14 May 2021

Reb Neuberger: FIRE ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT

FIRE ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT

 

This is Dovid ha Melech’s Yom Tov.

 

Dovid was born and died on Shavuos.

 

We read Megilas Rus, the story of how Dovid arose from the “ashpos,” the trash heap of Moav to bring healing to the entire world. And we receive the Torah.

 

Why is Dovid in particular identified with Matan Torah?

 

Why Dovid more than Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Moshe?

 

“It was taught in a Baraisa: Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai said, The Holy One Blessed is He, gave three good gifts to Israel and He gave all of them only through suffering. They are: Torah, the Land of Israel and the World to Come.” (Berachos 5a)

 

Torah is acquired only through suffering, and who suffered more than Dovid?

 

“The Sages ask: why is Megilas Rus read on [Shavuos]? To teach us that the Torah can be acquired only through affliction and suffering.” (Yalkut Shimoni, quoted in Book of Our Heritage, p. 837) “No one suffered as much anguish in his life as Dovid, [who said] ‘Those who hate me are more numerous than the hairs of my head.’ (Tehillim 69:5, Book of Our Heritage, p. 839) Dovid said, “I am a worm and not a man, scorn of humanity, despised of nations. All who see me deride me; they open wide … their lips; they wag their heads.” (Tehillim 22:7-8)

 

Nevertheless, Dovid sang to Hashem.

 

Dovid also said, “Hashem, my G-d, will illuminate my darkness. For with You I smash a troop, and with my G-d I leap a wall!” (Tehillim 18:29-30)

 

Dovid is the Father of Moshiach. We have to understand Dovid if we want to understand Moshiach.

 

Why is it significant that Dovid rose from the ash heaps?

 

My friends, Dovid is the personification of Am Yisroel.

 

We are Dovid ha Melech and Dovid ha Melech is us.

 

Moshiach, the humble man riding on a donkey, represents Am Yisroel, the Holy Nation. After two thousand years of Golus, we are also going to rise from the ash heap. We will have been pounded into humility, and we are the nation that – while we represent the Majesty of Hashem – does not flaunt our spirituality.

 

“Who is destined for a share in the World to Come? One who is modest and humble, who enters bowing and leaves bowing, who learns Torah constantly but doesn’t take credit for himself.” (Sanhedrin 88b)

 

How are we going to develop the humility needed to bring about our Redemption?

 

I would like to suggest something for us to work on in preparation for Shavuos.

 

I notice the following trait in myself: my mind is full of negative thoughts about others.

  • I cannot tolerate this person!
  • He is arrogant.
  • He is angry.
  • He is trying to show everyone how holy he is.
  • He has no derech eretz, no gratitude, no concern for others.

The list is endless. These thoughts create an emotional wall between us. They are the building blocks of arrogance and sinas chinom.

 

How do I handle such thoughts? What do I do?

 

I have found, from long experience, a derech which I believe is not only based on truth, but can defuse these thoughts. All these thoughts, the more they cause me to feel hatred or “righteous indignation” against another person, the more I know that they are about me, myself!

 

When I hate someone because he is supposedly a hypocrite, I am thinking about myself. I see that trait in myself, but I don’t want to admit it, so I put it on him. That is why I hate him so much, because I hate this trait in myself! If I didn’t care, then I wouldn’t be so upset. But I do care, so I am upset at him because I see myself in him.

 

When I say “al chait” on Yom Kippur, am I talking about the other person?

 

No, I am talking about myself!

 

Understanding this is the basis of teshuva!

 

If we would understand and accept this, then I believe we could build a bridge out of divisiveness and begin the road toward Redemption.

 

Moshiach is riding upon the donkey. He will bring us together and create the achdus needed to return the Shechina to Tzion and usher in the Final Redemption.

 

As I write, there is a fire burning on the Temple Mount, lit by our enemies. But soon Hashem will return the Bais Hamikdosh amidst holy fire, the “Aish” of Torah!

 

Hashem said, “I lit the fire in Tzion, as it says, (Eichah 4:11) ‘He lit a fire in Tzion which consumed [the Temple’s] foundations.’ And I [will in the] future build it [again] with fire, as it says, (Zechariah 2:9) ‘and I will be for it … and a wall of fire all around and for glory will I be in its midst.’” (Bava Kamma 60b)

 

May we merit soon to greet the Son of Dovid and usher in the awesome moment we have all been awaiting since the days of our Fathers Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov.

 

Good Shabbos and Good Yom Tov!


 

GLOSSARY

Achdus: Unity

Matan Torah: The Giving of the Torah, which took place on Shavuos

Shechina: Presence of G-d