I have to admit that this year my head wasn’t in the game during these nine days, as I was busy trying to keep my own house standing this summer and hadn’t enough time give the proper attention and contemplation to the house of G-d being destroyed 2,000 years ago.
But thanks to social media and my addiction to it, I was presented with plenty of posts and articles that quickly turned my attention to this somber time of year.
In a comment on one of the blog posts that I read, someone posed the question, “What do we miss from the Temple?”
I believe the answer is not so much what we miss but what we can expect when the Temple is rebuilt.
I do not believe that a third Temple will be run by leadership akin to the likes of our current government and the Rabbanut as it exists today. This very well could be the case if we were to build the Temple right now, but we won’t. G-d will not permit us.
The first two Temples were destroyed because we failed miserably. G-d gave us two chances and we blew it. He won’t do that again. The third Temple will be the final Temple and it will be everlasting. It must be built on the firmest of foundations with the strongest morals and principles behind it. It will not be built catering to one faction or the other. It will not be a place of tension and feuding. It must be a place where not only can all Jews freely flock but all nations of the world as well. We will ALL bring our own unique voices to declare the Name of G-d as One.
There is much more to the temple than the structural building and ceremonial activities that are to take place therein. The Temple is supposed to be a place where peace and prosperity will flow forth to the rest of the world; it cannot, by definition, be the epicenter of controversy.
What we should be doing is strategizing on ways to work together. The Temple will not stand now, or ever if we don’t have the respect and dignity as a foundation for it rest on. We must create the perfect climate that will foster innovation and advancement for all mankind acknowledging that we need one another to achieve it.
This is the key to getting close to G-d.
This is why pilgrimages are made to this central location. It necessitates travel, lodging, and commerce on the way up to the Temple allowing us to interact and bond with one another before we can serve G-d. This activity leads to an awareness that only together can we truly be whole in our service to the Creator, which in turn brings G-d’s presence closer.
So even if it means there will be a system in place where Kohanim, Leviim, Yisraelim, women, and children will have different jobs, purposes, and functions and even if it means the menu does not cater specifically to my liking and even if it means I can’t do as I please when I please, I can honestly say with a full heart that I happily accept these conditions for the sake of unity, peace, prosperity and the acknowledgement of One True G-d that everyone can relate to.
May this happen speedily in our days.