ZAKA Volunteers Get Rabbinic Approval to Enter Temple Mount Compound During Response to Terror Attack
ZAKA emergency responders faced a dilemma on Friday following the shooting attack at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in which two Israeli border policemen were slain.
To assist in the removal of the bodies of the three terrorists who were shot dead at the scene, two ZAKA volunteers had to enter the Temple Mount compound — an act viewed as forbidden by many religious Jews to avoid stepping on the Holy of Holies.
With the approval of the ZAKA Rabbinical Council, the volunteers washed themselves in a mikveh and took their shoes off before accessing the hilltop compound — the former site of the Jewish Temples where the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock are now located.
ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav explained, “This is the greatness of ZAKA — our volunteers treat the deceased regardless of religion, race or nationality. As it is written: Man was created in the image of God. It is not written Jew or Gentile, rather that every man was created in His image.”
“There are incidents, like today, that lead to the absurd situation where we deal with the bodies of the victims and the terrorists, albeit with teeth gritted,” he continued. “In terms of the halacha (Jewish law), the bodies of terrorists and murderers must also be handled with respect and sent for burial. The only difference we make is with the use of black body bags for the murderers, rather than the white ZAKA body bags for the victims.”