemorated.
Another 7% categorically replied with a "no."
Here too an analysis of the answers revealed that the positions on Tisha B'Av transcended religious divisions – 74% of seculars and 100% of ultra-Orthodox responded that dates like Tisha B'Av should be commemorated.
Gesher Director General Rabbi Danny Tropper told Ynet in response to the survey results: "We are a nation with a remarkable historic affinity. The Temple was destroyed 1,942 years ago, and almost two thirds of the population want to see it rebuilt, including 47% of seculars.
"I don't think this is a practical proposal, but it seems that Tisha B'Av really does constitute a day of meaningful memory to most of the people."