Every feeling heart, every believing Jew, is pained over the Churban, the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash.
Yet the truth is, sometimes it’s hard; hard to imagine a Beit HaMikdash centered world,
shard to truly feel that pain, hard to pray from the depths of our hearts.
Of Pain and Dream
And so we need to try and understand what once was, and what we are so sorely lacking.
Put simply: The Beit HaMikdash is the place—the means—through which we vividly experienced and felt a deep intimacy with our Creator; we felt deep kedusha, sanctity, and more than anything else, love. Today, however, that can all seem so very theoretical. It’s hard to grasp. It’s a reality that seems so distant, so detached from the immediacy of our daily lives.
It’s Who We Are
Profound depth and love and closeness to God is who we are.
It’s our essence. It’s the unique bond of God and Am Yisrael, us, Am Segula.
If somehow we could really see that, really feel it, then we would be who we are. A people drawn to God; to holiness, to goodness, to the joy of being alive, and to one another, like the family that we are. We would be thirsty for the Infinite Light that animates the life of Israel. And the whole world would be lifted in our spiritual wake, and inspired—
“And it will be in the end of days (achrit hayamim) that the mountain of the Temple of God will stand firm as the most prominent of mountains, and it will tower over the hills, and nations will steam to it … From Zion will come forth the teachings of the Torah, the word of God from Jerusalem. They will beat their swords into plowshares … nation will not lift sword against nation, and they will no longer study war … ” Micah, 4:1-8
A world without war.
A world without jealousy and strife and hatred and evil.
Just imagine the sweetness of a world where everyone felt a closeness and a caring.
Imagine a world where cars and homes were left unlocked without a worry in the world. A world where honesty and integrity reigned supreme. Where outer peace, and inner peace, mingled as one. Where harmony existed between all peoples, and within all people. Where prophets walked amongst us, and the presence of God filled our lives with joy.
“And we will be like dreamers.”
Yes. We must dream and yearn and long and imagine. Dream of a whole other reality. An entirely different world. The world of our dreams …
A world where families victimized by terror are reunited with their loved ones.
A world where we could meet the holy men and women of eras gone by.
Yes. We need to suspend any doubts, and to embrace our biggest dreams. The dreams of ages of Jews. The dreams of generations. The dreams of a world transformed, and elevated.
Unfettered dreams that open up a window to the future, and connect our shattered today to a shleimut, a repaired wholeness of tomorrow.
These dreams contain a dynamic, creative energy.
They summon redemption from the foggy mist of the future into the very midst of the present. They awaken what is dormant within us and around us.
They stir redemptive forces, and the deepest of prayers.
Our dreams and longings and prayers can bridge past, present, and future.
Our dreams simultaneously set our souls ablaze with what can be, and what isn’t. Suddenly we feel what’s missing like never before, and a longing: Like never before. For Beit HaMikdash, and geula shleima.
Suddenly we feel the ache of our profound estrangement from one another. Our estrangement from kedusha, from a far higher reality and potential for Am Yisroel, and for all people, everywhere.
And we long …
For everything Yerusholayim can be: Leviim singing, the overflowing simcha of the nation sharing the festivals together, and the Shechina! The Shechina around us and within us.
Translated and adapted by Shimon Apisdorf
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