Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Are You Fasting Today?

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

144 Why are you fasting today?  “The 17th of Tammuz is a fast day commemorating (lamenting) the breach of the walls of Jerusalem leading to the destruction of the 2nd Beis HaMikdash (Holy Temple) 3 weeks later.”

Jerusalem has been rebuilt!  It’s inhabited by more Jewish people (probably by a factor of 10) than it’s ever been inhabited by in history.  It’s under a Jewish government (efficient, no, halachic, no, kind, no, but run by Jewish people, yes.)

Are you mourning the deaths of the population and many tragedies leading to deaths on this date?  Yet, the Holocaust overshadows all those both in numbers and in impact to Judaism (with the destruction of every major world yeshiva).  And you don’t fast for that.

Are you lamenting the start of the loss of the Beis HaMikdash? Lamenting with meaning leads to doing something about it!  What have you done about it?  Have you worked towards rebuilding it?  Have you donated materials?  Helped work out an architectural plan?  Helped compile the actual materials like Dovid HaMelech did for later building?  (Assuming we can’t actually begin building now.)  HAVE YOU DONE ANYTHING???

You’ve prayed, you’ve said tehillim, you’ve said selichos, you’ve mourned, you’ve asked Hashem to rebuild the Beis HaMikdash and (3 times a day) to rebuild Jerusalem.

That prayer has helped!  It laid the spiritual groundwork to lay the physical groundwork that allowed Jerusalem to be rebuild!  But the rebuilding took bricks and mortar, men and machines, streets being paved and pipes being laid.

But what about the Beis HaMikdash???  What have you DONE towards the Beis HaMikdash?

Oh, you hold that Hashem will drop the Beis HaMikdash whole from Shamayim (from Heaven) without us having to build it.  Ok, that’s well and good.  But what other mitzvah of the Torah do you just pray over without DOING anything?  If you pray for tefillin but don’t put them on…no mitzvah.  If you pray for matzah on Passover but don’t eat any…no mitzvah.

Every single mitzvah of the Torah requires you to DO something.

What are you DOING about the 17th of Tammuz?  If you are DOING nothing, why are you fasting?

Just wondering.

(Photo – Forest fire in the Jerusalem forest going up into Mevezeret Tzion from yesterday.)


Tuvia said...

Awesome post Akiva, Yasher Koach, and thank you for such a good and important message. Shemot 25:8 says "You shall build me a sanctuary" which is an ongoing positive commandment and one of the 613. What other mitzvot are we to wait around for to fall from heaven? The Temple will not fall from heaven pre built but will have to be built by us. Glad to see that you get it Reb Akiva. Good message "what are you doing to actually build the Temple?". I suggest giving to the Temple Institute for they are the leaders in the movement to rebuild the Temple and have already rebuilt most of the vessels for the Temple.

Shiloh said...

I don't think the problem is rebuilding it. We have incredible people capable of doing that. The problem is the squatters of replacement theology who are in control of our land where we are to build it. The other problem is the client regime and their incredible disconnect from haShem and Torah.

I believe the Tanach speaks of fasting more then the Torah dictates. Enough for me.

But, yes, a very refreshing post. Kol hakavod.

jonathan said...

i love the thought, but if you really feel that actual building needs to be done, that could be done without any religious conviction. It will just be destroyed again if we dont first build it first in our hearts and minds.

and why is the mitzvah to fast? thats not conducive to manual labor of building.

also i'm sure you are fimialar with the classic Yalkut Shimoni which says "THE STUDY OF THE TORAH'S DESIGN OF THE BET HAMIKDASH CAN BE EQUATED TO ITS ACTUAL CONSTRUCTION.Go, tell them to study the form of the Bet Hamikdash. As a reward for their study and their occupation with it, I will consider it AS IF THEY ACTUALLY BUILT THE BET HAMIKDASH!!!"

how do you understand that?

do you not think we are in galus? people throughout every century lived in Eretz Yisrael and still were in galus.

doesn't Eliyahu and Mashiach have to do a part in the play?

how about the reason why it was destroyed, maybe if we should put our focus on that (I still love you as a Jew, so no offense)?

and if you do re-build it, who will inhabit it, the leviam, the absent sanhedrin, the cohanim, etc...?

theres more to discuss, but my boss will get angry (i know you arent doing this, but dont assume i am stealing from work, i was given permission to freely surf the web as long as nothing is needed as work)

more power to you and be well

Akiva said...

It is not up to you to complete the work, but neither can you ignore it. (Isn't that a Pirke Avos.)

There are many steps we CAN take. Why do we avoid those?

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