Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Let's rebuild the temple!

You want to rebuild the Beit Hamikdash? A few problems with that, unless you believe in the idea that it will be rebuilt miraculously.

But otherwise? Seriously, are we really going to go back to animal sacrifice and a priestly caste system? Those are ideas that were popular among all cultures in the ancient near east, were not unique to the Jews, and are rather distasteful when you take a few minutes to think about it.
And what about the actual building? Trying to build the beit hamikdash on the temple mount for the foreseeable future would spark a massive war. Not to mention that destroying the mosques there would be an archaeological crime, just like the Taliban destroying those Buddha statues, which is universally condemned.
But here's an idea for actually building the third temple, in a realistic manner:
Find a plot of land near the temple mount. Maybe on what was once the slope of that very mountain
Let's say, a big open plaza that is in Jewish hands. Hmm, I wonder where can we find that? Build a big shul on it modeled after ancient temples. Maybe Herod's temle wouldn't fit, but Shlomo's would. There are plenty of architects that could come up with an innovative design. Get some big donors from America. Can't you imagine the sign on the side? "The Harold and Bertha Goldberg Temple". Make the Kotel the eastern wall. Have a giant aron kodesh, put some sifrei Torah inside, and call it the kodesh hakodashim.
Then call it the whole building the beit hamikdash and hold regular daily minyanim there.
Problem solved.
(Except the question of whether Charedim will allow Women of the Temple to daven there in peace. Or whether talking during davening will be tolerated).


  1. Well, most people who believe that the Temple will be rebuilt believe it will be done miraculously, so...

    1. Yes, but that's relatively recent. While belief in a miraculous beit hamikdash was always one stream of thought, it wasn't the most popular idea for most of Jewish history. Most people thought that there would be a leader who would rally the people, they would reconquer the land, and they would rebuild the Beit Hamikdash physically. That's why so many people believed Shabtai Zvi.

      But you're correct in that people who believe today, mostly believe in the miraculous version.