Life with the Beit HaMikdash

Tzvi Fishman

Judaism Model of Third Temple, Jerusalem
Model of Third Temple, Jerusalem

Needless to say, life with the Beit Hamikdash will be totally different than it is today. What is the Beit Hamikdash? Why do we long for its loss? 

The Beit Hamikdash is the heart of the Israelite Nation, supplying holy, life-giving energy to all of our national body. In effect, for nearly two-thousand years, the Jews scattered around the world in foreign countries have been existing like zombies in lands of the living dead, the “Dry Bones” of Ezekiel’s prophecy, lacking the vitalizing heart of our National Essence. 

Since the Beit Hamikdash and Sanhedrin (our head) work together, and will be rebuilt side-by-side in the healthy, revitalized, national Israelite body, in effect, the Jewish People have miraculously hobbled through the long generations of national destruction and exile without a heart and a head - a devitalized, decapitated nation. Torah scholars maintained a connection to the heart and the head of old, keeping the rest of the nation from expiring completely amongst the Gentiles, but, by-and-large, the Jewish Nation was comatose and terminal in Spain, Germany, Russia, France, and America, surviving only because of our eternal spiritual connection to our glorious past, the invisible infusion which kept us alive.  

Without the Beit Hamikdash, we live in a vacuum. As our Sages teach in reference to Joseph in the pit, if a vessel which isn’t filled with the life-giving waters of Torah, will be filled with snakes and scorpions instead.

Once upon a time, when the Beit Hamikdash was the center of Israeli Life, the Jewish People looked to Jerusalem for identity and meaning, for spiritual and material blessing, for individual guidance and national direction, and for the true life of a connection to Hashem. Three times a year, the Israelites would ascend to Jerusalem to reconnect and recharge with the holy energies of the Festivals which emanating from the courtyards of the Jerusalem Temple, making Torah the center of our lives.

Today, without the Beit Hamikdash, what do we have? What has taken its place in the center of national life?

Instead of the energizing scent of the Ketoret, ritual incense, which made people smile throughout the whole day, and without the uplifting purification of the daily offerings by the Kohanim, we have a debasing obsession with politics, day after day, hour after hour of non-stop conversation and incessant media focus - how many seats this party will win, and who will lead this and that camp, and whether the PM will be indicted….

And for occasional respite from the snakes and scorpions in the media and Knesset and Israel Supreme Court, we have a low-level

 obsession with celebs and Eurovisions and gay parades and a bombardment of idiotic shows on TV. Not to mention fantastic DISCOUNT SALES on lighting fixtures, dresses, watches, automobiles, and children’s toys, all waiting on daily Aliyah pilgrimages to shopping centers and canyons.

With the restoration of the Beit Hamikdash, all of this goyisha, nurishkeit (foreign nonsense) will vanish. Instead of the Knesset, we will have a king. Instead of celebs, we will have the Talmidei Chachamim, the Torah luminaries, of the Sanhedrin and Kohanim. Instead of a focus on material pleasure, we will focus on spiritual pursuits and things that really matter, such as becoming a “light to the nations,” leading all peoples to the true knowledge and service of G-d. 

May the Beit Hamikdash be built very soon!