For possibly the first time in over 1,930 years, a Jewish wedding ceremony of sorts was held on the Temple Mount this afternoon. The groom, from a Jewish town in eastern Judea, placed a ring on his young bride's finger in front of a group of friends, and then recited the traditional blessing on the wine. Muslim Waqf officials, usually very vehement about not allowing Jewish prayers to be said at the site, sufficed with a weak protest. The couple's friends accompanied the new family with singing and dancing.
An aura of mystery surrounded the event. Students at the groom's yeshiva refused to answer questions about the ceremony - though it is known that a "follow-up" real wedding ceremony will be held this evening.
It is known that in the times of King Solomon, there was a gate called the Grooms' Gate - but this was a place for grooms to come and receive a blessing before or after their wedding. More recently, Noam and Elisheva Federman of Hevron were married just outside the Temple Mount, at the Mughrabim Gate entrance.
(IsraelNN.com) Netaya Fruman, the son of Rabbi Menachem Fruman, the rabbi of the Gush Etzion community of Tekoa, was married today on the Temple Mount.
Rabbi Fruman, his son and daughter-in-law went on the Mount with the group of Jewish visitors today during an authorized visit to the holy site. In compliance with the request of the bridegroom, Rabbi Fruman agreed to conduct the Kiddushin wedding ceremony on the holy site, even though he personally is opposed to Jews visiting the location of the Holy Temples since were are all in a state of spiritual impurity.
The actual modified chuppah and wedding feast are taking place in Tekoa at this time. The newlyweds will be settling down in nearby Bat Ayin.
Now that it's over, the details can be told. Netayah and Techiyah Fruman were married yesterday on the Temple Mount - and later in the evening held a "do-over" wedding ceremony with hundreds of guests in Jerusalem. A participant in both ceremonies told Arutz-7 this morning what happened:
"We walked up to the Temple Mount in a group of about 15, including the groom's parents, Rabbi and Mrs. Menachem Fruman of Tekoa, and Rabbi Daniel Shilat. Rabbi Shilat guided us; he is very stringent on where one is permitted to walk on the Temple Mount, and so from the Mughrabim Gate [adjacent to and above the Western Wall Plaza] we walked basically straight; he permits turning left only at the very end.
"Towards the end [of that straight walk], while one of our number was giving a 'lecture' as a way of diverting attention, the rest of us were watching a very special ceremony: Netayah took out a ring, placed it on Techiya's finger, and said, 'Harei at mekudeshet...' - You are betrothed to me. He himself recited the blessing over the wine - grape juice, actually, which he brought in a bottle and poured into a cup - as well as the wedding blessing of "sanctity and morality" traditionally recited under the wedding canopy. It was truly a very moving event...
"The Waqf people were a little suspicious, but they didn't quite get it... We then walked back towards the Mughrabim Gate, turned right, and walked very close to and along the Western Wall from behind, until the Chain Gate, where we exited - right into a larger group of people who were waiting for us there, and we all broke out into song: "It will yet again be heard... in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem... the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride..." [Jer. 33, 10-11]."
"Later on in the evening," the eyewitness continued, "a 'regular' wedding was held, with a canopy and all - with the only difference being that the wedding blessing was recited by the rabbi without G-d's Name. This was done in accordance with the Halakhic [Jewish legal] ruling that the ceremony is very important, and should be done in public even without the full blessings... Everyone was aware that the 'kiddushin' had been effected before, on the Temple Mount... Happiness and joy abounded."
Moslem Waqf officials said that there was no wedding on the Temple Mount yesterday, but that if there was, "this will storm the entire world, and the Jewish extremist government will bear the responsibility for this grave act, if it happened."
Rabbi Y. Elboim of Jerusalem, a Temple Mount activist since the Six Day War, spoke to Arutz-7 last night about the happy event:
"I would like to wish Mazel Tov and congratulations to Rabbi Fruman and his wife and the couple for making history in this way. They are going in the path of all [sic] the Yesha Rabbis who come to the Temple Mount, with their congregations... The Talmud teaches that there is a connection between weddings, joy of the heart, and the rebuilding of the Temple, thus that they are all connected... I don't know if in the past they used to have weddings on the Temple Mount, but certainly today when this holy site is abandoned, it's a very good sign...
"I think it is a disgrace that we have to worry about what the Moslem Waqf will say; for 40 years they have been destroying all remnants of Jewish connection to the Holy Temple on the site, with the help of the closed-eye policy of the Jewish government... On the other hand, this past year  has probably seen more Jews ascending to the Mount in holiness and purity, after having gone to the mikveh [ritual bath] and with all the precautions, than have gone up in all the previous years since the boast that 'the Temple Mount is in our hands' [in 1967]..."
Rabbi Elboim had mixed words to say about the previous Public Security Minister, Tzachi HaNegbi: "He was the one who opened the Temple Mount gates to Jews, but in the end of his term he 'blackened our faces' by accusing us of possibly conspiring to do something violent, even though for a full year so many Jews visited the site and followed all police instructions like sheep - and then suddenly he himself was forced to leave his position with a 'blackened face' [over the issue of political appointments]; the two are apparently connected...
"But unfortunately, his words have had some effect, because the police have started filming us and asking for identity cards; this is very discriminatory and unpleasant.
"And so, we have ups and downs - but one thing that goes up and does not go down is the warm Jewish connection to the Temple Mount; the government has its quirks, but thank G-d the People of Israel are very connected. Almost every day, for instance, young brides or grooms on the day of their wedding come to visit the Temple Mount. This was the custom during the time of the Second Temple, as well: brides and grooms would come to the Temple for the people to bless them..."
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