Newsletter : 4fax1209.txt
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Sanhedrin Members Enter Temple Mount Above the Western Wall
There is a tradition (Tractate Megillah 17b, Rashi) that the Sanhedrin will be restored
after a partial ingathering of the Jewish exiles, but before Jerusalem is completely
rebuilt and restored. There is also a Talmudic tradition (Eruvin 43b; Maharatz Chajas ad
loc; Rashash, Sanhedrin 13b) that Elijah the Prophet will present himself before a
duly-ordained Sanhedrin when he announces the coming of the Messiah, meaning that -
despite common misconceptions - a Sanhedrin is a pre-, not post-messianic institution.
Members of Reestablished Sanhedrin Ascend Temple Mount
In a dramatic but unpublicized move Monday, members of the newly established Sanhedrin
ascended the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site.
Close to 50 recently ordained "samuchim," members of the Sanhedrin, lined up at the foot
of the Temple Mount.
The men, many ascending the Temple Mount for the first time, had immersed in mikvaot
(ritual baths) that morning and planned to ascend as a group. Despite prior approval from
the Israeli police who oversee entry to the Mount, the officers barred the group from
entering the Mount together, saying they could only ascend in groups of 10.
Many of the samuchim refused to ascend under the restrictive conditions, especially as
a group of over 100 gentile tourists filed past the waiting rabbis and up onto the holy
site. "It is unconscionable that on the eve of Chanukah, which celebrates the rededication
of the Holy Temple, we should once again be barred from worshipping - by our own people,"
Rabbi Chaim Richman of Jerusalem's Temple Institute told IsraelNN's Ezra HaLevi.
The Sanhedrin, a religious assembly of 71 sages that sat from the time of the Holy
Temple through 425 CE, was the highest Jewish legal-judicial tribunal in the Land of
Israel. The great court used to convene in one of the Temple's chambers in Jerusalem. On
October 14, the Sanhedrin was reestablished for the first time in 1,600 years, at the site
of its last meeting in Tiberius.
"There is a special mitzvah, not connected to time, but tied to our presence in Israel,
to establish a Sanhedrin," Rabbi Meir HaLevi (no relation), one of the 71 members of the
new Sanhedrin, told Israel National Radio's Weekend Edition. "The Rambam [12th century
Torah scholar Maimonides] describes the process exactly in [his seminal work codifying
Jewish Law] the Mishna Torah. When he wrote it there was no Sanhedrin, and he therefore
outlines the steps necessary to establish one. When there is a majority of rabbis, in
Israel, who authorize one person to be a 'samuch,' an authority, he can then reestablish
Those behind the revival of the Sanhedrin stress that the revival of the legal body is
not optional, but mandated by the Torah. "We don't have a choice," says Rabbi Richman, "it
is a religious mandate for us to establish a Sanhedrin."
The Sanhedrin was reestablished through the ordination of a rabbi agreed-upon by the
majority of prominent rabbis in Israel and approved as "fitting to serve" by former Chief
Sefardi Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and leading Ashkenazi Rabbi Shalom Elyashiv. That rabbi, who is
then considered to have received authentic ordination as handed down from Moses, was then
able to give ordination to 70 others, making up the quorum of 71 necessary for the
The rabbis behind the Sanhedrin's reconstitution claim that, like the State of Israel,
the old-new Sanhedrin is a work-in-progress. They see it as a vessel that, once
established, will reach the stature and authority that it once had. "The first members
requested that their names not be published, so as to allow it to grow without public
criticism of individuals," HaLevi said. "We want to give it time to develop and strengthen
the institution, giving a chance for more rabbis to join." He added that each of the
current members of the Sanhedrin has agreed to be a conditional member until a more
knowledgeable rabbi joins, taking his place.
Rabbi Richman, also a member of the Sanhedrin, hopes the body will bring about a
revolution in Jewish jurisprudence. Declining to discuss exactly what issues are on the
Sanhedrin's agenda, Richman said that one of the main long-term goals of the Sanhedrin,
which includes members of Ashkenazi, Sefardi, Hasidic, National-Religious and Haredi
communities, is to reunify Jewish observance in Israel.
Israeli Officials and US: Yesha Headed for Destruction
The US demands that Israel evacuate and abandon all Jewish communities behind the
anti-terror partition fence. So says Elliot Abrams, director of the National Security
Council Middle East section. Abrams gave this short-thrift treatment to the
250,000-strong, 35-year-old Jewish settlement enterprise when speaking to American Jewish
leaders recently. They were visiting Washington when Abrams told them, "It's clear to us
that in the end, the settlements on the other side of the partition will be dismantled."
Abrams, considered a pro-Israel element in the American government, said that the US
has no plans to suffice merely with the uprooting of the Jewish presence in northern
Samaria and Gaza. He explained that the Americans will support Israel's retention of
"settlement blocs" only if Israel uproots everything else in the biblical heartland of
Judea and Samaria.
The five "settlement blocs" in question are Ariel and environs, Gush Etzion, and Kiryat
Arba/Hebron, as well as the city of Maaleh Adumim and the town of Givat Ze'ev. President
Bush has never formally expressed his consent to Israel's demand to retain these
The Prime Minister's Bureau, according to Ma'ariv, seems unfazed by Abrams' remarks.
Even if this is the American stance, a staffer said, "Israel has a different position, and
ours will be the one to determine." This does not jibe, however, with Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon's oft-repeated position that Israeli policy will coordinate with the US.
In fact, there have been indications that the position stated by Abrams is shared
within the Sharon government. Former Herzliya Mayor Eli Landau, a good friend of Sharon,
told Arutz-7 three months ago that Sharon's withdrawal plan "would eventually take Israel
all the way back to the anti-terrorism partition fence."
Intelligence Report: Hizbullah Active in Israel for Four Years
An intelligence report prepared two months ago indicates that the Lebanese terrorist
organization Hizbullah has been active for more than four years in attempts to infiltrate
Israel from within. The report shows that in the wake of Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon
in late May 2000, Hizbullah and Iran realized the "explosive potential" available in the
Israeli-Arab population. Full-fledged citizens with complete mobility throughout the
country, the Arabs of Israel were seen as a perfect way of enhancing Hizbullah's ability
to strike out at Israel. This feeling was magnified in October 2000, just after the
beginning of the Oslo War, when 13 Arabs were killed during several days of anti-Jewish
rioting and violence.
Arutz-7's Haggai Huberman reported that Hizbullah terrorist chieftain Sheikh Nasrallah
made his intentions clear after two car-bomb attempts in one day in September 1999. The
cars exploded within an hour of each other in Haifa and Tiberias, killing only the Arab
perpetrators, though the plan was for dozens of passersby to be murdered. Five
Israeli-Arabs were arrested. Nasrallah praised the Israeli-Arab populace at the time,
saying that these "'sacrifice actions' for the 'sanctification of Allah's name' caused
fear and trembling amidst the Zionist entity, because the perpetrators were Palestinians
whose lands were conquered in 1948."
Hizbullah feels that there are two advantages in utilizing the terrorist services of
Israeli-Arabs. For one thing, their mobility gives them an important advantage in
collecting quality intelligence. In addition, major terror attacks by Israeli citizens
shake Israel's societal and political stability.
Israeli intelligence has it that Hizbullah activates an entire line of collaborators
within Israel, for three purposes: The establishment and expansion of terror cells in
Israel, smuggling of arms and weapons into Israel, and providing logistical and operative
aid to terror groups from within the PA-controlled areas.
With direction and aid from Iran, Hizbullah has been active over the past several years
in finding Israeli-Arabs who wish to participate in anti-Israeli terror activities. Many
Israeli-Arabs have been involved in Hizbullah terror activities over the past few
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