by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
The Three Weeks began with last week’s fast (the 17th of Tamuz) and, unless the Moshiach comes, will continue through the 9th of Av. These are weeks of mourning for our Temple, since both the First and Second Temples were destroyed during these days.
Many joyful things are forbidden to us these weeks, such as music and weddings. Indeed, it is a time to carefully direct our joy.
But do not think that this means that we are to sit and cry for these three weeks. This would only add to the destruction. Instead, our mourning for the Temple should move us to actually begin to rebuild the Temple. We should start today by first gathering the materials we need, so they will be here, ready to use, the moment we finally get the go-ahead to assemble the pieces.
As usual, there is more than one opinion as to how the Temple is going to be built. Some say that we are to physically build it, while others say, “No, we do not build it. It will come from Heaven, made of fire.”
These seemingly entirely diverse opinions can easily be reconciled: We will do the physical work that is required, and then because of our efforts, G-d will bring the actual Temple. What is the work that we have to do? We have to gather the precious materials, the jewels, the special stones, and mortar. How do we find these rare materials? In truth, we have all of the required ingredients on hand right now. All we need to do is to pick them up.
How do we find these ingredients so we can gather them?
We go out onto the street and look for a Jew to help. Since we are trying to build a spiritual house, it will be best if we help that Jew in a spiritual way.
Can you imagine how much light will be gathered for the Temple if you succeed in teaching even one Jewish woman to light Shabbos candles? Why, that light will shine all the way from her home up to the place in Heaven, where the Temple is standing right now waiting for us.
Putting tefillin on a Jew who otherwise would not have done so, sends every word of his prayers to the One Who holds the key to the Temple.
Putting up a mezuzah guards the house where it is affixed. This is a direct remedy for our destroyed house. It helps to bring the House where His revealed Presence will dwell again.
Bringing someone home for a Shabbos meal shows G-d that we are together. One of the main things that the Temple did was to unite the Jewish people. It brought us together in joy for the holidays. Our coming together now in joy for spiritual reasons will encourage Him to send His joyful way of bringing us together.
During these three weeks, do not just sit and moan. Instead, stand up and find a way to do something about our loss. This is what will bring the Temple.
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא