save israel

P.O. Box 1901
Bensalem, PA 19020
  Dr. Israel Eldad

Principles for a Hebrew Liberation Movement
by Dr. Eldad

Transcripts of Dr. Israel Eldad on IDF Radio

Excerpts from Dr. Israel Eldad's Op-Ed Column

Collection from Zote Ha'aretz
by Dr. Eldad

Memorial for Fighters for the Freedom of Israel
by Dr. Eldad

What We Need Is A King
by Dr. Eldad

You Should Be Ashamed!
by Dr. Eldad

Jabotinsky Distorted
by Dr. Eldad

The Fifth of Iyar
by Dr. Eldad

Temple Mount in Ruins
by Dr. Eldad

Jerusalem: The City of Faith
by Dr. Eldad

The Challenge of Jerusalem
by Dr. Eldad

Between Giving the Torah and Receiving It
by Dr. Eldad

The Jewish Defense League of Shushan Habira
by Dr. Eldad

An Open and Distressed Letter to Menachem Begin
by Dr. Eldad

Elnakam: Story of a Fighter for the Freedom of Israel
by Dr. Eldad

The Israel Restraint Forces
by Dr. Eldad

The Real-Politik of Our Sages
by Dr. Eldad

Jerusalem: A Burning Issue Trial of Faith
by Dr. Eldad

A New Type of Jew
by Dr. Eldad

Foundation Stones
by Dr. Eldad

Dr. Eldad & the Supreme Court of Israel
Selected Judgments

Biography: Dr. Israel Eldad
by Chaim Yerushalmi

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Israel Eldad's book The Challenge Of Jerusalem. Dr. Eldad was one of the three leaders of the Lechi after the assassination of Avraham Stern. Dr. Eldad died in 1996.

On the Temple Mount and below it, there occurred one of the most exciting and odd events. General Motti Gur, the conqueror of the Temple Mount, reports: "The Mountain is in our hands." The Chief Rabbi of the Israeli Defense Forces (Rabbi Shlomo Goren), gripped by enormous emotion, blows the shofar at the Western Wall. With fluttering heart, the Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol, speaking from the heart of the entire nation, pronounces the "shehechianu" blessing. Shehechianu - "Who kept us alive and sustained us" - to stand again before the Wall. The Wailing Wall - a memorial of the destruction. An Israeli soldier pressed against the Wall and bathed in tears became the symbol of victory.

What is going on here? At the Wall? Why not on the Temple Mount? Who at that time thought of Halachic restrictions? Certainly not Gur and Eshkol and the weeping soldier and those masses that began to flow to the Wall. It was not Halachah that prevented them from ascending and celebrating on the Mount. Two thousand years of EXILE channeled them and us and the river of their - our - stormy emotion to the Wailing Wall, a truly surrealistic spectacle. Here was rationality inside the irrationality of the miraculous victory. A forced emancipational Zionism overcame a redemptional-historical Zionism.

The soldiers of Tzahal break through the Lion's Gate, only now giving to the gate's name its true meaning. They break into the Temple square. With their commanders, they storm its length and diagonally cross its wonderful and great expanse. And that search for the way to the "Wailing Wall"...They ask the Arabs: How does one go down to the Wall?..The Arabs are scared and show them the way, the steep steps to the "Mughrabi Quarter," and the liberators descend to the narrow lane. These soldiers, conquerors of the Temple Mount, as if possessed by a dybbuk , run down to the Wailing Wall, to the Wall of Tears and cling to it in glowing passion and deeply moving tears. This is the most dramatic and most photographed scene of the Six Day War, and from it a tremor spreads through the people and the entire land, through the towns and villages and to the fronts still bathed in fire. We have returned to the Kotel !

Had we broken through the Jaffa Gate or the Zion Gate, had we reached the Kotel on the way to the liberation of the Temple Mount, then one might understand, sure it's natural. But no. The Mount was conquered first. We were on the Temple Mount, and spontaneously, without orders from superiors without thinking or planning--we went down to the Wall.

And this Wall is not even a wall of the Temple, but part if the wall with which Herod surrounded it. Its entire sanctity derives from prohibitions forced on us by foreign usurpers, preventing us from ascending the Mount. It is a reminder, a memorial, a substitute. Hence it is a Wailing Wall, for it reminds us only of the destruction, of the disgrace if being below, with our enemies on top. For 2,000 years this fabulous mountain waited for its Jewish liberators ...finally they come to it, but what is happening here?...Why do they run down to the Wall? Why, holding, the genuine thing, do they want the substitute?

And so we have come to the restoration of the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. The ears cannot grasp what the mouth is saying. "There is a 'Jewish Quarter'" in Jerusalem. There is an Armenian Quarter, an Arab Quarter, in the midst of Jerusalem. In Prague--yes, in New York--yes, but in Jerusalem? A Jewish Quarter?

But to return the main point: The Temple Mount was conquered and not liberated. We are down below and our enemies sit above as if we are not living in the State of Israel, as if we are not in charge in the age of Tzahal . We deal with the recidivism of an exilic soul. Zionism had two sources: a positive root in the sovereign will to redemption, to return, to renew our days as of old, and a second, negative root, in escape from oppression, in the despair of emancipation. It is this second one that won. For truly Zionism was forced on us. Even this miraculous war, with its liberation of Jerusalem, was forced on us to our shame.

And so, to the extent that memories and emotions played a role--and they certainly did--they were memories and emotions that went as far as the Wall of Teras. They did not go higher than that Wall, not to the establishment if decisive facts in Jewish redemptive history. The Mount was liberated--and abandoned.

An intimidated, wavering rabbinate shaped by exilic traditionalism joined hands with a political establishment on which the entire issue had been forced, and who could not forget that its main demand had always been free access to the Wailing Wall. Behold, this was now achieved.

There was yet another factor. Was it not clear, as a matter if course, that should the city fall into the hands of Jews --even if the mosques on the Temple Mount should survive the battles--that the Temple Mount itself appropriated and removed from the control of the political-religious-nationalist Waqf, with its incitement to kill the Jews?

Would one not expect that Jews, following both Halachic prescriptions and their generations of longing, renew their prayers on the Mount? Could anything be more natural? After all the Hasmoneans and the Zealots fought for the Temple Mount, not for the Wall.

But no: the Jews abandon the Mount and go down to the Wailing Wall. At that moment, it dawned upon the Muslim Arabs that the battle might be over, but the war was not. There was no decision, and the heart of El Quds remained in their hands.