Going on Har Habayit

From Halachipedia
This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.
  1. It is forbidden to walk on Har Habayit today.[1] The Rambam Bet Habechira 6:14-16 holds that the place of the Bet Hamikdash retains its kedusha even today and walking in the confines of the Azara would be a sin punishable with karet.[2]
  2. Going in helicopter or airplane over Har Habayit is forbidden as well.[3]
  3. It is forbidden to ask a not religious Jew or non-Jew to go onto the place of the Bet Hamikdash on Har Habayit today.[4]
  4. Anyone who needs to walk on Har Habayit such as a soldier may not walk with leather shoes but it is permitted with non-leather shoes.[5]

Building the Bet Hamikdash

  1. There is a biblical mitzvah at all times to build a house for Hashem, the Bet Hamikdash.[6] The process to build it can only be started with the instructions from a Navi.[7]
  2. The mitzvah applies to men and women.[8] See Mitzvot Aseh SheHazman Grama for the explanation by the Turei Even and Minchat Elazar.
  3. It applies only by day and not at night. It is permitted to build the vessels of the Bet Hmikdash at night.[9]
  4. There is a mitzvah to strengthen and aggrandize the Bet Hamikdash according to our abilities.[10]


  1. Rav Hershel Schachter (Interview with Rav Schachter on JewishPress.com, Shevat 30 5778) stated that it is forbidden to go on Har Habayit and one shouldn't deviate from what the Rabbanut established.
  2. Masa Ovadia pp. 340-50 rules like the Rambam. He cites Smag Asin 163, Sefer Hatrumah Hilchot Eretz Yisrael, Rash Sheviti 6:1, Yereyim 277, Sefer Hachinuch 362-3, Rashbetz 3:201, and Radvaz on Rambam who agree with the Rambam. Magen Avraham 561:2 is strict for the Rambam. Meiri Shevuot 16a agrees with the Raavad and think that the kedusha of the Bet Hamikdash was extinguished with its destruction. Masa Ovadia cites the Likutei Halachot Zevachim ch. 13, Ridvaz teshuva 38, and Rav Kook (Mishpat Kohen 96) who are strict for the Rambam.
  3. Masa Ovadia p. 356 based on Shevuot 17a and Rambam Shegagot 11:4 whether the airspace of the azarah has the kedusha of the azarah is an unresolved question. He entertains the possiblity of permitting it because of a safek safeka, safek that the halacha follows the Raavad that there isn't kedusha to Har Habayit today and safek that the airspace of the azarah doesn't have kedusha. He rejects this since the opinion of the Raavad was outvoted.
  4. Masa Ovadia p. 358 explains that even though non-Jews have no prohibition to go into the Bet Hamikdash tameh, we have a mitzvah to prevent someone tameh or non-Jew from entering. He supports this from the Sdei Chemed (Vav 26:33). The point regarding the not religious Jew is made by the Derech Hakodesh cited by Masa Ovadia.
  5. R' Tukachinsky in Ir Hakodesh Vehamikdash v. 4 p. 28-9 proves from the Gemara Yevamot 102b established that the definition of a shoe for walking on Har Habayit depends on a shoe for Yom Kippur. Since we hold only leather shoes are considered shoes for Yom Kippur the same is true of walking on Har Habayit. Therefore, it is permitted to walk on Har Habayit with non-leather shoes. Rav Hershel Schachter (Brachot Shiur 115 min 18) agreed that it is permitted to walk on Har Habayit with non-leather shoes even though it isn't a simple question. He quoted Rav Elyashiv as holding that opinion.
  6. Rambam Bet Habechira 1:1
  7. Zevachim 62a, Mikdash Dovid Kodshim 1:1
  8. Rambam Bet Habechira 1:12
  9. Aruch Lener Sukkah 41a s.v tos s.v. iy nami, Mikdash Dovid Kodshim 1:1, Shemuot Chaim fnt. to Mikdash Dovid citing Rav Yerucham Fisher Perlow v. 1 p. 111 and Maharsham Sukkah 41a, v. 1 p. 111 as well as Rabbi Akiva Eiger
  10. Rambam Bet Habechira 1:11 based on Ezra 9:9