According to the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs: “In banning access to the Temple Mount, the chief rabbis were following Maimonides’ view that the Shechinah (Divine Presence) is still present at the spot of the Temple.
“Entry to it is forbidden and punishable with kareth (death by heavenly decree), given that Jews are in a state of ritual uncleanliness today in the absence of a red heifer, the ashes of which are required for the purifying process.”
The majority of Orthodox Jews have respected the Rabbinate’s ban and, though there have been numerous exceptions over the centuries, for the most part, Jewish prayer has been isolated to the Western Wall.
When did the current debate over Jewish worship begin?
In 1967, Israel seized the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordan, including the holy sites, and has occupied it ever since. The management of the Islamic sites was left in the hands of the
— source middleeasteye.net | Alex MacDonald | 4 Jan 2023