As the mourning practices of the Three Weeks build towards the intensity of the coming fast of Tisha B’Av, it is a good time to think about what we lost with the destruction of the Temple(s).
One TorahTutors student explored what the Sefer Hachinuch has to say – at least, on one level – about the advantages of having that central place to focus our service:
“Building a house for God, to carry out our prayers and sacrifices to Him in it – it is all to prepare hearts towards His service, not because He needs to live in a human house… For with increased good actions and their constancy, the heart’s thoughts become purified… He commanded us to designate a place that would be pure…to purify there the thoughts of Man and fix our hearts towards Him in it…” (Mitzvah #95)
“The constancy of seeking God from there [causes] the place to be sanctified… and people’s hearts will be in awe of it… and each individual will [be inspired to] repent of his evil ways and bad deeds when he sees it. And if every place were acceptable for offering sacrifices, this would not be the case with all of them.” (Mitzvah #440)
Lacking the Beit Hamikdash as a symbol and focal point, we look elsewhere for inspiration and growth – including, perhaps, to each other. Supporting each other in the creation of positive habits, such as Torah study, can be a powerful redemptive force.
A Tuesday TorahTutors Tidbit: Real Torah, from real TorahTutors sessions.