Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Ninth of Av



From an interview given to Haaretz.com:
Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, do you still believe a Third Temple will be built?


Certainly. We believe in that. We pray for that three times a day. It says in a Mishnah in the fifth chapter of "Pirkei Avot": "May the temple be rebuilt soon and in our days." That's one thing. The second thing is that all the Prophets spoke about the fact that [the Temple] had been destroyed by fire and would be rebuilt in fire in the future. Of all the prophecies of calamity that took place and everything [the Prophets] said, none of their words fell to the ground. That's also the way to understand their prophesies about consolation.
Why has it not happened to this day, 1,940 years since the destruction of the Second Temple?
That takes us back to the Talmudic tract Yoma 9 that tells us that the First Temple was destroyed because of idol worship, sexual immorality and bloodshed. These are the three most serious sins about which it is said that no matter what happens, these sins must not be committed. Then after 70 years we were forgiven and we had the privilege of getting the Second Temple just as Jeremiah had prophesied. But from the Second Temple that was destroyed - according to the same Yoma tract, because of unwarranted hatred - to this day the Third Temple has not risen, which teaches us that this sin has not yet been forgiven. We have not yet weaned ourselves off this sin. Apparently this sin is still haunting us to this day.

The Ninth of Av ( Heb. Tisha B'Av) has just passed, the anniversary of the destruction of both the First and Second Temples of the LORD. N. T. Wright in his book Jesus and the victory of God essentially agrees with the Rabbi's analysis of its destruction. The Temple had become a "den of thieves" The greek is lestai. A word also used for the nationalist Zealots. According to Wright, by focusing on narrow nationalism and the destruction of its earthly enemies Israel was forfeiting its God given mission to be a "light unto the Gentiles". By overturning the tables of the money changers and thus, however briefly halting the sacrifices, Jesus was demonstrating his royal and divine authority over the temple, that when it did not accomplish His purposes, He will not hesitate to bring it to an end.
Jerusalem, and specifically the Temple loom large in the Christian worldview. The maps of medieval Christendom showed Jerusalem at the center with the continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa branching off from it. It has been called the "navel of the world" and it's Holy status is so great that to this day some are overwhelmed by it (see Jerusalem Syndrome).
Many have also noted that the Temple functioned as a "micro-cosm" of the world, its destruction symbolizing the destruction of the world itself. The Jewish hope so prayed for by Rabbi Lau, is, according to Christian prophecy, a foregone conclusion. The Temple will be rebuilt that it may be occupied, not by the Spirit of God, but by the Antichrist who shall reign over the last days. Preparations for the Temples rebuilding are well advanced, with plans, vessels and vestments all waiting for the laying of the cornerstone.


To those who seek the Signs of the Times, this shall be the final sign. When you see it you will know that the wood is dry and the fire about to be lit. To quote an old Catholic priest I knew:
"Remember what the Good Book says: we're gonna f*ck it up so bad it's gonna take God Himself to come down and save our a*ses"
 Be sure and read my other posts and learn more about the links between the ancient, the sacred, and the modern world.
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