What does it even mean to want the Beit Hamikdash rebuilt? I mean seriously, how badly do we yearn for this specifically structured golden temple to be erected in the Old City of Jerusalem and for certain elite Jews to start slaying animals on alters?
I heard a nice parable that helps me grasp this to some extent, but not fully. An example is given of a man who is blind from birth (has never seen before) and is told that he is missing out on this fantastic experience of “sight.” This person cannot really desire sight because he doesn’t know what it is and this experience cannot be described in words. So how can the blind man wish for it? The only way is if he has a trust in the person telling him that sight is magnificent and a belief that it really can be true.
I like to believe that I have a trust in Hashem and His Torah and I understand that what makes redemption special is something I cannot understand or grasp. It is not simply a ritualistic reality but something deeper and totally incomprehensible. I get that.
Nonetheless, throughout my life I’ve noticed a pattern in my feelings of “wanting” redemption. Whenever I was happy and busy and enjoying where I was at, I really didn’t want this Mashiach dude to get in the way and disturb my routine. (I specifically remember right before my Bat Mitzvah worrying that if Mashiach would come, my party would get canceled. And I had worked so hard to prepare!) Only during times in which I felt more unproductive and didn’t have a schedule did I declare, “Okay God, do your thing. I have nothing better going on and your redemption wouldn’t be an interruption or inconvenience. So now is good – You have my approval.”
I don’t need to feel guilty because I am not expected to want something I don’t know! However, how can I achieve בכל יום אחכה לו – (waiting for redemption every day)? I try to live a life full of meaning but I don’t want an interruption in my quest for good. I’m not flexible enough to be okay with redemption interrupting my routine.
I like to believe that redemption is how the Rambam sees it. That nothing will change but שיעבוד מלכויות (oppression from the enemy) this way we won’t have wars to fight and we could focus more on the good we are doing.
I don’t know if there’s a conclusion to this. All I know is that it is simply about believing that what we pray for is something that is so special that only when we get it will we be able to appreciate how much we were missing.
Hoping for some clarity in the near future.