Love of the Land

For the week ending 9 August 2008 / 8 Av 5768

Har Habayit A Tisha B'Av Reminder

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

"The mountain of Zion is desolate; foxes prowl over it."

These words from the Eicha lamentations of the Prophet Yirmiyahu are said and sung in a sad tone during the current nine days of mourning the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash.

What is a more powerful reminder of that great tragedy than seeing an Arab mosque on Temple Mount!

Halacha forbids Jews in their present ritually impure state from ascending Temple Mount because they may unknowingly be treading on the site of the Beit Hamikdash, which is out of bounds for anyone who has come into contact with the dead. The closest we can get to this holy site is the Western Wall, which is why the "Kotel" is such a magnet for worshippers and visitors.

The closing words of Eicha are "Return us to You, O G-d, and we shall return; renew our days as of old."

When all of our people accept the outstretched hand of G-d and return to Him will we merit the return of the Beit Hamikdash to the Mountain of Zion in a renewed Israel forever.

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