A letter to the Muslim community in Illinois on the sanctity of the Haram al-Sharif – Mondoweiss

Posted By on April 30, 2022

To our neighbors and friends, the Muslim community in Illinois, Greetings andEid Mubarak!

Our hearts go out to you, our neighbors and friends, Muslims and Palestinians in the State of Illinois as you watch the images of violence from the heart of Jerusalem. We, rabbis of Truah-Illinois decry the recent, repeated armed incursions by the Israeli military and police into the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

We pray with you for the peace of Jerusalaem.

We know you are deeply connected to Jerusalem, so far away, yet so close to heart. As Jews, we know those feelings well. For Jews, the Temple Mount/Haram el-Sharif is our most sacred site. It was the location of the Bet Hamikdash/Temple dating back to biblical times.

However, we affirm the millennia-old Jewish view that abdicates any Jewish claims to the Temple Mount in the here and now. The vast majority of Jews have no desire to pray on the Temple Mount and certainly not to perform any Biblical animal sacrifices there. Even the most traditional Jews, who continue to pray for a restoration of the ancient Jewish temple at this site, defer such visions to messianic times, on the other side of the horizon of our own reality.

We, the undersigned rabbis of Truah-Illinois, affirm the status quo in Jerusalem: the Western Wall is the traditional prayer space for Jews, the Temple Mount/Haram el-Sharif, on the other side of the Western Wall, is the prayer space for Muslims.

The State of Israel is responsible for upholding the status quo in Jerusalem, and guaranteeing the sanctity of the Haram el-Sharif and the dignity of its Muslim worshippers. Violently disrupting Ramadan prayers, beating unarmed worshippers and intimidating Muslims in Jerusalem is absolutely not the way of peace. We call on the State of Israel to immediately commit to abstaining from any further violations of the Waqfs authority on the Haram el-Sharif. Israel must guarantee freedom of worship in the holy city of Jerusalem, not just for Jews but for Muslims and Christians too.

On this Eid al-Fitr, we bless you, our Muslim fellow Illinoisans, withEid Mubarak, a sweet holiday, as we pray with you for the peace of Jerusalem.


Rabbi Ilana Axel, Hoffman Estates, IL

Rabbi Lisa Sari Bellows, Chicago, IL

Rabbi Aryeh Bernstein, Chicago, IL

Rabbi Michael Davis, Hebrew Seminary, Skokie, IL

Rabbi David Eber, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Evanston, IL

Rabbi Laurence Edwards, Chicago, IL

Rabbi Bruce Elder, Congregation Hakafa, Glencoe, IL

Rabbi Maralee Gordon, Woodstock, IL

Rabbi Suzanne Griffel, Chicago, IL

Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein, Elgin, IL

Rabbi Andrea London, Beth Emet The Free Synagogue, Evanston, IL

Rabbi Rachel S. Mikva, Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL

Rabbi Nina J. Mizrahi, Ames Jewish Congregation, Ames, IA

Rabbi Rachel Weiss, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Evanston, IL

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A letter to the Muslim community in Illinois on the sanctity of the Haram al-Sharif - Mondoweiss

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