Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students and Senior Lecturer at Diaspora Yeshiva, is not only a popular speaker and teacher, but also a dynamic thinker and writer. A student of Harav Yaakov Kamenetsky and Harav Gedalia Schorr, Rabbi Sprecher was granted smicha (rabbinical ordination) by Torah Vodaath Yeshiva. Prior to his current position, Rabbi Sprecher was a professor of Judaic studies at Touro College in New York. In addition to his duties at Diaspora Yeshiva, Rabbi Sprecher writes a regular column on various Judaic topics in the Jewish Press, and lectures regularly at the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem.
Will the FINAL Mikdash be a Physical Building?
Published: Monday, July 22, 2019 07:11:24 AM
Number of views: 1489

Zecharya ch. 8 tells us that Tisha B’Av will become a joyous festive Yom Tov when Mashiach comes and builds the third and final Beit Hamikdash. The prophet Yechezkel deals with the construction of the Third and Final Temple in great detail.

A major problem is that Yechezkel’s vision of the Third Beit Hamikdash in ch. 48 describes a Sanctuary Structure of enormous, gigantic dimensions. The Third Temple Building will be so huge that Abarbanel claims it will be even larger than the entire Temple Mount. The structure will be so humongous that the Malbim in Zecharya ch. 2 claims that Yechezkel’s Temple will surpass even beyond the borders of Jerusalem!

Is there a way to bridge the gap between Yechezkel’s Heavenly vision of a super-enormous sanctuary and his prophecy that very much seems to depict a physical building that exists here on earth?

The Minchat Yitzchak compares the relationship between Yechezkel’s Heavenly Temple and the Earthly Temple to the relationship between the human body and the soul. Just as the body is a product of this physical world, into which the Heavenly Soul descends, so too, the Final Temple will be built in this world by Mashiach, and then the Spiritual Heavenly Temple will descend into it.

Now, just as the G-dly soul is not measureable in human terms in this world, so too, the Heavenly Temple, which is so immense in Yechezkel’s vision, may not manifest itself in the same way here on earth.

It may be that the model of a spiritually enormous entity – the Heavenly Temple - occupies, animates, and transcends the physically limited confines of a body or a physical building, which is being described here by Yechezkel.

Thus, all the pieces of the Final Temple puzzle may fit together. We can integrate Yechezkel’s prophecy with the Heavenly Jerusalem and Final Temple, and the geographic locations of Jerusalem and the Third Sanctuary.

All of this makes sense in a Final Temple that is physically constructed by human beings, but infused with a Spiritual Soul Temple sent by G-d from Heaven. This is very similar to the G-dly Soul filling up a physical body.

This profound idea should challenge us to realize that we, too, need to transcend our physical limitations to reach a higher and more spiritual existence.

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