Welcome to The Times of Israel’s Daily Briefing, your 15-minute audio update on what’s happening in Israel, the Middle East, and the Jewish world, from Sunday through Thursday.
Today’s panel comprises editor David Horovitz and senior analyst Haviv Rettig Gur, as well as host Amanda Borschel-Dan.
Today is Tisha B’Av, which marks the destruction of both the First and Second Temples and many other tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people over the millennia. We center our discussion on a new Channel 12 television eye-witness report of Jews openly praying on the Temple Mount — the holiest site in Judaism — while police look on. How is this blatant transgression of the 1967 status quo a reflection of Israeli society?
To begin the commemoration of Tisha B’Av Saturday night, the Reform and Conservative movements conducted a traditional reading of the Book of Lamentations at Ezrat Yisrael, the Robinson’s Arch pluralistic prayer platform, south of the Western Wall pavilion. Several hundred Orthodox youth brought a mechitza (gender divider) and disrupted the prayer. Why is this so contentious on this particular holiday?
And finally, we discuss the Temple Mount Sifting Project, which attempts to salvage precious artifacts from tonnes of earth that were unceremoniously dumped from the Temple Mount during the illegal construction of an underground mosque in the late 1990s. Hear about what are some of its most important scientific contributions.