Divrei Torah

The Divrei Torah in this section have been translated by Rav Reuven Ungar, Director of Alumni Affairs

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The Location of the Beit HaMikdash

By: Rav Yoel Amital
Ram in Yeshivat Sha'alvim

"For you have not yet arrived at the resting place (menucha) and inheritance (nachala)." Rashi comments that menucha refers to (when the tabernacle was in) Shilo; nachala connotes (the Beit HaMikdash in) Jerusalem . Parshat Re'eh includes numerous references to Jerusalem . However, Jerusalem is not mentioned by name.

The phrase "the place that Hashem will choose" is mentioned seven times. Yet, the name of this place is not explicitly mentioned. Why is this so?

In Moreh Nevuchim ( 3:45 ), the Rambam provides three answers to this question. 1. To prevent nations of the world from waging fierce wars to attain this spiritual treasure. 2. In order that whoever rules this location will not destroy it to the utmost of his ability. 3. To prevent infighting between the tribes (each would desire to that this place would be in its' portion of the land), similar to the controversy of Korach in regards to the priesthood.

These reasons are relevant today. The nations of the world yearn to rule Jerusalem ; they recoil from sole Jewish sovereignty over the city. Even nations that do not have assets in Jerusalem call for international control of the city.

The prophet Zecharia (12:3) states that Jerualem will be a heavy stone (even ma'amasa) for the nations of the world. One of the signs of the future redemption is Jerusalem blocking diplomatic arrangements between the State of Israel and the nations of the world.

Jerusalem can be rebuilt via living kindness (chesed) of Hashem or by strict justice (din). The gemara in Bava Batra (75a) records two opinions concerning the stones that will form the construction of Jerusalem . Shoham or Yashpeh. The Maharal comments that they connote chesed and din. A conflict exists as to the text of Birkhat HaMazon; do we mention the rebuilding of Jerusalem with compassion (Boneh BeRachamav Yerushalayim)? The verse in Yishaya ( 1:27 ) mentions the redemption of Jerusalem via judgment (mishpat). In Zecharia ( 1:16 ) we are informed that Hashem will return to Jerusalem with compassion.

If Jerusalem unifies the entire Jewish People, we will merit the rebirth via Chesed, not by din. Speedily in our days!


Categorized under: 1: Halacha > General
Uploaded: 8/31/2005 6:19:40 PM