Great insights from Hakhel re Rav Schwab on building Yerushalayim!
Special Note Five: In his explanation of the Siddur (in the monumental work HaRav Schwab on Prayer, published by Artscroll), HaRav Schwab, Z’tl, asks why the brocha of “VeLirushalayim Ircha” begins with a Vav (“And”). What is the meaning of “And” here--to what is the beginning of the bracha connecting? HaRav Schwab suggests that the Vav alludes to the Yerushalayim Shel Ma’alah, where thousands, and perhaps millions, of Tzadikim who hoped and prayed for the rebuilding of Yerushalayim over the past 2,000 years now reside. When the time comes for Yerushalayim to be rebuilt, these neshamos will experience it B’shamayim together with the people who are physically experiencing the rebuilding here on earth. Moreover, HaRav Schwab teaches, although we do not really understand what it means at this time, Chazal teach that Hashem will return to the Yerushalayim Shel Ma’alah only after He has returned to the Yerushalayim Shel Matah, for He has been “absent” from the Yerushalayim Shel Ma’alah since the Churban, as well. We are thus mispallel for Hashem to return to both cities of Yerushalayim.
HaRav Schwab concludes his explanation of the Brocha with the following comforting words:
“Just as a deep foundation must be placed in the ground before a very large structure can rise, so, too, have the historical events of the Galus been the foundation for the rebuilding of the future Yerushalayim. Our entire Galus experience--and it is longer than we have hoped and thought it would be--is the deep, dark, underground pit into which the foundation of the future city ofYerushalayim is being placed. This can be compared to a construction site of a large building, which is enclosed by a wall. If a man manages to peek behind that wall, all he will see is a huge hole in the ground for the foundation. The higher the planned structure, the deeper the foundation must be. However, eventually the structure will begin rising above the wall until it reaches its completion. Similarly, HaKadosh Baruch Hu, the Boneh Yerushalayim, has been digging the foundations of the future Yerushalayim ever since the Churban Bais HaMikdash, and the rebuilding process has never ceased throughout the Galus. At the time of Bi’as HaMoshiach, the structure will be completed.” May it be speedily and in our days!