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Synagogue on Temple Mount

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Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff

Elul 6, 5768
Question
It has been proposed that a synagogue be built on the Temple Mount. In Parashas Shoftim, 17:21 it is stated: “You shall not plant for yourself a tree for idol worship, any tree, near the Alter of Hashem, your God, that you shall make for yourself.” Rashi (Saperstein Edition) states that this is “a negative commandment for one who plants a tree and one who builds a house on the Temple Mount”. R’ Herczeg explains that “house” means any wooden structure and that Rashi’s comment about houses is derived from the apparently superfluous ."כל" He also references Amar N’kei and Kitzur Mizrachi. Does “house” include structures built of materials other than wood? Does “house” include synagogues? Can a synagogue (of whatever material) be built on the Temple Mount in the areas to which we are permitted to ascend?
Answer
The word "house" does not include structures built of materials other than wood Regarding the synagogues, If made of wood, it is prohibited. When Moshiach returns, we will have Batei Keneset on Har Habayit built out of other materials. Regarding Har Habayit today, I am opposed to ascending the Har Habayit because many people ascend as a result who do not do so in accordance with Halacha. These people would never have violated Halacha if others would not go.
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