Terumah: Who Will Build the Third Beis Hamikdash?




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    Terumah: Who Will Build the Third Beis Hamikdash?

    This week we learn the commandment of building a ‘holy’ house (Mikdash) for G-d. This is one of the most important commands in The Book and one of the first accomplishments of Moshiach will be to build a Holy Temple in Jerusalem to which he will gather all the Jews etc. (see Rambam Hil. Melachim 11:1) just as Moses did… Read the full Dvar Torah by Rabbi Tuvia Bolton • Full Article

    By Rabbi Tuvia Bolton

    This week we learn the commandment of building a ‘holy’ house (Mikdash) for G-d. This is one of the most important commands in The Book and one of the first accomplishments of Moshiach will be to build a Holy Temple in Jerusalem to which he will gather all the Jews etc. (See Rambam Hil. Melachim 11:1) just as Moses did.

    But according to Jewish tradition the Third Holy Temple will be built by G-d Himself. (The Babylonians destroyed the first and the Romans the second). As the Torah clearly states, “The Temple of G_d will be established by Your (G-d’s) hands” (Ex. 15:17).

    And on the other hand, the Torah hints here that EVERY JEW must make themselves into a Holy Temple; when G-d commanded Moses to tell the Jews He said they should, “Make me a Temple and I’ll live in THEM” (not in IT).

    So who is supposed to build this ‘Third’ Temple; Moshiach, G-d or the Jews?

    But first let us understand why G-d needs a Holy House at all? How can infinite and almighty G-d, live in a finite, temporal house? And, on the other hand, if there is a house that can contain G-d, then maybe He isn’t so Great?!

    To answer all this here is a story, told by an old Jew that was a member of a group of Chassidim called ‘Belz’.

    He overheard another Chassid, a family man of some forty years old, speaking very harshly against Lubavitch and the Lubavitcher Rebbe, criticizing their ‘outreach’ programs and just about everything else they did in the harshest terms. It got so severe that finally the old Chassid felt it his obligation to calm him down but only succeeded in fanning the fire.

    So he had no choice than to just give him a warning that he was making big mistake and walk away.

    Now this Younger Chassid who was doing the cursing had a twenty-year-old son who was the apple of his eye. He was handsome, intelligent and so devoted to the service of The Creator that he was capable of studying Torah entire nights on end and was the perfect example of a Chassid.

    But a few weeks after his tirade he noticed that his son became unexplainably disinterested with Judaism, found himself some ‘new’ friends that spent days wandering around and nights in the pubs and discos of Tel Aviv.

    He tried reasoning with him but to no avail and it wasn’t long before he bought a ticket, flew to the U.S.A and became swallowed up in the nightlife of Manhattan. Needless to say, his father was insane with grief but the boy could care less… he was having ‘fun’!

    One year passed, early one morning the ‘renegade’ was walking home from all-night partying when suddenly a young Chabad Chassid approached him on the street with a pair of ‘Tefillin’ (Phylacteries) in hand and asked him if he was Jewish.

    “No I’m not, leave me alone” he answered in his Israeli accent and figured this was the end of it. But it wasn’t.

    That accent was like a green light for the ‘Chabadnik’. “Ahh, you must be an Israeli! Right?” he said with a twinkle in his eye. “Only Israelis say they aren’t Jewish. Come… put on Tefillin”.

    But our young man ignored him and walked away.

    A week later early one Friday afternoon as he was walking down a different street he was, amazingly, again approached by the same Chabadnik with the same offer. But he thought nothing of it and again he refused.

    Then a few weeks later he happened to pass by a large decorated caravan parked in some main street in Manhattan. Upon it was written ‘Chabad-mobile’; and from it exited the same young Chassid with a pair of Tefillin in hand, yelling in his direction “s’cuse me my friend! You Jewish?”

    “What you again? What do you want from me? Leave me alone!” he yelled back, “Are you following me all over Manhattan or what? Go away!”

    “Hey! You are Jewish, right?” the young Chassid answered, “Hey, do me a favor and put on Tefillin. I’ve been here all morning and no one put on. Please do a favor; you’re Jewish, right? Come put on Tefillin it will only take three minutes, you’ll like it, and it’s free. Do me a favor.” He said with a smile.

    There was something very warm and genuine in the way he said it that caught our ‘party-boy’ by surprise…. he couldn’t hold himself back. He rolled up his sleeve, took the Tefillin and put them on.

    After that, one thing led to another. The Chabadnik invited him to talk, then to learn, then to some ‘Farbringins’ (Chassidic informal gatherings) and gradually instead of going to the bars he began hanging around the Chabad Center at 770 Eastern Parkways and making new friends etc. etc.

    A half year later he was back in Israel knocking at the door of his old home.

    When his father opened the door and saw his beautiful son standing there dressed in full-fledged Belzer Chassid garb and much wiser he let out a shout of joy, hugged him with all his might and began crying from sheer happiness.

    But when they were sitting face to face and he asked his son what convinced him to come back and heard the answer suddenly it struck him like a bolt of lightning! It was all his fault! Because he had spoken against the Rebbe.

    And now, because of the same Lubavitcher Rebbe, his son returned!

    Immediately he knew that he must fly to New York and ask forgiveness from the Rebbe face to face. He called the travel agent.

    A week later, he was standing in the Rebbe’s office in Brooklyn, head bowed sheepishly before the Rebbe. As he lifted his head and looked into the Rebbe’s holy eyes he realized, even more, what a mistake he had made one and a half years ago and how he should have listened to the elder Chassid.

    “Rebbe, I’m sorry” is all he could say before he burst into tears.

    “When your son left you were really broken weren’t you?” The Rebbe asked him quietly.

    “Rebbe, broken is not the word, I was destroyed”

    “And when he returned you were happy, right” Continued the Rebbe.

    “Insane with joy” the man answered.

    “Well” concluded the Rebbe “That is how bad I feel each time any Jew leaves Judaism, and how happy I am each time any Jew returns”

    This is the feeling that the Rebbe tries to inspire in each of us.

    My wife was told by a friend of hers that every morning she stands before a picture of the Rebbe and declares “I accept on myself the commandments of “Love your neighbor as yourself”.  But when she says the last word she points to the Rebbe and stresses ‘YOURself’. In other words to try to love each Jew as the Rebbe does.

    Now we can see a deeper meaning in the idea of building a Holy Temple and why G-d, the Jews and Moshiach will build it:

    The Holy Temple united two opposites. On one hand it was a physical building, but on the other hand it was the ultimate in spiritual. And what united them was pure G-dliness; higher even than the highest spiritual levels!

    This is exactly the purpose of Judaism and all its commandments; to unite and reveal G-d so EVERY creation will feel and reflect the Creator … as we saw in our story when the physical Tefillin returned the wayward Chassid to Jewish consciousness.

    This is why the Jews are called ‘Sons of G-d” (Ex. 4:22) and Servants of G-d (Lev. 25:55). Because they unite the highest (sons) with the lowest (servants).

    And this will be the goal of Moshiach: to unite the highest with the lowest, just as Moses did at Sinai: reveal G-dliness ‘DOWN’ in the world and raise all mankind ‘UP’ to the highest levels of consciousness.

    Therefore the Third Temple will be built by Moshiach, because the Jews need such a leader to activate and inspire them (like the Rebbe did through that Chassid in our story)

    But it will also be built by G-d, just as the Tefillin in our story are G-d’s command and therefore had the power to awaken that lost Jew.

    But finally, each will build it, because, after all, the Third Temple depends on our work. The Moshiach and G-d Himself ‘CANNOT’ do it without our participation.

    That is why the Lubavitcher Rebbe reminded us time and time again:

    Just one more good deed, word or even thought can make it happen and bring the building of the Third Temple and ALL Jews will return home with

    Moshiach NOW!

    Rabbi Tuvia Bolton
    Yeshiva Ohr Tmimm
    Kfar Chabad, Israel


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    Terumah: Who Will Build the Third Beis Hamikdash?