Despite the limitations imposed by police, many Jews visited the Temple Mount – the holiest site in Judaism – for Lag B'Omer on Thursday, and among them were several grooms who are to be married Thursday night.
The weddings come at the end of the period between Pesach (Passover) and Lag B'Omer, during which there is an air of mourning and weddings are not held according to Jewish tradition.
The Joint HQ of Temple Organizations released video footage and pictures of the new grooms at the holy site; in the video in Hebrew, the groom Michael Basus visits the site, and a talk on Judaism and Torah is held at the location of the ancient Grooms and Mourners Gate of the Temple.
It concludes with the cameraman subtly saying the traditional line said after Torah study and leading into the prayer service; subtly, given that prayer has been forbidden at the site by the Jordanian Waqf that maintains de facto control of the Mount.
The Joint HQ of Temple Mount Organizations noted that having grooms visit the Temple Mount in order to be blessed is an ancient Jewish tradition dating back to the days of the First Temple, which was built by King Solomon roughly 3,000 years ago.
The Talmud teaches that Solomon built two gates at the Temple Mount, one for grooms and one for mourners. On Shabbat, residents of Jerusalem would sit between the gates, comforting the mourners and congratulating the grooms. The gates are said to stand at the site of what is currently known as the Gate of Mercy.
As has become sadly common, the Joint HQ reports that Muslim visitors to the site harassed and insulted the Jews who ascended to the Temple Mount.
It added that large police forces were deployed to separate the two groups, although the police didn't distance the Muslim offenders who harassed the Jewish visitors from the site.