Friday, May 11, 2007

Herod and the eternal sancitiy of the Holy Temple

Don't forget to vote for Reb Chaim HaQoton for Best Torah Post for Holiday of Trees.
In recent news, the grave of King Herod the Great has been found (see here for news items) this week.

The Talmud (Bava Basra 3b) records two reasons for the prohibition concerning destorying a synagouge even with the intent to rebuild it fancier: the first reason it is forbidden is because an issue might come up which might prevent the rebuilding and the second reason is that the congregants will have no place to congregate in prayer while the synagogue is destoryed before it is rebuilt. In light of this prohibition, the Talmud asks how Bava Ben Buti was allowed to advise King Herod the Great to destory the Holy Temple and rebuild it in a grand fashion. The Talmud answers that either Bava Ben Buti saw a crack in the Temple which was going to cause its eventual destruction on its own anyways or Bava ben Buti knew that King Herod would be able to re-build the Temple after he destoryed it because even the modt unusual circumstances cannot block a king from carrying out his commands. However,Rabbi Avraham Shor (Toras Chaim to Bava Basra 3b) asks, this latter reasoning only justifies destorying the Temple if the reason for the prohibition of destroying a synagouge is because there is reason to beleive it might not be rebuilt, but if the reason is because the there is no place of prayer in the interim, then how could Bava Ben Buti have advised King Herod to destory the Temple to rebuilt it in its granduer, if the interim there would be no place for the sacrifices? Rabbi Shor answers that since the sancitity ofthe Temple Mount is everlasting, then even when the physical construction of the Temple's building is destoryed, sacrifices are allowed to be offered on the Temple Mount.

Rabbi Yosef Patzanavsky (Pardes Yosef to Exodus 25:8) offers two proofs to this concept of the eternal sancitification of the site of the Holy Temple. The last verse in Parshas Behar, says, "You shall observe my Sabbath and hold my Temple in awe". Just as the observance of the Sabbath is everlasting, the sanctrity of the Holy Sanctuary in Jerusalem is also everlasting. Similarly, in the curses of Parshas Behukosai, the Torah says that if the Jews do not follow the Torah, "I will destory your Temple." This shows that even when the Temple is destroyed, it is still called a Temple because its holiness lasts forever.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a great blog!
I just discovered it and will post it to my links, which get sent out to religious (and religious-ish) college students.

You should up an "about me" section. And make it obvious where that is.

Who are you? What yeshiva did you go to? Did you get smicha? From who? What do you do for a living? Which shul do you usually davern at?

That way we can get an idea of who you are.

If people are going to take what you say as the truth... they want to know your credentials first.

You might be a conservative rabbi? I mean of the conservative movement.

Yasher koach!
Adam Hyman

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