|(Can you find the source for this pic? I can't.)|
by Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher | first posted here
One of the 13 Principles of Faith listed by the Rambam is the belief that Mashiach will come and build the Final Temple. Why is the belief in the rebuilding of the Holy Temple an Essential of Judaism?
The Bet Hamikdash was much more than just a magnificent physical building in which G-d’s Holy Divine Presence dwelt. The Bet Hamikdash was the place where every human being, not just a Jewish person, could connect with G-d, and form a unique, special bond of love and closeness with Him.
The concentration of Holiness that was contained in the abode of G-d’s Glory enabled EVERY person to develop a special closeness and love that nourishes one’s G-dly soul and spiritual existence. The Holy Temple was the spiritual center of the ENTIRE world, which served as a conduit through which every human being’s prayers ascended to G-d in Heaven. And through which an abundance of Divine Grace and bounty descended to the physical world. The Holy Temple was truly the Stairway to Heaven for ALL mankind.
This is why G-d tells Yeshayahu in ch. 56 “…for My House will be called a House of Prayer for ALL the (United) Nations.” G-d is not just the G-d of Israel but He is the G-d of ALL mankind, and He calls all peoples to acknowledge and worship Him.
The Talmud in Menachot 53 states that the Bet Hamikdash has to be built by a person who is called a YEDID, which means a lover of G-d. That is why King Solomon, who built the First Temple, was called Yedidiyah by G-d, which means G-d’s Lover.
And that is why the first two Temples and the Final Temple are all located in the territory of the Tribe of Binyamin, because Binyamin is the only son of Yaacov who is called The Yedid Hashem, the Lover of G-d (Devarim 33). Why is Binyamin so special? After all, he is the youngest of Yaacov’s 12 sons. The Ramban answers that he is the only son of Yaacov who was born in the Holy Land. Therefore all the Holy Temples are located only in his territory.
The message to us is to appreciate and cherish the merit of dwelling in G-d’s Holy Palace!