Monday, July 19, 2010

Finishing the Rebuilding

Some thoughts on rebuilding from today's Darke Abotenu email:

Vayomer Yehuda - e"H Ribi Yehuda Cabessa s"t
Heleq 3, p. 135-136
Translated by Shai Cabessa s"t

The Talmud Yerushalmi (Yoma 1:1) says that a generation in which the Bet haMiqdash was not built, is as if it was destroyed in its days. This means that even if the Bet haMiqdash was standing in that generation, it would have been destroyed.

However, reading this a person might ask himself a very important question: Is our generation really greater then all those passed generations? If all the Tanaim, Amoraim and Rishonim were not able to bring Mashiah then how are we, in such a low generation, expected to do so? What are we able to do that all the great Sadiqim (Sages) throughout the ages have not already done?

To answer this we must first understand something else our Hakhamim (Sages) have taught us. The Midrash Raba (Ekha 1:41) says that when Titus destroyed the Bet haMiqdash a Voice from heaven said, "Rasha' ben Rasha', you have nothing to be proud of. You have only crushed flour which was already ground up." On a simple level this means that if not for Hashem's decision that the Bet haMiqdash should be destroyed then Titus would not have had the power to do so; therefore, it is not a such great accomplishment to destroy the Bet haMiqdash after Hashem had already decided that it should be so.

On a deeper level, it is explained in the Kitvé Ramhal that only Bené Yisrael have the capability to affect the spiritual worlds through their actions. The Nations' actions, however, can only affect the physical world. Only once the source of something in the spiritual world is destroyed, do the Nations have the power to destroy it in the physical world.

This is what our Sages meant by "you have crushed ground flour." Hashem was telling Titus that the spiritual Bet haMiqdash was already destroyed and only because of that was he able to destroy the physical Bet haMiqdash.

To take this further, everything we see in this world is only a sign that there still is a spiritual source for it in the spiritual worlds. Once the spiritual source is removed, the thing has to be destroyed in this world as well. This is just as our Sages teach us (Bereshit Raba 10:6) "There is not a blade of grass in this world that does not have an angel appointed over it to tell it to grow." This refers to the spiritual source of even a seemingly insignificant blade of grass, how much more so everything else in this world.

Based on the above, we understand that the only way to build the Bet haMiqdash in our world is to first build it in the spiritual world. With all the Tora and Misvot that we accomplish in this world, we are actually building the Third Bet haMiqdash on high.

Now that this is known to us, what we asked before is not a question anymore. Of course all the great Sadiqim of past generations have already built a tremendous part of the Bet haMiqdash in the spiritual world. The only thing left for us to do is the finishing touches here and there so that the Bet haMiqdash can come down complete in its glory. Therefore, if we all strengthen ourselves to make Teshuva (repentence), to learn a little bit more Tora everyday, and to do just a few more acts of loving kindness, we will surely finish up the Bet haMiqdash on high and merit to see it rebuilt in our physical world speedily in our days, Amen!

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