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The Three Weeks #3

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Shemoneh Esrei 39 - The 3 Weeks #3

את צמח דוד עבדך מהרה תצמיח, וקרנו תרום בישועתך, כי לישועתך קוינו כל היום

The offspring of your servant David may You speedily cause to flourish, and enhance his pride through Your salvation, for we hope for Your salvation all day long

We left off last week with the following questions:

Torah, baruch Hashem, has flourished to amazing heights, and though many do struggle financially, compared to earlier times most here in America are “wealthy” on a relative basis.  We have never had the Beis HaMikdash in our time.  We really don’t know or appreciate what the g’ulah will look like.  How can we long for and anxiously await the y’shuah and be emotional enough to even cry over Yerushalayim, the Beis HaMikdash, and the y’shuah if we are so distant from it?  Do we feel we are lacking so much that we are brought to tears?  So what are we missing and why should we be “shedding an endless stream of bitter tears”?

Rabbi Yisroel Reisman in “Why We Weep” (a collection of essays by various rabbanim, which is, in my opinion, a must-have for the Three Weeks and Tish’ah B’Av) cites the Gemara in Z’vachim (24a), which credits David HaMelech for building the Beis HaMikdash.  The obvious question that Tosafos asks is that we know that David’s son, Shlomo HaMelech, actually is the one who built the Beis HaMikdashTosafos answers that the Gemara meant that David is the one who gave the Beis HaMikdash its k’dushah.  What does that mean?

Shlomo built and gave k’dushah to the physical Beis HaMikdash – the wood, stones, gold, silver, etc.  But David is the heart and soul of the Beis HaMikdash (and of klal Yisrael); he had the חשק–cheishek and the תשוקה–t’shukah – the desire and yearning – forming the פנימיות–p’nimiyus of the Beis HaMikdash.  He raised money and did whatever he could, even though he knew he would not be the one to actually build the physical structure.  The essence of the Beis HaMikdash was not the physical structure, but rather the פנימיות, the heart and soul that came from David HaMelech’s great רצון and תשוקה.  The Beis HaMikdash was THE place to go to and connect with Hashem.  The desire and longing to connect with Hashem was realized, to the greatest extent possible, in the Beis HaMikdash.

The physical structure of the בית שני–Bayis Sheini, the second Beis HaMikdash, is gone forever.  The structure of the Bayis Sh’lishi, the third and final Beis HaMikdash will be a different structure.  What is still alive?  It is the פנימיות, the חשק, the תשוקה, and the רצון with which, over the generations of this galus, we have wept for the Bayis Sh’lishi.  Through our heart and tears, we are rebuilding the פנימיות of the Beis HaMikdash.  It is the inner yearning to connect on a closer level to our Creator for which we weep.  This desire and yearning to connect on a closer level is what we must rebuild within ourselves.  “כי לישועתך קוינו כל היום” is our daily opportunity to work on this inner desire and be able to sincerely answer the Tzipisa question with “YES, I did anxiously wait for and long for the rebuilding of the פנימיות and physical Bayis Sh’lishi, where we will, b’ezras Hashem, experience the ultimate closeness with Hashem.

Perhaps we can now appreciate to a greater extent the advice of the Yaaros Devash to shed an endless stream of bitter tears while reciting the brachos of “בונה ירושלים” and “את צמח” (Yaaros Devash, mentioned by HaRav Avrohom Chaim Feuer in “Shemoneh Esrei,” ArtScroll/Mesorah).

 

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