Redemption Part 1 - The Temple: Heart of the World

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Judaism emphasizes the importance of always recalling the Temple in Jerusalem and its destruction, even at our happiest times (for ex. breaking of a glass cup at weddings). However, there is a special time to focus on the Temple and how we need it back. The 3 weeks of remembering begins today - the 17th day of Tammuz -  and culminates on the 9th day of Av, a day where Jews worldwide fast and spend the day in prayer, reflecting on the Temple and its destruction. I spoke to CNN about this 7 years ago.

Many may have a problem with this idea and a very obvious question may arise: Aren't there more important things to worry about in this world? A tad bit more important than a house with sacrifices, incense offerings, and music? The world is full of calamities and sadness, from tsunamis to earthquakes, crime and depression. Let's just focus our energy and emotion toward asking God for a cure to all these ills of the world and move on with life. Why waste so much time and devotion toward petitioning for the rebuilding of a structure in the old city of Jerusalem?

Our Sages teach: "A human being is a miniature world." Imagine an ailing person who goes to a doctor, complaining of pain in his legs & left arm. He also has a headache and back pain. Exasperated, he turns to the doctor for the diagnosis. "It's your heart," he says. "Once we cure the damage in your heart and heal its ability to pump blood sufficiently throughout your body, your other ailments will instantly cease."

The Temple in Jerusalem served as a conduit for spiritual vitality to all - it was the heart of the world, helping all to thrive. The source for the pain, confusion, disharmony and spiritual numbness in our world today all stem from the hiding of the Divine light. For us to feel truly healthy and fulfilled, Godliness must be revealed. And at that point, all negativity will naturally fall away like darkness before light. 

But how will life really be any different? The prophet Isaiah says (40:5): "The glory of God will be revealed, and all flesh will see that the mouth of God has spoken. He adds (52:8): "For eye to eye they will see God's return to Zion." Our Sages teach that NOTHING outwardly will change in the future time of redemption. It is only our hearts and minds - our vision of how we see - that will change. We will have the ability to see the inner truth - the Godly energy - that makes up everything, and it will be awesome. 

To Be Continued:
Redemption Part 2