28 August 2013

Medinat Yehuda: "We Can't Build the Temple Yet"


A commentary in the 12 January 2001 issue of Chabadonline magazine by Yanki Tauber, entitled The Temple Mount, includes a most profound statement: "The 'Western Wall' is holy to us because---and only because---it marks the outside boundary of the Temple Mount." Perhaps we have sunk to our present sorry state, in part, specifically to bring many Jews to this very important realization.

As the footsteps of Mashiach echo off the ancient stones which remain from Israel's glory days, when the Temple stood tall against the deep blue Jerusalem sky, more and more people, Jew and non-Jew alike, are seeking ways to advance the idea of rebuilding the House of G-d on Mount Moriah...the Temple Mount.

At the present time, there are several groups and organizations directing all their energies and resources to this noble cause while others, just as worthy, are busy promoting the security of the yishuvim in Yesha, and still others are trying to change the dire situation in the country by means of the electoral process. It is an unfortunate feature of the awesome times in which we are living that so many critical issues confront us all at once. For that reason, it is essential that we focus on goals and prioritize our actions so that our combined efforts will bring success on all fronts.

The following are the three most critical and important goals in order of priority:

1. Establishment of a True Jewish Government
2. Elimination of the Threat of Internal Enemies
3. Reconstruction of the Beit Hamikdash

This is a logical conclusion based upon the fact that the second cannot be accomplished without benefit of the first and the third cannot be accomplished without benefit of the first two. Furthermore, Israel will continue its downhill slide and eventually cease to exist altogether without all three. It is clear to us today that without the backing of our government, it will be impossible to defeat our mortal enemies and until the enemy that has raised its hand against Hashem's throne is destroyed, we will never be able to sanctify the Holy Place for the building of the Third House. It is incumbent upon us to work diligently and uncompromisingly and most importantly, efficiently, to realize each of these goals and each in its particular time because we cannot afford the luxury of waste.

Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook is quoted in Torat Eretz Israel, p. 283:

When people approach me with this proposition [to rebuild the Temple], I say: ...Just as there is a precept to build the Temple, there is a sequence to its fulfillment. The Gemara says, "Israel was commanded with three precepts when they entered the Land: To appoint a King; to annihilate the seed of Amalek; and to build Hashem's chosen house. And the Gemara continues, And how do I know which comes first? You have to say raise up a King. And how do I know whether to build the Temple first, or to annihilate the seed of Amalek? You have to say first annihilate the seed of Amalek. The Gemara is speaking of the initial entry into the Land and of the construction of the first temple, but the Rambam decides that this is generally true. 'Israel was commanded with three precepts upon entering the Land...the King's appointment precedes the war with Amalek, and the annihilation of Amalek precedes the building of the Temple.' This is a clear order not a haphazard arrangement."