Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Av 5766 - August 1, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Beis Din Rejects Machon Hamikdash Petition Against Yated Ne'eman

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

HaRav Nissim Karelitz' beis din in Bnei Brak rejected a petition that Machon Hamikdash and its head, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, filed in response to an opinion piece published in the Hebrew edition of Yated Ne'eman.

The article, which appeared in the Al Haperek column, was written following several extreme remarks by Rabbi Ariel on the subject of ascending the Temple Mount. Shortly after Shavuos Maran HaRav Eliashiv shlita arrived at the Kosel Maarovi and, in a conversation with HaRav Shmuel Rabinowitz, the rov of the Kosel, asked that he resume posting a guard at the entrance to the Temple Mount area to warn Jews not to draw near the place that all poskim, past and present, say Jews are forbidden to enter.

In a broadcasted interview, Rabbi Ariel was asked his opinion on the move and he replied, "The trend reflected here perpetuates the Diaspora and gives the [Temple] Mount to the Arabs . . . This is what talmidei chachomim call `returning the crown to its pedestal?' This should embarrass every Jew listening . . . Not only should a guard not be posted there, but the rabbonim should be the first to go in and take control of the [Temple] Mount . . . This is part of the trend toward perpetuating the Diaspora and the Destruction . . . This is a very grave failure in Am Yisroel and in Eretz Yisroel since the Destruction of the Second Temple and there is no greater shame or disgrace to the Torah, Eretz Yisroel [and] the Temple."

At the request of the rabbonim of Yated Ne'eman's Vaada Ruchanit, a piercing article was published, exposing another of the Machon Hamikdash publications calling for a departure from accepted practices. Titled Siddur Hamikdash Le'eim Ulebat, the siddur proposes substituting the version of the Nacheim tefilloh used for generations on Tisha B'Av with the version from the Talmud Yerushalmi, saying it is better suited to today's reality. Rabbi Ariel claims the phrasing of the current version, "Ha'ir hachareivoh habezuyoh vehashomeimoh," fails to acknowledge HaKodosh Boruch Hu's beneficence and thus is akin to "speaking untruths before HaMokom."

When Yated Ne'eman published an editorial sharply critical of Rabbi Ariel's remarks against the prohibition against ascending the Temple Mount and also exposing the nature of those publications that make their way into chareidi homes, Machon Hamikdash filed a libel and damages suit against the Yated Ne'eman board, the Vaada Ruchanit and the writer of the article. The case was heard by HaRav Karelitz, HaRav Yaakov Edelstein and HaRav Y. Berger.

In a hearing held on 21 Tammuz, Machon Hamikdash Director Rabbi Y. Glick claimed that the institute sustained enormous financial damage following the publication of the article. He said that since the article appeared the institute's books and other publications are no longer purchased at bookstores in chareidi areas and the weekly leaflet distributed in chareidi botei knesses has been removed from many botei knesses in Elad, Kiryat Sefer, Bnei Brak and other chareidi population centers. Speaking before the beis din Rabbi Ariel said he had merely expressed his halachic opinion on the issue of ascending the Temple Mount, and that his seforim are worthy of entering any chareidi home, and that warning the chareidi public not to allow his works in their homes was unjustified.

The beis din praised the Yated Ne'eman article and rejected the petition. According to the ruling on 28 Tammuz, since the role of Yated Ne'eman is to publicize the Torah-based worldview and the opinions of gedolei Torah the newspaper conducted itself properly and fulfilled its mission.

Furthermore the beis din determined that Yated Ne'eman has the right to warn against the institute's publications that conflict the Torah-based worldview. The beis din also noted "Rabbi Ariel, in both the past and the present, has not acted in accordance with poskei hador."

In the light of all this, the beis din determined that there is no basis for any claim of libel or for damages.


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