A Time to Build

It's time to stop crying

It is important to mourn in order to feel the experience of the loss of the First Temple, but it is impossible to continue mourning as before. We are in a generation of correction, of doing, of building. There are two main things that every Jew can do, to complete the circle of history that we are privileged to live in

Tisha B'Av at the Western Wall (Photo: Mendy Hechtman/Flash90)

On one hand, in order to connect to the idea of this day, each one strives to mourn exactly as their ancestors mourned since the destruction of the Temple, with the precise melodies and specific customs.

However, our effort to preserve the tradition of mourning almost obscures from our synagogue the simple fact that we are precisely in the generation of rectification, and all the conditions for building the renewed Temple have already matured, just recently.

Adam the first man, the three patriarchs, Moshe Rabeinu, Yehoshua Bin Nun, Saul and David, all of them were the preparation for the kingdom of Solomon, with the focal point being the Temple, which began to take shape as the center of human faith.

But precisely then, when the people of Israel reached their peak, everything shattered. 2445 years ago, the Kingdom of the House of David was destroyed, and since then, we have not fully recovered.

We received everything from above; we did not achieve our accomplishments on our own. Therefore, we couldn't succeed. We had to go into exile, where we lost everything, in order to build the Oral Torah, which constructs us step by step.

After the development of the Oral Torah, we naturally returned to our land, built it for 75 years, and now, exactly on the ninth of Av, 5783, we are on the verge of returning to the Kingdom of the House of David with the vaccine given to us by the exile.

We are vaccinated against the sins of our ancestors, and therefore, we are confident that this time we will succeed. We only need to restore the past, renew our days as they once were.

Music murmurs an image. Lamentation after lamentation, chorus after chorus, and the mourner flies back in time through the tunnel to the First Temple. He feels the power of the kingdom and, within that, the great explosion and the historical rupture.

It is important to mourn in order to feel the loss of the Jews of the First Temple, but we cannot continue mourning as before. We are in a generation of rectification, of action, of building. There are two central things that every Jew can do to complete the cycle of history in which we have the privilege to live.

The first thing is to study the halachot (Jewish laws). In our generation, the laws of Shabbat and blessings are not enough; we also need to delve into the laws of the Temple service and purification. Daily Mishnah in the laws of purity, one Halacha from the Rambam's Mishneh Torah of "Beit HaBechirah" (The Chosen House). Little by little, every day. There is no better way to understand what is lacking and to progress towards it than studying the laws of the Temple service and purification. Every yeshiva and community can ensure a weekly class on these subjects, all year round, and not just during The Nine Days.

The second issue is to remove the obstacle that blocks us. It is not for naught that the Almighty placed the obstacle of Muslim opposition on the path to rebuilding the Temple. Thus, He reminds us that the Temple is not intended for ourselves alone but for all of humanity. Only if we can explain to ourselves, to the Israeli society, to the Western-Christian world, and to the Eastern-Muslim world that our intention is to benefit all of humanity, and for this purpose, we need the Temple, can we progress toward it. Without universal dialogue, we will be forced to wait for a Temple that descends from heaven.

Everyone can advance this conversation. Start with understanding the role of the people of Israel in the world, continue with an endless dialogue with anyone possible, and conclude with heartfelt pleas to the rabbis of Israel to address the nations of the world on behalf of the Jewish people, speaking as the prophets of the Tanach spoke, with a historical consciousness full of strength and inspiration.

In the morning, we weep to experience the loss, and at noon, we begin to think about how in the coming year, we will take another step towards repair and building, so that our children will no longer have to cry.

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