HALACHOT Ascent to the Temple Mount

HALACHOT Ascent to the Temple Mount

הלכות הטבילה לגברים: לחץ כאן | הלכות הטבילה לנשים: לחץ כאן

Reverce on the Temple Mount

Halachot Mora Mikdash

Reverence towards the Temple is a mitzvah, as stated in the verse “My Temple you shall fear.” This obligation remains even in its destroyed state and applies to the Temple Mount as well. Therefore, ascending the Temple Mount should be approached with solemnity and deep reverence for the sanctity of the Temple. As the Rambam emphasizes, the fear is not directed towards the physical structure, but rather towards the One who commanded its reverence.

Walk calmly and respectfully, as you would in a king’s palace.

Enter the Temple Mount only for a mitzvah (e.g., prayer or seeking the Temple).

Opinions vary regarding the prohibition of wearing shoes on the Temple Mount. Some assert that only leather shoes are prohibited, while others extend the prohibition to all stiff shoes. Alternatively, some emphasize the importance of dressing respectfully as the primary consideration. Therefore, it is appropriate to enter the Mount with respectable non-leather shoes, socks, or barefoot (similar to the priests during service). If choosing to go barefoot, ensure that your feet are clean.

Do not carry a wallet in your hand or wear a belt with a pouch when entering the Temple Mount. However, a covered wallet is permitted.
Do not bring backpacks to the Temple Mount. While specifically, bags that are considered inappropriate for important settings, like those used for carrying tools, etc., are prohibited, it is generally advisable to use discretion and refrain from carrying any bag that would be deemed unsuitable for respectable occasions, such as weddings and the like.

Dress modestly, appropriately, and respectfully.

When walking in a group, women should follow behind men and avoid walking mixed.

Do not spit on the Temple Mount.

Refrain from engaging in small talk on the Temple Mount. Silence your cell phone before entering.

It is customary to encircle the Temple Mount counterclockwise.

Accompany someone familiar with the permitted and prohibited areas on the Temple Mount. Under no circumstances enter the elevated plaza at the center of the Temple Mount.

Requirements for Immersion for Men

Immersion to purify oneself before entering the Temple Mount is a Torah requirement, unlike regular immersion, which is merely a customary practice for men. Therefore, it is essential to follow the specific preparations outlined below. If there are any uncertainties or inquiries, consult with a Rabbi.

Children up to the age of nine are permitted to ascend the Mount without undergoing immersion.


Preparing for Immersion

Prior to immersion, thoroughly wash your entire body with hot water to remove any dirt.

Ensure that your hair, both on the head and beard, is combed to remove any knots that are typically attended to. (This is, known as ‘chafifa.’)
Engage in the preparations for immersion with a calm and focused mindset, shortly before the immersion.

Before immersing, carefully inspect your body to ensure that there are no chatzitzot (separations) (see below for further details).


Laws of Chatzitza

When immersing, ensure that the entire body, including hair, is fully submerged in the water, without any separation between the body and the water.

Anything that most people typically remove before attending important events, or anything that the person immersing personally cares to remove, is considered a chatzitza and should be removed prior to immersion..

A substanceless color, such as ink or similar substances on the skin, is not considered a chatzitza.

Ensure that any residue of food or other substances between the teeth is removed, as it creates a chatzitza (though opening the mouth is not necessary during immersion). Thoroughly clean your mouth and brush your teeth before immersion. It is advisable to use a toothpick or dental floss, etc..

Remove any accumulation from the eyes, nose and ears.

Clean under your nails, particularly the part of the nail that extends beyond the finger. If your nails are long and you want to trim them, do so before immersion.

In the case of lice in the hair, they should be removed. However, if some lice or nits cannot be removed, and they are not a bother, they do not pose a chatzitza

Dandruff that remains in the hair after brushing and combing is not considered a chatzitza.

A scab that can be safely removed should be removed. However, if it is painful to remove or if it is necessary to allow the wound to heal, it is not considered a chatzitza.

Bandages, plasters, and similar items are considered chatzitzot.

If a thorn is protruding from the skin, it is considered a separation.

Peeling skin, warts, or any other bothersome conditions should be removed to the best of your ability.

Permanent fillings, crowns, and similar dental work are not considered chatzitzot. However, bridges and brackets that can be removed are considered chatzitzot. For guidance on temporary fillings, contact lenses (if not accustomed to removing them every night), dentures, and similar matters, consult a competent Rabbi.

It is customary to remove watches, bracelets, jewelry, and similar items from the body, even if water can reach beneath them.

An individual who requires bowel movement should attend to it prior to immersion.

Blessing for Immersion

Prior to immersion, it is necessary to recite the following blessing:
“ברוך אתה ה’ א-להינו מלך העולם אשר קידשנו במצוותיו וציוונו על הטבילה.”
“Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the world, who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning immersion.”

(One should recite the blessing only when obligated to immerse, which is when one has not immersed since becoming tamei).

The blessing should be recited in the water, with the head covered and while hugging the body with your arms.


The Act of Immersion

To fulfill the requirements of Torah immersion, one must immerse in a kosher mikvah.

Do not immerse in the mikvah while it is being drained.

During immersion, do not tightly close your mouth and eyes.

Lifting your feet off the floor is not necessary.

Ensure that the water reaches all parts of your body and hair. To facilitate this, slightly move your hands away from your body and slightly spread your legs.

A person in the state of ‘tevul yom’ is permitted to enter the Temple Mount, thus there is no need to immerse the day before ascending.

Technically, once a person has properly immersed, they can go up to the Temple Mount even after many days without another immersion, as long as they have not become ritually impure again.

Nevertheless, it is recommended to immerse before each ascent to the Mount.