Question by Anonymous: A student asked me why she should yearn for the Bais HaMikdash if she is so happy in her present state. What did the Bais HaMikdash provide for us that we can't have now. I can tell her that we became close to Hashem through the Korbonos that we brought but doesn't Tefila take the place of Korbonos?
Answer by Rabbi Tzvi Frank: A parable if I may. Due to a horrendous accident in year 2020 in which multiple airplanes crashed, air travel was completely banned and enforced by the United Nations. Back to trains and boats. In the year 2040 a child playing with her model airplane asks, why do you yearn for air travel anyway? I am happy with my model planes as they are. Who needs the real thing?
Similarly, although tefilla is in the place of korbonos, it is only the "model airplane" of our spirituality. Can we really fly - like we know it - on a model airplane? Can we really soar spiritually - like we used to - without the Bais HaMikdash? Look around. Many many mitzvos and hanhagos that we perform today are merely modeled after how they did things in the Bais HaMikdash. It was where the Shechinah rested His presence on Klal Yisroel, it was the source of brachah for Klal Yisroel, it was divinely inspired spirituality at its perfection.
A second thing to think about. When I was younger, my Rebbe, in the name of Rabbi Schvadron, related a chazal that when Moshiach comes, everyone will remain forever and ever, on the same madreigah he was at the time. Work on yourselves while you can, he would admonish. A bochur asked Rabbi Schvadron, then why should we yearn for Moshiach? Rabbi Schvadron slapped him. Hmmm. I heard this story when I was about 15. To tell you the truth I had the same question myself! If we will not have the ability to grow in our madreigot after Moshiach comes, why are we yearning for Moshiach? I was just too scared to ask my Rebbi this question for fear that he will in turn slap me!!
After a number of years the answer came to me. HASHEM IS IN GALUS! THE SHECHINA NO LONGER RESTS IN THE BAIS HAMIKDASH! Perhaps I am so selfishly looking after myself but am I seeing the larger picture? Am I so blinded by my self-pity that I cannot see the heart wrenching devastation of the Shechina being divorced from the Bais HaMikdash? From Yerushalayim? From His nation?
A third point to ponder. Is she really so happy in her present state? Has she ever heard the news reporting an anti-Semitic incident? Swastikas spray-painted on a shul or school? Has she never been shouted at in the streets? Does she ever feel uncomfortable walking alone in certain neighborhoods? Even if she herself never experienced this, Jews the world over have. Eisav Sonei L'Yaakov and we are in galus. Although we are currently in a malchus shel chesed, things can change quite rapidly. History has proven itself time and time again. There is no question about it. WE NEED MASHIACH NOW!
Hope this helps,
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