Recently, someone asked me a shaylah that involves what is probably one of the most heart-breaking issues I was ever asked. The question was: “Are there any halachic issues involved in sifting through the earth removed by the Waqf from the Makom HaMikdash?”
To explain this shaylah, I will first explain what has happened, then discuss the halachic issues involved — and finally explain the answers. There is also a fascinating halachic-architectural issue that I noticed while studying photographs of the Moslem construction, which I will discuss at the end of this article.
Rav Tzvi Hersh Kalisher, the rav of Thorn, Germany, who
had studied as a youth in the yeshivos of Rabbi Akiva Eiger and the Nesivos HaMishpat (Rav Yaakov
of Lisa), published a sefer advocating bringing korbanos in the location where the Beis HaMikdash once
stood in Yerushalayim. Rav Kalisher considered it not only permissible to offer korbanos before the Beis
HaMikdash is rebuilt, but even obligatory.
Does the sanctity of the Temple stem from the Divine Presence or from the Land of Israel? Is Jerusalem destined to be sanctified with a more exalted sanctity in the future? Does the sanctity of the First and Second Temples continue to exist today?
Just as the time for the Redemption is dependent upon Israel's merit, so the nature of the redemption depends upon Israel's worthiness. The sages teach, “If they are worthy - with Heavenly clouds; if they are not - a peasant riding on a donkey” (Sanhedrin 98a).
What drove the Romans against the Jews was the Jews' “dangerous culture” - a culture which had begun to penetrate the Roman Empire. Judaism was educating the masses to behave according to the principle that says “man is created in God's image.”
The Three Weeks between the 17th of Tamuz and the 9th of Av are a time of sadness and danger. Rav Kook shows that they are also a time during which we can rebuild the Temple if we learn the secret of Causeless Love.
What can we do today in order to strengthen our ties with the Temple? The first thing we can do is pray for the Temple’s speedy restoration. In addition, we must visit and gaze upon the site of the Temple. The act of gazing possesses great value.
: The Torah portions dealing with the Tabernacle dispel the mistaken impression that the Torah directs man to confine himself to an abstract spiritual world and that the entire aim of the Jew should be to occupy himself with Torah and commandments.
For some reason, the supplication and remembrance we give voice to in our daily prayers does not awaken the general public to practical steps toward strengthening our hold on the Temple Mount. In order to know how to deal with this indifference we must first uncover the reasons for it.