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  • Yehuda Pevzner

Double Vision

The Torah portion of Devarim is always read on the Shabbat that precedes the Ninth of Av, the day that commemorates the destruction of the first and second Beis HaMikdash. This Shabbat is known as Shabbat Chazon because the first word of its Haftorah is Chazon, "vision." The illustrious Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev explains that this Shabbat is known as Shabbat Chazon because on this day, "every Jew is granted a vision from afar of the future Beis HaMikdash." Let us mention a general question regarding the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash: The law states that it is forbidden to demolish even a small section of the Beis HaMikdash if it is done in a destructive manner. And surely it is forbidden to destroy the entire Beis HaMikdash. Since G-d, as it were, fulfills all the Mitzvot, how could He have permitted the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, especially as this was done at His behest? The only time that destruction of a part of the Beis HaMikdash, or even a synagogue, is permitted is when the purpose is to rectify the structure and rebuild it in the same place. It must be that the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash was in order to replace it with an even more splendid edifice. The Midrash says that the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash was conditional on G-d rebuilding it so that the very act of destruction was, in fact, a part of the rebuilding process. Herein lies the entire purpose of the Beis HaMikdash's destruction: G-d desired to "rectify" it. Rather than it being an edifice built by man, and as such unable to endure, He desired for it to be built by Himself and thus able to endure forever.

The same is true with regard to exile in general and particularly this final exile. The entire purpose of exile is so that our service during that time may bring about the elevation that comes in the era of redemption. Therefore, the first moment of exile is an integral part of the subsequent redemption. Within exile itself, even in the darkest moments (just prior to the Ninth of Av), one is able to perceive the future Beis HaMikdash. This enables a Jew to overcome the difficulties and darkness of exile so that his divine service will be of the highest order. This, in turn, brings down the revelation of the Third Beis HaMikdash, so that the "vision" becomes incontrovertible - the actual speedy revelation of the Third Beis HaMikdash.

Shabbat Shalom!

Candle lighting time in NYC is on Friday before 8:04 PM


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