What we often ignored

Friday, 1 August, 2014 - 3:40 am

There is something that is often ignored when we speak about the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, theTemple. We talk about the destruction, we mourn over the Beit Hamikdash, and on this coming Tuesday, on Tisha B’av, if, G-d forbid, the Mashiach hasn’t come yet, we will also fast for 24 hours in memory of that destruction. But there is another great thing that happened in those moments when Jerusalem was being destroyed and the Beit Hamikdash was going up in flames: It was precisely at that point that the process of constructing the next Temple, the Third Temple, which will be built when Mashiach comes (speedily in our days) – began.

“A lion came in the time of the lion and destroyed the Ariel (another name for a lion), so that a lion will come in the zodiac sign of the lion and build the Ariel.” That is the way the Midrash describes the destruction.

Translation: The enemy – the lion, came in the month of Av – which has the zodiac sign of the lion, and destroyed the Beit Mikdash (known also as Ariel – a lion), so that Hashem – the Lion – should come during the zodiac sign of the lion and build the lion.

Notice the “so that”: the goal of the destruction, the burning and the devastation is… to build! Just like when someone knocks down a small house so that he can build a nice big and new building in its place.

The Halacha defines this as “demolishing for the purpose of building.” In the laws of Shabbat, someone who breaks an object is exempt from punishment; but someone who breaks in order to build is guilty and is punished. Why? It’s extremely simple. In breaking in order to build, the current breaking is part and parcel of the future building, since it is the first stage of the building, and anyone who builds on Shabbat is guilty of desecrating it.

So when we sit on the ground on Monday night – of course, only if, G-d forbid, Mashiach hasn’t come yet – and mourn the destruction, let us not forget that the painful destruction is the precursor to the rebuilding.

That is how the Rebbe viewed the destruction, and that is what he taught us; for if one can see the good and the positive and be optimistic and happy, why be anything else?

All we have to do is lift up our heads, open our eyes and our heart, and connect to the true reality. That is called awareness.


May we have a Shabbat of Peace!


Zalmen Wishedski


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