Rabbi Dovid Saks
529 Wyoming Ave.
Scranton, PA 18509
108 N. Abington Rd.
Clarks Summit, PA 18411
during the morning prayers.
Our Sages explain that the reason the Jews were no longer worthy of
having the Temple in their midst at the time of the destruction of the
first Temple is because they transgressed the three cardinal sins of
murder, idolatry and adultery.
The reason G-d permitted the Romans to destroy the Second Temple was because of the lack of unity between Jews. They were prone to judge others and speak about them negatively.
G-d said, If peace and unity is lacking among the Jews, they are unworthy of having the Temple - the symbol and embodiment of peace and harmony, in their midst.
Our efforts to promote unity and peace, particularly through our speech, will certainly cause G-d to look favorably upon us and reinstate the third and everlasting Temple in Jerusalem with the arrival of the Moshiach.
The Western Wall
The Medrash relates, when Vespasian was conquering Jerusalem, he assigned the city to four officers. Each one was in charge of destroying a specific section. An officer by the name of Pangar was assigned to the western side of the city and was not able to destroy the wall of the Temple.
When Vespasian summoned him for an explanation, Pangar claimed that he let the Western Wall remain for the glory of the Roman Monarchy. "Had I destroyed the Wall, no one would have known what we destroyed. They might have claimed we overpowered a small city. By leaving a remnant which reveals the magnitude and great strength of the city, all will speak of the great power of Vespasian."
In truth, Pangar was not able to destroy the Western Wall of the Temple because G-d guaranteed that the Western Wall will never be destroyed.
More so, the Zohar, our Kaballa, teaches us that the Divine Presence never left the Western Wall. It is no wonder why all Jews flock to the 'Kotel' to beseech and pray to G-d. Many experience an elevated feeling of spirituality, and a feeling of rededicating and renewing their commitment to G-d, and His Torah, upon visiting the Kotel.
Amidst our mourning and fasting over the destructions of our two Batai Mikdashos (Holy Temples) which we mourn for on Tisha B'Av, we interestingly lessen our degree of mourning at midday. For instance, we no longer sit on the floor or low bench, the Paroches (curtain) in front of the Aron Kodesh (Ark) that was taken down the night before is hung back up, and we finally put our Tefillin on for the Mincha service.
Our Sages teach us a tremendous concept in our approach to mourning over our misfortunes. After we go through the necessary mourning process, we gradually lift ourselves out of our state of mourning in order to be able to look forward to a brighter future. For if we would always focus on all our misfortunes, we would be in a constant state of depression. That is not what G-d wants.
Yes, there are specific times set for us to mourn, but they are for us to reflect on why these misfortunes happened and how to approach the future. This resilient attitude is a fundamental ingredient of the Jewish people's ability to bounce back after suffering, destruction, persecution, pogroms, and Holocausts throughout our long exile.
"May we all merit to see the rebuilding of the third and everlasting Temple in our time.