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CHAPTER V - OBJECTIONS

 

   
OBJECTIONS

Some typical objections by some which were encountered are technical difficulties in nature and I am sure will be addressed by the appropriate authorities. If we admit to the viability of Israel then we must find a way, the only purpose for the State being established is to build the Temple!:

1. The Temple mount is holy, how can one go there and build?

2. Halachah does not permit the building of it, how is it possible?

3. Not all Jews are living in Israel yet, how can it be built?

4. I must ask my Rabbi if I can participate.

5. This effort may be dangerous and create more chaos rather than big benefits.

6. The seemingly violations of the 3 promises in Tractate Kesubos folio 111: 1. Not to build walls, 2. Not to ascent to Israel in droves, 3. The nations should not persecute  Jews excessively.

7. The Temple must come down directly from heaven.


8. We are unclean and fixing the people first is even harder than 
the building of it.

9. We don't even do Halachah (service not including Temple services) 
correctly, how are we going to do Avodah (Temple Service) right.

10. Jews are already treading or attempting to tread on the Mount.

11. Casual religion, as we are performing it, for all intends 
and purposes it is voluntary, makes a mockery of it.

12. One does not undertake a mission of this purpot and magnitude 
unless it will surely be successful, because failure will be catastrophic.

13. There is not enough love and respect for one another.

14. The lion, wolf and lamb are not lying together in living peace.

15. The metal swords are not turned into plough shears yet.

16. There is no red heifer to purify.

17. This idea is sacrilegious, heretical, in opposition to tradition, only Moshiach may perform this Mitzvah (precept, commandment), we don't know enough to perform and complete this undertaking, etc.

18. The very desire to establish a third temple is, irrespective of the political obstacles, an absurd, outdated and extremist desire, worthy of no rational person in this enlightened age.

19.The Hebrew prophets as they introduced the idea of peace into the worldwhich precludes building a temple at this time. In those ancient times, cultures generally looked at warfare as the crucible for the creation of bravery, courage and chivalry. When mankind engaged in battle, they thought that they were emulating their gods who endlessly waged war upon one another in the heavens. According to Lord Sacks, the Hebrew prophets were the first to envisage a God of peace who makes peace in high places and who yearns for us to make peace here on earth.

20. The Prophets foresaw a time when men would no longer wage war and would stand united in a shared faith Ė eventually, all people will proclaim the unity of God, and the family of humanity will unite in their shared recognition of Godís unity. Itís a beautiful image, but it amounts to the claim that there can only be peace when we all believe in Judaism at which time a temple will be propitious. 

21. Christians, who inherited the vision of the Hebrew prophets, sought to spread universal peace by killing thousands of Jews and Muslims in a "holy" crusade to spread Godís word. Islamic attempts to convert the infidel by the sword constitute another example of the attempt to force a prophetic peace. Times are similar these days and we are not in a position to build the the 3rd mple.

22. The greatness of the Rabbis was their eventual realization that the peace described by the prophets was the peace that will endure after history; after the coming of the messiah. Any attempt to force the end of time Ė any attempt to impose messianic peace upon this pre-messianic world Ė could only result in disaster. For this reason, the rabbis developed the notion of darkei shalom Ė the ways of peace. This all too overlooked rabbinic notion demands that we Jews engage in acts of loving kindness towards non-Jews, irrespective of their beliefs. This pre-messianic notion of peace is a compromise, but it avoids bloodshed and it promotes love. Itís a step in the right direction to building the temple but not yet.

23. The desire to run up on to the Temple Mount, to demolish a mosque and a shrine, and to force our temple in to its place, is the desire to force the end; it is the desire to insert messianic notions of peace into our pre-messianic world. It can only result in evil and bloodshed and runs against the probing insight of the Talmudic sages.

23. But I cannot agree that the very notion of a third temple is outmoded and absurd, nor is it extreme. In fact, it is mainstream. Every Jew who ever says the central Amida prayer, or recites a traditional Grace After Meals, prays for the rebuilding of the temple. To jettison the idea is to place yourself outside of the mainstream, and on the extreme. Just not yet.

24. What does it mean to desire a third temple? It does not mean the reinstitution of animal sacrifices. Generations of scholars, from Maimonides to Rabbi Kook, have indicated that the next temple will be a completely vegetarian affair. The desire to build a third temple isnít even the desire to impose Judaism upon others. The prophetic image of the messianic temple is that of a Ďhouse of prayer for all peoplesí (Isaiah 56:7). Thus, Rabbi Nebenzahl, the saintly Rabbi of the Old City of Jerusalem, has said that there can, of course, continue to be a mosque on the temple mount even once our temple is rebuilt. The prophets foresaw that weíd all be worshipping one God, but not necessarily in the same way. Perhaps the third temple complex will be a veritable interfaith fair where all of the monotheists of the world Ė including Hindu and Sikh monotheists Ė will converge in their diversity, retaining their distinct communal identity whilst directing prayers from the same place to the same God in different languages and modes. The time however isn't now.

25. Yes, itís a dream. Itís a certain vision of a utopia. It isnít to be forced upon anybody, but, progressive politics is all about dreams and aspirations. The dream that one day, amidst our religious diversity, the people of the world will be able to celebrate one anotherís cultures and to pray together; the dream that one day, no religion will own the Temple Mount, forcing others not to pray within its precincts; thatís a dream that a progressive audience should embrace rather than ridicule. Itís a vision that has sustained the Jewish people for millennia. However not at this time.

 
 

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