We have had a month of terrible and barbaric terrorist murders. And we mourn the loss of precious innocents cut down by these evil murderers.
But it is another beautiful morning in Jerusalem. Thank the good Lord!
Could anything be more exhilarating? More inspiring? Outside our bedroom window, the ongoing renovation of an old apartment building, with its additional two stories, blocks our previous view of Mount Herzl, but I don’t complain. How can I? Baruch Hashem.
It’s living proof that our prayers of 2000 years for the rebuilding of Jerusalem have come true! The new building is as beautiful as our once panoramic view of the city. And certainly as meaningful. Not just this new apartment building across the street with its spacious penthouse and wide terraces overlooking the Holy City - all over Jerusalem new buildings are sprouting up like date palms in the desert, and new broader highways, and new lines for the light-train, literally wherever you look you witness a building boom before your eyes.
Israel may have its share of political problems, but the rebuilding of Jerusalem continues uninterrupted. The construction of new roads and tunnels causes traffic jams at the entrance to the city and throughout out Kiryat Moshe neighborhood, but I don’t complain. Would Rashi have complained? Would the holy Jews who were slaughtered by the Germans in the Holocaust have complained to sit in a traffic jam in Jerusalem?
I have learned something very important during the two years that the renovation work on the building across the street has been underway. First there was a period of tearing down parts of the old structure. Then, slowly a new framework was added with metal reinforcement. Then new stories were constructed upon the old. Walls were altered. The interior was renewed. An elevator was added. Slowly the renovation progressed – like the Redemption of Israel, in stages, a little at a time, as our Sages teach:
“Rabbi Hiyah Rabbah and Rabbi Shimon Ben Halafta were walking in the Arbel Valley at the break of morning before the light of day. They watched the dawn as the light began to shine. Rabbi Hiyah, the great one in wisdom, said to Rabbi Halafta, ‘Rabbi, so too unfolds the Redemption of Israel – in the beginning, little by little. And the more it progresses, it increases and grows’” (Jerusalem Talmud, Berachot, 1:1).
This is the true and mature understanding of Israel’s Redemption. It doesn’t come about all at once with the miraculous arrival of Mashiach, just as a completed building doesn’t appear all at once from out of the sky. The Redemption evolves over time, through the hard work and self-sacrifice of the Jewish People who are called upon to set Jerusalem above their highest joy.
Delays and setbacks in the reconstruction don’t mean that something is wrong. Sometimes there are work strikes or terror attacks preventing workers from reaching the site. Then bouts of Corona and slowdowns. Terrorists sometimes succeed in their barbaric plans. Sometimes it rains and work has to stop. As long as the walls are wet the construction can’t continue. Just as the Master of the Universe decides when to bring rain, He decides how to advance the Redemption of Israel, sometimes with great leaps forward and sometimes with complications and delays. He is the Foreman in charge of construction and we can rest assured that the Master Builder knows His job.
Another beautiful morning in Jerusalem. Thank God.
We will overcome.