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דבר תורה לחודש מנחם אב

It is always tempting to focus on the “מנחם” part of the month, the prophecies of comfort and consolation of Yeshayhu ישעיהו we read after תשעה באב, but the recent events do not allow this option. בית המקדש, the Temple – What is it? is it a glorious building where Cohanim brought sacrifices, burnt incense and prayed, where Leviim played music and sang? Does this warrant centuries and millennia of mourning, longing and fasting many days, weeks in memory of its destruction? Does it explain the multitude of prayers, poems, and customs in its memory?

Looking into the words of the builder; Shelomo – שלמה המלך we understand: in מלכים א' ח' we read the prayer of שלמה at the dedication of the Temple, which is not a dwelling for HaShem.

"כי, האומנם, יישב א-להים, על-הארץ; הנה השמיים ושמי השמיים, לא יכלכלוך--אף, כי-הבית הזה אשר בניתי"

Would God truly dwell on the earth? Behold the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you and surely not this house that I have built. It is the place dedicated to the name of HaShem, the center for all the prayers:

"ושמעת אל-תחינת עבדך, ועמך ישראל, אשר יתפללו, אל-המקום הזה; ואתה תשמע אל-מקום שבתך, אל-השמיים, ושמעת, וסלחת" (פסוק ל)

And may You hear the supplication of Your servant and Your people Israel, which they shall pray toward this place, may You hear on Your place in Heaven – hear and forgive.

Shelomo mentions all the events when Israel will need to pray for the help of HaShem turning in the direction of the מקדש. Then He says:

"וְגַם, אֶל-הַנָּכְרִי, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-מֵעַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל, הוּא; וּבָא מֵאֶרֶץ רְחוֹקָה, לְמַעַן שְׁמֶךָ. כִּי יִשְׁמְעוּן, אֶת-שִׁמְךָ הַגָּדוֹל, וְאֶת-יָדְךָ הַחֲזָקָה, וּזְרֹעֲךָ הַנְּטוּיָה; וּבָא וְהִתְפַּלֵּל, אֶל-הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה. אַתָּה תִּשְׁמַע הַשָּׁמַיִם, מְכוֹן שִׁבְתֶּךָ, וְעָשִׂיתָ, כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר-יִקְרָא אֵלֶיךָ הַנָּכְרִי ..." (פסוקים מ"א – מ"ג)

Also, a gentile who is not of your people Israel, but will come from a distant land, for your Name’s sake - and will come and pray toward this Temple – may You hear from Heaven and act according to all that the gentile calls out to you….

Yeshayahu in his prophecy of the redemption describes the universal importance of Jerusalem the Temple:

"וְהָיָה בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים, נָכוֹן יִהְיֶה הַר בֵּית-ה' בְּרֹאשׁ הֶהָרִים, וְנִשָּׂא, מִגְּבָעוֹת; וְנָהֲרוּ אֵלָיו, כָּל-הַגּוֹיִם וְהָלְכוּ עַמִּים רַבִּים וְאָמְרוּ לְכוּ וְנַעֲלֶה אֶל-הַר-ה' אֶל-בֵּית אֱ-לֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב, וְיֹרֵנוּ מִדְּרָכָיו, וְנֵלְכָה בְּאֹרְחֹתָיו כִּי מִצִּיּוֹן תֵּצֵא תוֹרָה, וּדְבַר-ה' מִירוּשָׁלִָם" (ישהיהו ב'ג')

It will happen in the later days. The mountain of the Temple of HaShem will be established as the head of the mountains and exalted above the hills and all the nations will stream to it.

Many peoples will go and say: Come let us go up to the Mountain of HaShem to the Temple of the God of Jacob and He will teach us His ways and we will walk in His paths for from Zion will the Torah come forth and the word of HaShem from Jerusalem.

May all the “enlightened” nations in the U.N. and UNESCO open their Bibles and erase all their decisions concerning the Temple Mount, the Kotel and the Cave of Machpela in Hebron.

Attributing them to Islam is a gross distortion of history and denial of the Bible.

May we merit to see the redemption of Jerusalem.

“שמחו את-ירושלים וגילו בה, כל-אוהביה; שישו איתה משוש, כל-המתאבלים עליה” (ישעיהו ס"ו)

Be glad with Jerusalem and rejoice in her, all you who love her, exalt with her all who mourn for her.

Miriam Hauer

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